A Large New Slump in Eos Chasma
A Large New Slump in Eos Chasma
ESP_071886_1640  Science Theme: Mass Wasting Processes
In geology, a slump forms a mass of loosely consolidated material or a rock layer moves a short distance down a slope. The movement is characterized by sliding along a concave-upward or planar surface.

Based on other HiRISE images, this particular slump occurred between 9 March 2020 and 17 February 2021, corresponding to the relatively warm spring and summer of the Southern Hemisphere. This is among the largest active slumps documented on Mars, about 700 meters (0.4 mile) long.

Causes of slumping on Earth include earthquake shocks, reduction of friction through wetting, freezing and thawing, undercutting (such as from a stream), and loading of a slope. Based on the geomorphology of this region and other active slumps seen on Mars, we suspect loading of the slope via smaller-scale activity like gullies, recurring slope lineae and windblown deposits may have contributed to the slumping. Perhaps a Marsquake triggered the movement.

Note to future Mars explorers: setting up camp at the base of this slope is not recommended.

Written by: Alfred McEwen (narration: Tre Gibbs)  (16 March 2022)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_069895_1640.
Acquisition date
26 November 2021

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
263.6 km (163.8 miles)

Original image scale range
52.9 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~159 cm across are resolved

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50 cm/pixel and North is up

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64°, with the Sun about 26° above the horizon

Solar longitude
133.0°, Northern Summer

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North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  36.3°
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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.