North Polar Layered Deposits and Dunes in Chasma Boreale
North Polar Layered Deposits and Dunes in Chasma Boreale
PSP_009905_2650  Science Theme: Polar Geology
This image shows a steep, layered slope and flatter, dune-covered plains in Mars' north polar region. The layers are composed of varying contents of water ice and dust.

On Earth, icy layers like these in Greenland and Antarctica are important because they contain a record of past climate conditions. By looking at the detailed sequence of polar layers on Mars, scientists hope to be able to discover the types of variations that Mars' climate may have experienced. The lowest section in the stack of light layers is noticeably darker because of the presence of dark, sandy material. Erosion of this dark material is thought to provide the sand making up the large dunes on the plains.

Several exceptionally well-developed barchan (crescent-shaped) dune forms up to approximately 50 meters (160 feet) across are present in the center of the image.

Written by: Patrick Russell  (29 October 2008)
Acquisition date
06 September 2008

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
320.4 km (199.1 miles)

Original image scale range
32.1 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~96 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
64°, with the Sun about 26° above the horizon

Solar longitude
123.2°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  123°
Sub-solar azimuth:  322.9°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (998MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (461MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (436MB)
non-map           (350MB)

IRB color
map projected  (125MB)
non-map           (327MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (262MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (244MB)

RGB color
non map           (301MB)
B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
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.