When Did the Light-Toned Layers Form?
NASA/JPL/UArizona
When Did the Light-Toned Layers Form?
ESP_070107_1750  Science Theme: Geologic Contacts/Stratigraphy
Light-toned layered deposits are found throughout central Valles Marineris. Most of the deposits tend to be towards the center of the depressions, away from the walls that define our solar system’s largest canyon.

In this image of northwestern Candor Chasma, the light-toned layered deposits are adjacent to the walls. If the deposits are on top of the walls, then we know they were laid down after the chasma had already formed. However, if they are outcropping from within the walls, then they are older deposits that pre-date the chasma’s formation.

Determining when the light-toned layered deposits formed is important for understanding the geologic history of Valles Marineris, especially because these deposits are hydrated and most likely formed in the presence of liquid water.

Written by: Cathy Wetiz (narration: Tre Gibbs)  (20 September 2021)
 
Acquisition date
11 July 2021

Local Mars time
15:38

Latitude (centered)
-4.997°

Longitude (East)
285.687°

Spacecraft altitude
261.3 km (162.4 miles)

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Emission angle
8.2°

Phase angle
67.2°

Solar incidence angle
61°, with the Sun about 29° above the horizon

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70.3°, Northern Spring

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North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  36.7°
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POSTSCRIPT
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.