Crater Gullies at Multiple Elevations
Crater Gullies at Multiple Elevations
ESP_067299_1435  Science Theme: Mass Wasting Processes
Gullies along the poleward-facing slope of this 10-kilometer diameter crater in the southern highlands of Mars originate at various elevations along the rim. The eastern gullies (right) originate at or near the crater rim while the more western gullies erode into or undercut rubbly layers along the mid-elevation slopes.

Most of the mid-slope region below these layers is composed of terrain that forms a polygonal fracture pattern. The lower part is cut by a series of fractures trending perpendicular across the slope. These features suggest that the mid-slope region once contained significant subsurface ice reserves that may have been removed during gully formation.

Mars’ past climate may have permitted certain processes where water initially froze and melted seasonally, allowing for the formation of polygonal terrain and gully systems. More recent gully activity has resulted from dry flows, perhaps from the loss of sediment support by subsurface ice sublimation or simply due to gravity.

Written by: Ginny Gulick (narration: Tre Gibbs)  (14 April 2021)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_067708_1435.
Acquisition date
04 December 2020

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
250.8 km (155.9 miles)

Original image scale range
25.3 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~76 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
325.7°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  27.0°
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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.