Obstacles and Wakes in Lava
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Obstacles and Wakes in Lava
ESP_048745_2095  Science Theme: Volcanic Processes

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Amazonis Planitia is a broad plain on Mars, covered with ancient lava. This image shows an interesting feature of an old lava flow.

When it was mostly liquid, the lava had a crust of cooled debris floating on the surface. Here, the crust just barely scraped over some hills. The flow was able to make it past the hills, but the rubble crust was caught and piled up, forming thick masses of debris.

Downstream from the hills, there was no crust left and the lava formed a smoother, fresh surface. Observations like this tell us about the scale of the lava flow (which must have been a huge sheet) and also which direction it was moving at the time when the crust interacted with the hills.

Written by: Colin Dundas (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (21 February 2017)

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Acquisition date
19 December 2016

Local Mars time:
14:14

Latitude (centered)
29.116°

Longitude (East)
204.327°

Range to target site
294.7 km (184.2 miles)

Original image scale range
59.0 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~177 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle:
8.3°

Phase angle:
68.5°

Solar incidence angle
63°, with the Sun about 27° above the horizon

Solar longitude
283.4°, Northern Winter

North azimuth:
97°

Sub-solar azimuth:
311.0°
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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.