Iberus Vallis
Iberus Vallis
PSP_003637_2020  Science Theme: Fluvial Processes


Larissa Beckstead's third grade class from Sunridge Elementary School, in Phoenix, Ariz., suggested this target. When tasked with writing a figure caption, the class wrote: "Iberus Vallis looks like it has been carved by water. The shape is curved and looks like a river. The bends in the channel show how the water changed direction like rivers on Earth. The sides of the channel are high so it looks like Iberus Vallis has been there a long time. The less deep channels that branch off the main channel may have been caused by overflow of water. The shape of Iberus Vallis is evident that water was there at one time. Iberus Vallis is in the northeastern hemisphere of Mars. The channel is located on the southeast side of what looks like a volcano. It appears to be going down the side of the volcano."

In fact, Iberus Vallis is a valley to the southeast of Elysium Mons, a large volcano in the northern hemisphere. This image is located at 21.5 degrees north and 151.5 degrees East. Within the valley, many large boulders are resolved in the HiRISE image (see subimage; 713 x 591, 1.2MB ). A thick resistant layer is exposed at the top of the wall, as are some thinner resistant layers below.

Three unusual mounds (see subimage; 704 x 584, 1.2MB) are present in the channel. Their origins are unknown, though they could potentially be ice-cored mounds.

Dust fills much of the floor of the valley, and has been moved by the wind to form dunes. Although water at one point carved this valley, it is now dominated by mass wasting (dry landslides) and aeolian (wind-driven) processes.

Written by: Alix Davatzes and Larissa Beckstead's class  (19 September 2007)
Acquisition date
06 May 2007

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
281.9 km (175.2 miles)

Original image scale range
28.4 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~85 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
65°, with the Sun about 25° above the horizon

Solar longitude
232.9°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  329.1°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
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Merged IRB
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Merged RGB
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RGB color
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Black and white
map-projected   (1341MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (617MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (663MB)
non-map           (698MB)

IRB color
map projected  (261MB)
non-map           (502MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (319MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (308MB)

RGB color
non map           (498MB)
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

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NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

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.