As part of its investigation of "Victoria Crater," NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity examined a promontory called "Cape St. Mary" from the from the vantage point of "Cape Verde," the next promontory counterclockwise around the crater's deeply scalloped rim. This view of Cape St. Mary combines several exposures taken by the rover's panoramic camera into a false-color mosaic. Contrast has been adjusted to improve the visibility of details in shaded areas.
The upper portion of the crater wall contains a jumble of material tossed outward by the impact that excavated the crater. This vertical cross-section through the blanket of ejected material surrounding the crater was exposed by erosion that expanded the crater outward from its original diameter, according to scientists' interpretation of the observations. Below the jumbled material in the upper part of the wall are layers that survive relatively intact from before the crater-causing impact. Near the base of the Cape St. Mary cliff are layers with a pattern called "crossbedding," intersecting with each other at angles, rather than parallel to each other. Large-scale crossbedding can result from material being deposited as wind-blown dunes.
The images combined into this mosaic were taken during the 970th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's Mars-surface mission (Oct. 16, 2006). The panoramic camera took them through the camera's 750-nanometer, 530-nanometer and 430-nanometer filters. The false color enhances subtle color differences among materials in the rocks and soils of the scene.