Light-Toned Mounds in Ganges Chasma
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Light-Toned Mounds in Ganges Chasma
ESP_017173_1715  Science Theme: Sedimentary/Layering Processes
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This formation of light-toned mounds on the floor of Ganges Chasma have been shaped by two erosional processes: landslides and wind.

The steeper sides of these mounds show a spur-and-gully shape which is indicative of down-slope mass movement and slope failures (little landslides). The "top" of the larger, center mound and other areas of the mounds show the streamlined forms of rock carved by eons of the wind at work.

You can also see the pattern of dark dunes that line the Ganges Chasma floor chage as they interact with these mounds, showing a kind of parabolic exclusion zone along the east end of the mounds, indicating that the dominant wind direction is to the west.

These mounds are very similar to the much larger Ganges Mensa formation farther west in Ganges Chasma. These outcrops may in fact be an erosional remnant of a rock formation that filled the whole chasma, with Ganges Mensa being the biggest remnant and this and others being the only remaining outliers.

Written by: Ross Beyer  (1 May 2010)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_018518_1715.
 
Acquisition date
26 March 2010

Local Mars time
15:13

Latitude (centered)
-8.407°

Longitude (East)
313.311°

Spacecraft altitude
266.1 km (165.4 miles)

Original image scale range
26.9 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~81 cm across are resolved

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25 cm/pixel and North is up

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Emission angle
8.7°

Phase angle
50.8°

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

Solar longitude
69.2°, Northern Spring

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North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  41.0°
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POSTSCRIPT
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.