Olivine-Bearing Dune Fields and Wall Rock in Coprates Chasma
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Olivine-Bearing Dune Fields and Wall Rock in Coprates Chasma
ESP_023806_1645  Science Theme: Aeolian Processes
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In this image, lower wall rock spurs are found that spread dark materials onto a dune field, suggesting local wall materials are a nearby sediment source for dunes. This subimage shows the interface between wall materials and dunes in the northwest portion of the main image.

Dune sand, wall spurs, and boulders are all partially composed of olivine (according to CRISM data), a common mineral formed in volcanic processes, supporting the notion for local sourcing of dunes.

Olivine is highly susceptible to weathering by aqueous processes indicating these dunes and the wall debris formed after any such activity. Interestingly, clay minerals (known as phyllosilicates) are detected farther up the wall suggesting that aqueous alteration of wall materials has occurred in the ancient past.

Written by: Matthew Chojnacki   (1 May 2013)

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Acquisition date
25 August 2011

Local Mars time:
14:13

Latitude (centered)
-15.209°

Longitude (East)
302.280°

Range to target site
261.6 km (163.5 miles)

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52.3 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~157 cm across are resolved

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50 cm/pixel and North is up

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Emission angle:
2.3°

Phase angle:
37.0°

Solar incidence angle
35°, with the Sun about 55° above the horizon

Solar longitude
350.3°, Northern Winter

North azimuth:
97°

Sub-solar azimuth:
21.1°
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For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: http://www.nasa.gov. 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.