Scalloped Depressions with Layers in the Northern Plains
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Scalloped Depressions with Layers in the Northern Plains
PSP_002439_2265  Science Theme: Sedimentary/Layering Processes
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This image, of the northern plains of Mars, is marked by depressions in a layer of material that covers the region. The depressions, several of which have coalesced together, have scalloped edges and layers in their walls.

Features such as these are most commonly found at approximately 55 degrees North and South latitude. Their presence has led to hypotheses of the removal of subsurface material, possibly ground ice, by sublimation (evaporation). This process is believed to be ongoing today.

In this image, steeper scarps with layers consistently face the north pole while more gentle slopes without layers face in the direction of the equator. This is most likely due to differences in solar heating.

Large boulders, some several meters in length, are scattered within the depressions and on the surrounding surface. Also on the surface surrounding the scalloped depressions is a polygonal pattern of fractures. This is commonly associated with "scalloped terrain," and indicates that the surface has undergone stress potentially caused by subsidence, desiccation, or thermal contraction.

Written by: Maria Banks  (14 March 2007)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_001938_2265.
 
Acquisition date
02 February 2007

Local Mars time
15:23

Latitude (centered)
46.020°

Longitude (East)
92.101°

Spacecraft altitude
301.5 km (187.4 miles)

Original image scale range
from 31.1 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) to 62.2 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning)

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle
14.8°

Phase angle
77.0°

Solar incidence angle
63°, with the Sun about 27° above the horizon

Solar longitude
177.0°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  98°
Sub-solar azimuth:  336.5°
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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
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USAGE POLICY
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/JPL/University of Arizona

POSTSCRIPT
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.