Layers in Danielson Crater
Layers in Danielson Crater
ESP_060331_1880  Science Theme: Geologic Contacts/Stratigraphy
This image shows sedimentary rock and sand within Danielson Crater, an impact crater 67 kilometers in diameter, located in the southwest Arabia Terra region of Mars.

The rock was formed millions or billions of years ago when loose sediments settled into the crater, one layer at a time, and were later cemented in place. Cyclical variations in the sediment properties made some layers more resistant to erosion than others. After eons, these tougher layers protrude outward like stair steps. Across these steps, the winds have scattered sand (typically appearing darker and less red, i.e. “bluer” in contrast-enhanced color), giving rise to the zebra stripe-like patterns visible here.

This image completes a stereo pair over this location, which will allow measurement of the thicknesses of these sedimentary layers. The layer thicknesses and how they vary through time can provide some insight into the processes, possibly linked to ancient climate, that deposited the layers so long ago.

Written by: James Wray (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (3 September 2019)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_027615_1880.
Acquisition date
10 June 2019

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
275.1 km (171.0 miles)

Original image scale range
57.2 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~172 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

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

Solar longitude
37.4°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  20.7°
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Black and white
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non-map           (154MB)

IRB color
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non-map           (146MB)

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RGB color
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Full resolution JP2 download
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10K (TIFF)

HiClip mini HD

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RGB: red-green-blue
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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/JPL/University of Arizona

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.