Flow Features in Amazonis Planitia
Flow Features in Amazonis Planitia
ESP_017546_1965  Science Theme: Volcanic Processes
Located between the Tharsis and Elysium volcanic provinces, Amazonis Planitia's relatively smooth surface and sparseness of sizeable craters has made it a good example for the most recent period in Mars geological history. The "Amazonian" spans roughly the first several hundred million years of Mars history.

Although Amazonis Planitia is considered one of the smoothest areas on Mars, it is not featureless. The surface is covered with small sinuous ridges that are several hundred meters in length. Spanning across the image are larger continuous ridges and troughs that trend in a roughly North-South direction and cut across the smaller ridges. The formation of these features is consistent with large-scale lava flow activity. Sediment fills in the lower topography between these ridges, and occasionally accumulates into larger dunes. These dunes likely formed from particles eroded off the ridges over time and are shaped by the prevailing winds. Interestingly, these dunes are isolated from each other by several hundreds of meters.

Studying terrains like those in this image allows researchers to characterize more recent surface processes on Mars, thus helping to piece together the planet's geologic history.

Written by: Shawn Hart and Ginny Gulick  (2 June 2010)
Acquisition date
24 April 2010

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
283.1 km (175.9 miles)

Original image scale range
56.7 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~170 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
45°, with the Sun about 45° above the horizon

Solar longitude
81.9°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  25.7°
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Black and white
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non-map           (169MB)

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B&W label
Color label
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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’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.