Inverted Streams in the Aeolis Region
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Inverted Streams in the Aeolis Region
PSP_002424_1765  Science Theme: Fluvial Processes

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The sinuous ridges in this image display strong characteristics of ancient meandering riverbeds that are preserved as inverted topography (blue). The ancient river sediments that make up the ridges might have allowed fluids to produce cements (e.g., calcite or iron oxides) to make the channel lithology resistant to weathering and erosion. Later, physical and/or chemical processes removed the weaker surrounding flood plain material and left inverted river channels, or “positive relief.” On closer inspection, degradation along sections of some inverted channels display large blocks of cemented sediment that were transported downslope by mass wasting.

The sinuous character of the ridges resembles multi-thread river branches, implying that the ancient river flowed down a gentle to nearly horizontal slope (i.e., a moderate to low stream gradient). This ancient river was a mature meandering system, with flow from south to north. Multiple branches that diverted from the main flow later converged back with it.

Written by: Hayden Smith and Marjorie A. Chan (audio: Tre Gibbs)   (9 December 2015)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_019803_1765.

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Acquisition date
01 February 2007

Local Mars time:
15:42

Latitude (centered)
-3.562°

Longitude (East)
150.137°

Range to target site
269.2 km (168.3 miles)

Original image scale range
53.9 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~162 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle:
0.0°

Phase angle:
55.8°

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

Solar longitude
176.4°, Northern Summer

North azimuth:
97°

Sub-solar azimuth:
10.9°
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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.