Terraced Craters and Layered Targets
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Terraced Craters and Layered Targets
ESP_033014_2260  Science Theme: Impact Processes
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Small impact craters usually have simple bowl shapes; however, when the target material has different layers of different strength, then more complicated crater shapes can emerge.

The most common situation is a weaker layer overlying a stronger one. In that case, these craters usually have a terrace on their inner walls where the crater abruptly becomes smaller at the depth where this change in material occurs.

In this image of Arcadia Planitia, we can see one of these terraced craters. In fact, there are two distinct terraces implying at least three distinct layers in this target. Images like this help scientists probe the near subsurface of Mars. In this case, the different material strengths are probably caused by layers of ice (weak) and rock (strong).

Written by: Shane Byrne (audio by Tre Gibbs)   (12 September 2013)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_034082_2260.

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Acquisition date
11 August 2013

Local Mars time:
14:16

Latitude (centered)
45.648°

Longitude (East)
188.604°

Range to target site
307.6 km (192.3 miles)

Original image scale range
30.8 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~92 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle:
8.7°

Phase angle:
46.2°

Solar incidence angle
53°, with the Sun about 37° above the horizon

Solar longitude
5.6°, Northern Spring

North azimuth:
96°

Sub-solar azimuth:
319.9°
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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



Postscript
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.