Excellent exposures of light-toned layered deposits occur along the northern edge of Hellas Basin, like those visible in this enhanced color image.
Some of these layered sediments have hydration features in CRISM data, and the various colors visible in this image suggests several different compositions may be present throughout the strata. The sediments may have been emplaced by hydrothermal activity associated with the impact event that created Hellas Basin.
Alternatively, they could be younger deposits that formed within this region when a lake existed here. Studies of the deposits using several data sets could distinguish between these two origins and may result in additional hypotheses for their formation.
HiRISE is one of six instruments on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates the orbiter's HiRISE camera, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.