Light and Dark-Toned Layered Deposits in East Candor Chasma
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Light and Dark-Toned Layered Deposits in East Candor Chasma
PSP_004278_1715  Science Theme: Geologic Contacts/Stratigraphy
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One of the unresolved questions by scientists studying the Valles Marineris canyon system concerns the relative ages of light-toned and dark-toned layered deposits inside the canyon troughs.

Some scientists argue that the light-toned layered deposits are relatively young units that were deposited on top of older dark-toned layered deposits after formation of the troughs. Others favor the idea that the light-toned layered deposits are exhumed from the wallrock by trough formation and were formed concurrently with the dark-toned deposits.

The dark-toned layered deposits define the wallrock of Valles Marineris system and have been interpreted primarily as volcanic lavas, sedimentary rocks, and/or layered intrusive rocks. The light-toned layered deposits could be volcanic ash, aeolian deposits, and/or sedimentary rocks possibly deposited in water.

By examining locations where light- and dark-toned layered deposits share a geologic contact, such as this image in East Candor Chasma, scientists hope to determine the relative ages of the two units. Near the bottom of the image, dark-toned layered deposits are exposed on spurs with dark debris aprons along the steeper canyon walls. The light-toned layered deposits are seen to the north along the trough floor.

Written by: Cathy Weitz  (5 July 2007)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_005267_1715.
 
Acquisition date
25 June 2007

Local Mars time
14:56

Latitude (centered)
-8.598°

Longitude (East)
294.469°

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260.6 km (162.0 miles)

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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.