Geologic Faulting in Amazonis Planitia
Geologic Faulting in Amazonis Planitia
PSP_001578_2000  Science Theme: Tectonic Processes
This image is centered on a long "strike-slip" fault on the young plains in the Amazonis region of Mars.

The most famous example of a strike-slip fault on the Earth is probably the San Andreas Fault in California. The smooth plains here have few large craters, indicating that it has been resurfaced relatively recently.

The fact that the faults have cut these plains indicates that tectonic processes (and Marsquakes) have occurred even more recently. Of course, "recently" on Mars is a relative term; it is likely that both the surfaces and the faulting are more than a billion years old.

Other interesting features are the moats around knobs and craters in the plains (most prominently near the southern edge of the image) and convoluted depressions that might mark a channel along the western edge of the image.

Written by: Laszlo Kestay  (13 December 2006)
Acquisition date
27 November 2006

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
284.3 km (176.7 miles)

Original image scale range
57.4 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~172 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

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Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
49°, with the Sun about 41° above the horizon

Solar longitude
141.7°, Northern Summer

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North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  10.0°
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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.