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:14:29
Latitude (centered):24.684° Longitude (East):339.064°
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 upMap projection:Equirectangular
Emission angle:8.4° Phase angle:32.8°
Solar incidence angle:41°, with the Sun about 49° above the horizon Solar longitude:12.3°, Northern Spring

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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.