Eroding Crater Fill
Eroding Crater Fill
PSP_002478_1770  Science Theme: Sedimentary/Layering Processes
This image shows the edge of a mound of sediments in the center of a large impact crater near Amenthes Planum.

The mound probably once filled much more of the crater, but it is now eroding away. A broad view shows several small plateaus which have likely been preserved by a relatively resistant cap layer, while other levels are exposed elsewhere.

The subimage highlighted here shows several types of layers exposed in a pit. These variations point to a relatively complex geologic history at this site. Some layers appear to be fracturing into boulders which roll downslope, while others appear relatively smooth. There are also variations in tone, from light to dark. This diversity may be due to different types of rock, as well as varying strength.

Images such as this one indicate that rocks formed on Mars in a variety of ways, and by careful analysis it may be possible to deduce some of the history that has produced the geology at this site.

Written by: Colin Dundas  (7 March 2007)
Acquisition date
05 February 2007

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
266.1 km (165.4 miles)

Original image scale range
26.6 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~80 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
56°, with the Sun about 34° above the horizon

Solar longitude
178.7°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  8.1°
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
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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.