Chevrons on a Flow Surface in Marte Vallis
Chevrons on a Flow Surface in Marte Vallis
ESP_034887_1870  Science Theme: Volcanic Processes
Lava flows cool as they move allowing their surface to freeze solid. The constant movement below this surface can break it up into a rough mass of jumbled broken rock. Sometimes larger surface areas that are thicker can behave like rafts that are dragged along by the flow.

Both features are visible in this image of an ancient lava flow in Cerberus Planitia. Isolated rafts that are still high-standing are visible and frozen into the flow. The rough areas show where the flow was fastest and have merged in places forming the large chevron-shaped features we see here.

Written by: HiRISE Science Team  (19 February 2014)
Acquisition date
04 January 2014

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
276.3 km (171.7 miles)

Original image scale range
55.3 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~166 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
48°, with the Sun about 42° above the horizon

Solar longitude
71.9°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  32.0°
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
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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.