Ridges and Grooves That Wave and Buckle on a Valley Floor
NASA/JPL/UArizona
Ridges and Grooves That Wave and Buckle on a Valley Floor
ESP_026414_2205  Science Theme: Glacial/Periglacial Processes
Long linear ridges and grooves curve, wave, and buckle across most of this image. Here, as elsewhere on Mars, these linear ridges and grooves fill a valley floor, hence their name, “lineated valley fill.”

Because these features are only found in valleys in the middle latitudes (30 to 60 degrees) of the northern and southern hemispheres, scientists had long suspected that they were associated with some ancient climate that had prevailed in that latitudinal band. Based on peering beneath the surface using radar, scientists now think that lineated valley fill is probably merely a rocky veneer atop a glacier of nearly pure ice! The rocks that make up the linear ridges and grooves were oriented by the ancient flow of the glacier underneath.

Written by: Ethan Schaefer  (10 April 2013)
 
Acquisition date
15 March 2012

Local Mars time
15:04

Latitude (centered)
40.253°

Longitude (East)
15.494°

Spacecraft altitude
296.7 km (184.4 miles)

Original image scale range
29.9 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~90 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle
6.0°

Phase angle
35.1°

Solar incidence angle
41°, with the Sun about 49° above the horizon

Solar longitude
83.6°, Northern Spring

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North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  357.3°
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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.