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Elysium Planitia
2580 of 4022

Elysium Planitia

June 3, 2007

This image shows fractured mounds on the southern edge of Elysium Planitia.

The mounds are typically a few kilometers in diameter and about 200 feet tall. The fractures that crisscross their surfaces are dilational (extensional) in nature, suggesting that the mounds formed by localized uplift (i.e., they were pushed up from below).

The mounds are probably composed of solidified lava. They are contiguous with, and texturally similar to, the flood lavas that blanket much of Elysium Planitia, and, where dilation cracks provide cross-sectional exposure, the uplifted material is rocky.

Patches of mechanically weak and disrupted material overlie the rocky mound material. This is particularly conspicuous in the northeast corner of the HiRISE image. These patches may be remnants of a layer that was once more continuous but has been extensively eroded. Smooth lava plains fill the low-lying areas between the mounds. They are riddled with sinuous pressure ridges. The entire area is covered by a relatively thin layer of dust and sand.

Observation Geometry

Image PSP_003597_1765 was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft on 03-May-2007. The complete image is centered at -3.3 degrees latitude, 167.9 degrees East longitude. The range to the target site was 290.3 km (181.4 miles). At this distance the image scale is 29.0 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~87 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 03:35 PM and the scene is illuminated from the west with a solar incidence angle of 55 degrees, thus the sun was about 35 degrees above the horizon. At a solar longitude of 231.0 degrees, the season on Mars is Northern Autumn.



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