North Polar Layered Deposits in Head Scarp of Chasma Boreale
North Polar Layered Deposits in Head Scarp of Chasma Boreale
PSP_001334_2645  Science Theme: Polar Geology
This enhanced-color image shows the north polar layered deposits at top and darker materials at bottom exposed in a scarp at the head of Chasma Boreale, a large canyon eroded into the layered deposits.

The polar layered deposits appear red because of dust mixed within them, but are ice-rich as indicated by previous observations. The water ice in the layered deposits is probably responsible for the pattern of fractures seen near the top of the scarp.

The darker material below the layered deposits may have been deposited as sand dunes, as indicated by the cross-bedding (truncation of curved lines) seen near the middle of the scarp. It appears that brighter, ice-rich layers were deposited between the dark dunes in places.

Exposures such as these are useful in understanding the recent climate variations that are likely recorded in the polar layered deposits.

Written by: Ken Herkenhoff  (13 December 2006)
Acquisition date
08 November 2006

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
316.8 km (196.9 miles)

Original image scale range
from 31.7 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) to 63.5 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning)

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
67°, with the Sun about 23° above the horizon

Solar longitude
132.3°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  119°
Sub-solar azimuth:  323.5°
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   (578MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (406MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (257MB)
non-map           (169MB)

IRB color
map projected  (142MB)
non-map           (238MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (182MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (170MB)

RGB color
non map           (224MB)
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.