Faulting in South Polar Layered Deposits
NASA/JPL/UArizona
Faulting in South Polar Layered Deposits
PSP_005194_1070  Science Theme: Polar Geology

WALLPAPER
800
1024
1152



The scarp shown in this image marks the edge of the polar layered deposits. These layered deposits are a mixture of dust and water-ice. Each layer is thought to record information about the state of the Martian climate at the time of its deposition.

The polar layered deposits were once more extensive, but have been eroded back to their current size. Most of this erosion takes places at inclined scarps (such as this one) which retreat as icy material is ablated away.

Other processes are also operating on these deposits as exemplified by the fault that is visible on the left of the image. Layers appear offset from one side of the fault to another indicating that the layered deposits have been fractured into large blocks that have moved relative to each other. The source of the stress that caused this fracturing is unknown; some possible examples are subsidence of the underlying terrain or perhaps melting of a portion of the base of the ice-sheet.

This particular region of the layered deposits (Ultimi Lingula) contains many examples of this brittle fracture (which is otherwise rare in these deposits). Another less obvious fault lies near the center of the image at the base of the scarp. This fault does not break through, or even deform, the upper layers which may indicate that the fault occurred when only half the layered deposits had accumulated. These observations point to a history of faulting in this region that at least spans the age range of these layered deposits.

Written by: Shane Byrne  (19 September 2007)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_004218_1070.
 
Acquisition date
05 September 2007

Local Mars time
15:18

Latitude (centered)
-72.980°

Longitude (East)
146.456°

Spacecraft altitude
247.1 km (153.6 miles)

Original image scale range
27.2 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~82 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel

Map projection
Polarstereographic

Emission angle
25.4°

Phase angle
46.8°

Solar incidence angle
60°, with the Sun about 30° above the horizon

Solar longitude
308.3°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  105°
Sub-solar azimuth:  52.5°
JPEG
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

JP2
Black and white
map-projected   (1123MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (510MB)

JP2 EXTRAS
Black and white
map-projected  (735MB)
non-map           (610MB)

IRB color
map projected  (302MB)
non-map           (402MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (285MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (273MB)

RGB color
non map           (394MB)
ANAGLYPHS
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products
HiView

NB
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

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.