Intersecting Channels near Olympica Fossae
Intersecting Channels near Olympica Fossae
ESP_045091_2045  Science Theme: 
This complicated area contains various types of channels, pits and fractures. We can determine the relative ages of the pits and channels based on which features cross-cut others. Older channels appear smooth-edged and shallow. Younger channels and pits are deeper and more sharp-edged, as well as less sinuous than the shallower channels.

What caused this array of various channels and intersecting pits?

This region is covered in vast lava flows. The collapse pits here may be collapsed lava tubes or where overlying rock “drained” into voids created by extensional faulting. The older smoother channel that seems to source from this region may have carried an outflow of groundwater. It continues on for over 100 kilometers (62 miles) (see ESP_045368_2040).

The orientation and shapes of these features make an interesting geological puzzle!

Written by: Sarah Sutton (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (21 September 2016)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_044326_2045.
Acquisition date
09 March 2016

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
277.6 km (172.5 miles)

Original image scale range
27.9 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~84 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
43°, with the Sun about 47° above the horizon

Solar longitude
120.3°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  11.3°
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IRB color
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IRB color
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Black and white
map-projected  (159MB)
non-map           (146MB)

IRB color
map projected  (47MB)
non-map           (145MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (75MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (73MB)

RGB color
non map           (144MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
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IRB: infrared-red-blue
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

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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.