Layers and Fractures in Ophir Chasma
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Layers and Fractures in Ophir Chasma
ESP_042360_1755  Science Theme: Tectonic Processes

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Ophir Chasma forms the northern portion of Valles Marineris, and this image features a small part of its wall and floor.

The wall rock shows many sedimentary layers and the floor is covered with wind-blown ridges, which are intermediate in size between sand ripples and sand dunes. Rocks protruding on the floor could be volcanic intrusions of once-molten magma that have pushed aside the surrounding sedimentary layers and “froze” in place.

Images like this can help geologists study the formation mechanisms of large tectonic systems like Valles Marineris.

(The word “tectonics” does not mean the same thing as “plate tectonics.” Tectonics simply refers to large stresses and strains in a planet’s crust. Plate tectonics is the main type of tectonics that Earth has; Mars does not have plate tectonics.)

Written by: Kirby Runyon   (4 November 2015)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_043560_1755.

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Acquisition date:10 August 2015 Local Mars time:14:33
Latitude (centered):-4.604° Longitude (East):287.032°
Range to target site:287.8 km (179.9 miles)Original image scale range:28.8 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~86 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:25 cm/pixel and North is upMap projection:Equirectangular
Emission angle:22.8° Phase angle:62.0°
Solar incidence angle:41°, with the Sun about 49° above the horizon Solar longitude:25.3°, Northern Spring

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