Viking 1 examines Mars' Ophir Chasma

Aug 23, 2011
Credit: NASA/JPL/USGS

During its examination of Mars, the Viking 1 spacecraft returned images of Valles Marineris, a huge canyon system 5,000 km, or about 3,106 miles, long, whose connected chasma or valleys may have formed from a combination of erosional collapse and structural activity. This synthetic oblique view shows Ophir Chasma, the northern most one of the connected valleys of Valles Marineris. For scale, the large impact crater in lower right corner is about 18.5 miles, or 30 km, wide.

Ophir Chasma is a large west-northwest-trending trough about 62 miles, or 100 km, wide. The Chasma is bordered by high-walled cliffs, most likely faults, that show spur-and-gully morphology and smooth sections. The walls have been dissected by forming reentrants. The volume of the landslide debris is more than 1,000 times greater than that from the May 18, 1980, debris avalanche from Mount St. Helens. The longitudinal grooves seen in the foreground are thought to be due to differential shear and lateral spreading at high velocities.

Explore further: Climate change does not cause extreme winters, new study shows

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Just how low can Mars go?

Oct 08, 2010

There are few places on Mars lower than this. On the left of this image, the floor of Melas Chasma sinks nine kilometres below the surrounding plains. New images from ESA’s Mars Express highlight the ...

Eos Chasma, part of Valles Marineris

Aug 30, 2004

These images, taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, show the southern part of Valles Marineris, called Eos Chasma. The images were taken during orbit 533 in June ...

Kasei Valles outflow channel system

Aug 30, 2006

These images, taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, show the region of Kasei Valles, one of the biggest outflow channel systems on Mars. Kasei is the Japanese ...

Fractured crater near Valles Marineris on Mars

Jul 28, 2004

This perspective image of a fractured crater near Valles Marineris on Mars was obtained by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board the ESA Mars Express spacecraft. ...

Recommended for you

Image: Aral Sea from orbit

Mar 27, 2015

This multitemporal Sentinel-1A radar image shows the Aral Sea, located on the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in Central Asia.

IceBridge overflies Norwegian camp on drifting sea ice

Mar 27, 2015

Studying sea ice in the Fram Strait, a passage between Greenland and Svalbard that is the main gateway for Arctic sea ice into the open ocean, is not easy. In this area, not only does ice flow southward quickly ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.