Gullies and Flow Features on Crater Wall

Nov 26, 2009
This image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a sample of the variety and complexity of processes that may occur on the walls of Martian craters, well after the impact crater formed. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

(PhysOrg.com) -- This image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a sample of the variety and complexity of processes that may occur on the walls of Martian craters, well after the impact crater formed.

At the very top of the image is the high crater rim. At the bottom of the image is the crater's central peak, a dome of material rising above the surrounding crater floor. The central peak was uplifted during the impact event.

Reaching down the walls of the crater are winding and crooked troughs, or gullies. Some of these gullies may have formed with the help of liquid water, melted from ice or snowpack on the crater walls or from groundwater within the walls. Also notable is the long tongue-like lobe stretching down the middle of the image, with a darker, rounded snout and prominent parallel grooves on its surface. These characteristics, together with faint cracks on its surface, suggest that this lobe may have formed by movement of ice-rich material from up on the crater wall down to the floor.

Because surface features on this lobe and on most of the gullies do not appear sharp and pristine, and because wind-blown dunes have blown up on the front snout of the lobe, and because there are several small craters on the lobe's surface, the movements of ice-rich material and possibly water have probably not occurred very recently.

This image covers a swath of ground about 6 kilometers (4 miles) wide, centered at 32.4 degrees south latitude, 103.2 degrees east longitude. It is one product from HiRISE observation ESP_013726_1475, made on July 1, 2009. Other image products from this observation are available at hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ESP_013726_1475 .

Provided by JPL/NASA (news : web)

Explore further: Mysteries of space dust revealed

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Distal Rampart of Crater in Chryse Planitia

Nov 13, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Impact craters on Mars are kind of neat. Many of them look very different than impact craters seen on Earth's moon or Mercury. Fresh lunar and Mercurian craters have ejecta blankets that look ...

Channels from Mars Hale Crater

Oct 28, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- This image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows channels to the southeast of Hale crater on southern Mars. Taken by the orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) ...

MRO Sees Rover from Orbit

Oct 06, 2006

With stunningly powerful vision, the HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken a remarkable picture that shows the exploration rover Opportunity poised on the rim of Victoria crater on Mars.

Layered Crater on Mars

Jul 18, 2007

This image covers an impact crater roughly 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) in diameter. The subimage shows just a small segment of the crater rim (1336 x 889; 3 MB). ...

Recommended for you

Mysteries of space dust revealed

Aug 29, 2014

The first analysis of space dust collected by a special collector onboard NASA's Stardust mission and sent back to Earth for study in 2006 suggests the tiny specks open a door to studying the origins of the ...

A guide to the 2014 Neptune opposition season

Aug 29, 2014

Never seen Neptune? Now is a good time to try, as the outermost ice giant world reaches opposition this weekend at 14:00 Universal Time (UT) or 10:00 AM EDT on Friday, August 29th. This means that the distant ...

Informing NASA's Asteroid Initiative: A citizen forum

Aug 28, 2014

In its history, the Earth has been repeatedly struck by asteroids, large chunks of rock from space that can cause considerable damage in a collision. Can we—or should we—try to protect Earth from potentially ...

Image: Rosetta's comet looms

Aug 28, 2014

Wow! Rosetta is getting ever-closer to its target comet by the day. This navigation camera shot from Aug. 23 shows that the spacecraft is so close to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that it's difficult to ...

User comments : 0