Image Feature

Variation in Light-Toned Deposits in a Martian Trough
Variation in light-toned deposits in a Martian trough

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This false-color image shows dozens of beds within a light-toned deposit located within a trough in the Noctis Labyrinthus region of Mars. The image comes from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Observations by the same orbiter's Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) suggest a general sulfate mineralogy for the light-toned deposit. However, the beds differ in brightness, color, thickness, and erosional properties, suggesting that many compositions may be present here but are too thin to be resolved. The arrows indicate an upper, dark-toned blocky geological unit that has covered the older, light-toned deposit.

This image covers a swath of ground about 900 meters or yards across at 11.2 degrees south latitude, 261.9 degrees east longitude. It is one product from HiRISE observation PSP_005400_1685, made on Sept. 21, 2007. Other image products from this observation are available at

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates the HiRISE camera, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

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