Clays in Mawrth Vallis
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Clays in Mawrth Vallis
PSP_006742_2050  Science Theme: Hydrothermal Processes


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Mawrth Vallis is one of the most colorful parts of Mars. However, it is not quite as colorful as seen in this observation, where this “extra” color comes from the fact that HiRISE can “see” into part of the infrared, enhancing its ability to detect color differences that are indicative of various minerals.

Properly identifying those minerals is where the CRISM instrument excels. They show that this area has a variety of different types of clay minerals: these are especially interesting because they had to form when water was interacting with rocks. The different types of clays point to different water chemistries and temperatures.

With HiRISE, we can better pinpoint how these different materials are distributed across the surface. Furthermore, by taking two images we can produce a stereo image and see the topography, allowing the different clay-bearing layers to be traced in three dimensions.Written by: Laszlo P. Keszthelyi   (4 March 2008)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_005819_2050.

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Acquisition date
03 January 2008

Local Mars time:

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Range to target site
291.7 km (182.3 miles)

Original image scale range
29.2 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~88 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle:

Phase angle:

Solar incidence angle
41°, with the Sun about 49° above the horizon

Solar longitude
12.3°, Northern Spring

North azimuth:

Sub-solar azimuth:
Black and white
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IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
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Merged RGB
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RGB color
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Black and white
map-projected   (1643MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (793MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (847MB)
non-map           (728MB)

IRB color
map projected  (258MB)
non-map           (615MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (438MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (439MB)

RGB color
non map           (561MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

DTM details page

B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
About color products (PDF)

Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

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

For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: 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.