Today's image illustrates how radically the wind can affect the surface of Mars. The lava flows in this region have been covered by fine materials, and eroded by the sand blasting action of the wind. In this region the winds are blowing to the west, eroding the lava surface to form small east/west ridges and bumps. Given enough time the winds will change the appearance of the surface to such a large extent that all flow features will be erased.
Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -11.7, Longitude 220 East (140 West). 17 meter/pixel resolution.
Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.