The Margin of a Pedestal Crater
The Margin of a Pedestal Crater
PSP_008508_1870  Science Theme: Landscape Evolution
This image shows part of the margin of a pedestal crater. A pedestal crater is a crater with its ejecta standing above the surrounding terrain. These form when an impact crater ejects material that forms a resistant layer. This resistant blanket coats material around the crater, which is thus eroded more slowly than the rest of the region. The result is that both the crater and its ejecta blanket stand above the surroundings.

At this site, only a small part of the edge of the ejecta is visible. The ejecta is eroding, leaving a ragged edge with some detached mesas and buttes. The uppermost layer in the small cliffs is clearly strong and erosion-resistant, as it forms steep and even overhanging edges, ultimately breaking up into boulders which fall down the slopes. This layer armors the underlying material against erosion. Sites like this offer the opportunity to study units of rock that otherwise might have been erased by erosion.

Written by: Colin Dundas  (25 June 2008)
Acquisition date
20 May 2008

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
275.7 km (171.3 miles)

Original image scale range
27.9 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~84 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
49°, with the Sun about 41° above the horizon

Solar longitude
74.3°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  32.0°
Black and white
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IRB color
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Merged IRB
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Merged RGB
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IRB color
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Black and white
map-projected  (329MB)
non-map           (325MB)

IRB color
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non-map           (266MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (140MB)

Merged RGB
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RGB color
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B&W label
Color label
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EDR products

IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
About color products (PDF)

Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

All of the images produced by HiRISE and accessible on this site are within the public domain: there are no restrictions on their usage by anyone in the public, including news or science organizations. We do ask for a credit line where possible:

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.