Angular Unconformity in Cerberus Fossae
Angular Unconformity in Cerberus Fossae
PSP_010638_1890  Science Theme: Volcanic Processes
This HiRISE image shows a part of the Cerberus Fossae, a long system of aligned fissures. The Cerberus Fossae were the source of the youngest major volcanic eruption on Mars that covered much of the surrounding area in lava. The region has also seen much other volcanic activity.

The walls of the fissures typically reveal lava layers. At this site, they have cut through an older hill that protrudes above the surrounding plains. The layers within the hill are tilted relative to the overlying rock, which appears to drape the region and runs continuously over the hill and plains.

This tilted contact is known as an angular unconformity. It is most likely that this formed when horizontal layers were tilted by faults before the most recent volcanic eruptions, forming the irregular hills. The hills represent relatively old rock, while the smooth plains and the thin draping cover were formed more recently.

Written by: Colin Dundas  (21 January 2009)
Acquisition date
02 November 2008

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
275.9 km (171.5 miles)

Original image scale range
55.2 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~166 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
54°, with the Sun about 36° above the horizon

Solar longitude
151.3°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  14.2°
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   (457MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (208MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (251MB)
non-map           (250MB)

IRB color
map projected  (113MB)
non-map           (226MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (448MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (415MB)

RGB color
non map           (216MB)
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/JPL/University of Arizona

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.