Ice-Rich Terrain of the Northern Plains
Ice-Rich Terrain of the Northern Plains
ESP_069002_2305  Science Theme: Glacial/Periglacial Processes
This image shows a surface shaped by ice. Funnel-shaped craters scattered throughout the image are interpreted as impacts that once had the classic bowl shape, but have now expanded via sublimation.

At high resolution the surface is divided by polygonal fractures, spaced a few meters apart. These polygons are common on the northern plains and were seen by the Phoenix Lander. They form when annual temperature cycles cause the ice to fracture as it expands and shrinks. The polygons are especially prominent and well-defined in a shallow pit in the (west-center part of the) image, which may indicate that depth or purity of the ice is different there.

Written by: Colin Dundas (narration: Tre Gibbs)  (13 May 2021)
Acquisition date
16 April 2021

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
306.7 km (190.6 miles)

Original image scale range
from 30.7 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) to 61.4 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning)

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
53°, with the Sun about 37° above the horizon

Solar longitude
32.2°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  337.4°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (1034MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (613MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (471MB)
non-map           (567MB)

IRB color
map projected  (193MB)
non-map           (476MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (338MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (328MB)

RGB color
non map           (461MB)
B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

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

All of the images produced by HiRISE and accessible on this site are within the public domain: there are no restrictions on their usage by anyone in the public, including news or science organizations. We do ask for a credit line where possible:

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.