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Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 7:52 EDT
 Fine Layered Deposits Near Capri Mensa
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Fine Layered Deposits Near Capri Mensa

February 6, 2007
Light-toned layered deposits are found at many sites within Valles Marineris. This HiRISE image shows an outcrop near Capri Mensa, in the eastern part of the canyon system. Fine layers are exposed across much of the image. These could have been produced by aqueous or eolian (wind-derived) sedimentation, or they could be volcanic deposits. A dark mantle, shaped into ripples by the wind, covers the layers between outcrops. In some places, especially near the summit of the rise at top center, the layers have broken into angular fragments, showing that the material has been consolidated into rock. Elsewhere, layers appear to form regular steps, indicating that they were deposited by some repeated process. The detail shown by HiRISE provides important information for understanding how these deposits formed.

Image PSP_001376_1675 was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft on November 11, 2006. The complete image is centered at -12.3 degrees latitude, 314.0 degrees East longitude. The range to the target site was 259.9 km (162.5 miles). At this distance the image scale is 26.0 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~78 cm across are resolved. The image shown here has been map-projected to 25 cm/pixel and north is up. The image was taken at a local Mars time of 3:34 PM and the scene is illuminated from the west with a solar incidence angle of 61 degrees, thus the sun was about 29 degrees above the horizon. At a solar longitude of 133.9 degrees, the season on Mars is Northern Summer.