Inverted Topography near Juventae Chasma
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Inverted Topography near Juventae Chasma
ESP_020602_1755  Science Theme: Fluvial Processes
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This image displays several nice examples of inverted channels near Juventae Chasma, part of the Valles Marineris system.

Inverted topography - when a feature that ordinarily would be lower in elevation than the surrounding terrain is instead higher in elevation - forms when low-lying features are filled with erosion-resistant materials (like lava, large rocks or cemented sediments). The softer surrounding material is more easily eroded, which results in the filled-in feature becoming a high spot instead of a dip.

In this image, the inverted relief preserves sinuous branching features, possibly ancient streambeds. And while it isn't exactly inverted topography, several of the craters in the image also seem to have been subject to a similar process - the erosion-resistant ejecta blankets stand higher than the surrounding terrain, forming an abrupt transition at the edge of the ejecta.

Written by: Nicole Baugh   (12 January 2011)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_005346_1755.

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Acquisition date
18 December 2010

Local Mars time:

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Range to target site
274.3 km (171.4 miles)

Original image scale range
27.4 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~82 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

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Phase angle:

Solar incidence angle
56°, with the Sun about 34° above the horizon

Solar longitude
200.9°, Northern Autumn

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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
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NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: 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. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona. The image data were processed using the U.S. Geological Survey’s ISIS3 software.