Meander and Tributary of Scamander Vallis
Meander and Tributary of Scamander Vallis
ESP_011289_1950  Science Theme: Fluvial Processes
Scamander Vallis is a winding, degraded valley network in the northern hemisphere of Mars. Visible here are several bends, or meanders, in the valley. The bottom of the valley contains dunes, and the scene is speckled with small impact craters.

The walls of the valley have slope streaks ranging in color from dark to light. Slope streaks are proposed to form by avalanching dust and to evolve by fading or brightening over time. Thus, the slope streaks in Scamander Vallis likely formed at different times.

Across the center of image, there are some dark streaks that go across the valley walls; these are probably dust devil tracks. As dust devils (mini wind funnels) move across the surface, they stir up dust and leave behind dark trails.

Written by: Kelly Kolb  (11 February 2009)
Acquisition date
23 December 2008

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
276.8 km (172.0 miles)

Original image scale range
55.7 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~167 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

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Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
58°, with the Sun about 32° above the horizon

Solar longitude
178.5°, Northern Summer

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North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  357.3°
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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. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.