Troughs and Wind Features of the Tharsis Region
Troughs and Wind Features of the Tharsis Region
ESP_021527_1960  Science Theme: Tectonic Processes
The Tharsis region, where this observation is located, contains numerous volcanoes, including the largest one in the Solar System, Olympus Mons. It also contains many tectonic faults such as those visible here in Ulysses Fossae.

The flat-floored troughs seen here are called “graben.” They are formed when the terrain gets pulled apart and two parallel fractures form in the bedrock. As the terrain gets stretched apart the block of rock between the two fractures drops downwards.

Graben of different orientations criss-cross each other here, indicating that the terrain was stretched in different directions at different times.

There are also several dark slope streaks throughout this observation.

Written by: HiRISE Science Team  (5 April 2011)
Acquisition date
28 February 2011

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
273.6 km (170.0 miles)

Original image scale range
55.0 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~165 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
60°, with the Sun about 30° above the horizon

Solar longitude
245.6°, Northern Autumn

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North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  326.9°
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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.