Layered Deposits within Unnamed Crater in Arabia Terra
Layered Deposits within Unnamed Crater in Arabia Terra
PSP_009180_1840  Science Theme: Sedimentary/Layering Processes
Arabia Terra is an area of Mars that has an abundance of layered deposits within impact craters.

The region of Arabia has plateau material that is thought to be part of the ancient highland crust that is Noachian in age according to Martian timescale. Thus, the layered deposits may represent some of the earliest eroded and infilled materials on Mars. In this unnamed crater, we see layering exposed along the margins of a scarp-like bench.

The layering is of particular interest because on Earth, they may represent multiple sequences of deposited material or some geologic process (subaerial or subaqueous) that has modified and/or deposited material on the surface in some constant fashion. If the layered sequences are consistently the same, we can infer that the conditions of their deposition were the same for some period of time. If the layers changed in some way (e.g., thickens and thins), then we can infer that some condition(s) caused this to happen. From these observations and analyses, scientists can attempt to quantify and reconstruct what the ancient conditions were like in this region of Mars.

Written by: Frank Chuang  (27 August 2008)
Acquisition date
11 July 2008

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
272.6 km (169.4 miles)

Original image scale range
27.7 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~83 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
54°, with the Sun about 36° above the horizon

Solar longitude
97.3°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  34.2°
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
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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.