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Coprates Labes, Valles Marineris

HiRISE Image TRA_000849_1675

Coprates Labes is a Martian canyon, part of the huge Valles Marineris system. Valles Marineris most likely formed through tectonic processes, with extensional stresses leading to collapse of the terrain that now lies at the base of the canyons. Filling most of this image, we see a raised block on the canyon bottom, which is quite possibly a horst—a block bounded by faults that separate it from sunken blocks on each side. The raised block is heavily eroded, possibly by wind; this erosion has exposed its internal layering, especially at the southeast margin of the block. Here we see asymmetric erosion features with shallow slopes trailing off to the northwest, suggesting that southeasterly winds dominate the flow through this region. The arrangement of dunes and ripples in the lower right portion of the image confirms this prevailing wind direction. Finally, dark-toned material appears to have flowed from northeast to southwest along the block, possibly moving in a very fluid debris flow.

Image TRA_000849_1675 was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft on October 1, 2006. The complete image is centered at -12.4 degrees latitude, 290.7 degrees East longitude. The range to the target site was 263.1 km (164.4 miles). At this distance the image scale ranges from 52.6 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) to 105.3 cm/pixel (with 4 x 4 binning). The image shown here has been map-projected to 50 cm/pixel and north is up. The image was taken at a local Mars time of 3:30 PM and the scene is illuminated from the west with a solar incidence angle of 62 degrees, thus the sun was about 28 degrees above the horizon. At a solar longitude of 114.5 degrees, the season on Mars is Northern Summer.

Images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment and additional information about the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are available online at:




For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: http://www.nasa.gov. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.

Image Product Pixel Dimensions File Size
Small JPG 512
Large JPG 2048
Full-Scale JP2 11211
Products for TRA_000849_1675

The highest resolution image is provided in the JPEG-2000 (JP2) format. A JP2 viewer application and browser plug-in may be freely obtained for Mac OS X and Windows platforms: ExpressView by LizardTech, a Celartem Technology Inc. company.

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