NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/USGS
Layering and Dark Mantle Along Tributary to Mawrth Vallis
This digital topographic model (DTM) covers a tributary valley of the much larger outflow channel Mawrth Vallis in the northern hemisphere of Mars.

Adjacent to the valley are light-toned outcrops of layered rocks, in which the infrared spectrometers OMEGA and CRISM have detected clay minerals. These minerals likely formed in the presence of water several billion years ago.

The tributary valley itself is filled with a dark deposit that mantles the lighter layered rocks. The DTM provides a way to measure the thicknesses and orientations of the dark mantle and the lighter layered rocks, constraining the geologic processes that may have formed them.

The clay-bearing layered rocks around Mawrth Vallis make it a high-priority candidate landing site for future Mars rover missions, including NASA's Mars Science Laboratory due to launch in 2011. Such a rover might have a view similar to this one, which was produced by overlaying the HiRISE color image on the DTM (with no vertical exaggeration). The colorful hills that dominate the scene are about 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) across, and clay-bearing layers are exposed at their edges, where they can be seen breaking into meter-scale blocks on the hillside.

Different colors in the HiRISE image correspond to different types of clay minerals, which may have formed under different environmental conditions. Therefore, by traversing across these plains and hills, a rover could explore a history of changing water-rich environments on ancient Mars.

Written by James Wray

 
DTM & ORTHOIMAGES
DTEEC_002074_2025_002140_2025_U01   (651 MB)

PSP_002074_2025_RED_C_01_ORTHO
(49 MB)

PSP_002140_2025_RED_C_01_ORTHO
(49 MB)

PSP_002140_2025_RED_A_01_ORTHO
(502 MB)

PSP_002074_2025_RED_A_01_ORTHO
(525 MB)

Full directory listing

DTM EXTRAS
PSP_002140_2025_RED_C_01_ORTHO
(Annotated Browse)
DTEEC_002074_2025_002140_2025_U01
(Annotated Browse)
PSP_002074_2025_RED_C_01_ORTHO
(Annotated Browse)
DTEEC_002074_2025_002140_2025_U01
(Shaded Relief)
DTEEC_002074_2025_002140_2025_U01
(Color Altimetry)

Extras Read me
Extras directory listing
STEREO PAIR
Left observation
PSP_002074_2025

Right observation
PSP_002140_2025

Latitude (center)
22.45°

Longitude (center)
341.7°

Map scale
1.00 meter/pixel

North azimuth
270°


RESOURCES
About DTMs
How to use DTMs