Erosion of the Edge of the South Polar Layered Deposits
Erosion of the Edge of the South Polar Layered Deposits
ESP_013224_1080  Science Theme: Polar Geology
This oblique view of the sloping edge of the stack of icy layers over the South Pole has some interesting morphologies.

The slope appears to be eroding from a combination of landslides, block falls, and sublimation. The bright icy exposure in the larger landslide scar (upper right) suggests that this was a relatively recent event.

Small-scale textures over the scene are due to both blowing wind and the thermal expansion and contraction of shallow ice.

Written by: Alfred McEwen  (22 May 2017)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_013026_1080.
Acquisition date
22 May 2009

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
246.9 km (153.4 miles)

Original image scale range
57.1 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~171 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
57°, with the Sun about 33° above the horizon

Solar longitude
270.9°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  104°
Sub-solar azimuth:  42.4°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (467MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (209MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (264MB)
non-map           (197MB)

IRB color
map projected  (105MB)
non-map           (178MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (460MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (427MB)

RGB color
non map           (166MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph 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

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.