Valles Marineris Wall Rock
Valles Marineris Wall Rock
PSP_001337_1675  Science Theme: Volcanic Processes
This image captures a small part of the northern wall of Valles Marineris, the largest canyon in the solar system.

The reason this part of Mars' crust was pulled apart is not known with certainty, so observations like this are part of a campaign to understand the tectonics of Mars. In addition, the canyon provides a view deep into the crust of Mars.

This HiRISE image captures 9500 meters (31,000 feet) of vertical relief. A sequence of thin layers can be seen in the upper roughly 1000 m (3000 feet) of the valley wall. Since Valles Marineris cuts into the side of the Tharsis Volcanic Rise, it is likely that these layers are lava flows. Below this, layers are not so regular. This lower section probably exposes rocks that have been intensely disrupted by ancient impact craters, but could also include solidified bodies of magma.

Written by: Laszlo Kestay  (6 December 2006)
Acquisition date
08 November 2006

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
257.6 km (160.1 miles)

Original image scale range
from 51.5 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) to 103.0 cm/pixel (with 4 x 4 binning)

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

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

Solar longitude
132.4°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  35.7°
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   (434MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (292MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (211MB)
non-map           (173MB)

IRB color
map projected  (114MB)
non-map           (264MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (392MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (376MB)

RGB color
non map           (253MB)
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.