A Song of Ice and Tectonics
A Song of Ice and Tectonics
ESP_081922_1470  Science Theme: 
Many craters in the mid-latitudes of Mars are partially filled with deposits that have been interpreted to be ice-rich. We expect the deposits to have formed at an earlier (but relatively recent) time when Mars’ orbital parameters were different and allowed ice to condense and deposit in these locations. The ice is covered by dust layers protecting it from sublimating away.

The ice deposits are probably no older than a few million years, which is recent in geological terms. However, we can observe that these deposits have been affected by even more recent movement of the crust (the curving trough) that clearly post-dates the ice deposits because it is cutting through them. A wider view allows us to trace this crustal movement or “fault,” and we can see it is also affecting the crater wall and the area surrounding it. This observation indicates that Mars’ interior is still (or at least until recently was) warm enough to sustain such activity.

Written by: Mohamed Ramy El-Maarry (narration: Tre Gibbs)  (20 March 2024)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_081856_1470.
Acquisition date
17 January 2024

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
250.3 km (155.6 miles)

Original image scale range
50.2 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~151 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
65°, with the Sun about 25° above the horizon

Solar longitude
182.9°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  22.2°
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   (205MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (74MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (111MB)
non-map           (183MB)

IRB color
map projected  (38MB)
non-map           (79MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (199MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (185MB)

RGB color
non map           (69MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

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.