Layered Bedrock in the Central Uplift of Betio Crater
Layered Bedrock in the Central Uplift of Betio Crater
ESP_016805_1565  Science Theme: Impact Processes
The road to the top involves challenges along the way and the higher you move, the knowledge acquired throughout your journey becomes more abundant and priceless. Such is the case with complex impact craters whose central structures struggle their way from deep within the subsurface to rise higher and higher. As they peek out through the surface, they give us a snapshot of the intense stresses and temperatures they were subjected to, in their path to see the sky.

However, not all of these crater central structures have sufficient strength to maintain a peak so they collapsing inwards upon loss of all their energy, forming a central pit or depression. Such is the case with the uplift of the 32-kilometer diameter Betio Crater, located south of Valles Marineris. This HiRISE color composite cutout shows a part of the central depression in Betio.

The presence of tilted light-toned layers at the base of the central depression suggests that bedrock may have been initially uplifted but later collapsed to form a pit. The image also shows how the layers rotated, deformed and competed with each other to be a part of the central structure we observe today.

Written by: Vidhya Ganesh Rangarajan, Livio Leonardo Tornabene, Leah Sacks, Chimira Andres  (8 February 2020)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_017583_1565.
Acquisition date
25 February 2010

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
253.7 km (157.7 miles)

Original image scale range
25.6 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~77 cm across are resolved

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25 cm/pixel and North is up

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63°, with the Sun about 27° above the horizon

Solar longitude
56.6°, Northern Spring

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North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  45.8°
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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.