The pits in this VIS image are collapse features on the northern flank of Ascraeus Mons. Such collapse pits, often forming a linear pattern, are thought to be related to lava tubes below the surface that have been emptied of the final flow and forming a void. When the weight of the roof over the void overcomes the strength of the walls gravity caused the roof to collapse.
Orbit Number: 45655 Latitude: 12.9408 Longitude: 256.447 Instrument: VIS Captured: 2012-03-30 11:36
Please see the THEMIS Data Citation Note for details on crediting THEMIS images.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, 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.