Pits, Hollows and Viscous Flow
Pits, Hollows and Viscous Flow
ESP_060858_2160  Science Theme: Glacial/Periglacial Processes
The mid-latitudes of Mars are draped with deposits of water ice and dust on the order of tens of meters thick. The deposits are preserved to varying degrees, depending on latitude and the degree of dust cover that insulates and protects the ice from subliming away.

These mantling deposits are thought to have been mobilized from the polar caps and redeposited from the atmosphere millions of years ago during periods when Mars’ axial tilt was higher than it is today.

The floor of this crater appears filled with such deposits, as evidenced by surface textures such as pits, hollows, grooves, and other small filled craters. The material has undergone viscous flow, resulting in many curved ridges. Much of the original ice may have been lost to sublimation, but it is likely that a significant amount of ice remains.

Written by: Dan Berman (narration: Tre Gibbs)  (18 November 2019)
Acquisition date
21 July 2019

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
294.1 km (182.8 miles)

Original image scale range
29.6 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~89 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

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Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
40°, with the Sun about 50° above the horizon

Solar longitude
55.6°, Northern Spring

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North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  354.6°
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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.