PIA14455: Light-Toned Layering in a Labyrinthus Noctis Pit
 Target Name:  Mars
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
 Spacecraft:  Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
 Instrument:  HiRISE
 Product Size:  2880 x 1800 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  University of Arizona/HiRISE-LPL
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 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA14455.tif (15.56 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA14455.jpg (1.026 MB)

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Understanding both the spatial and temporal distribution of hydrated (water-bearing) minerals on Mars is essential for deciphering the aqueous history of the planet. Over 300 meters of layered beds are exposed in this trough of Noctis Labyrinthus, at the western edge of Valles Marineris.

The beds are mixtures of light- and dark-toned materials, and include units that contain hydrated minerals, like sulfates and clays. Mapping these minerals and their stratigraphic relationships indicates numerous hydrologic and/or depositional events in localized environments spread over time.

The diversity of materials within the trough implies active hydrologic processes and/or changing chemical conditions, perhaps due to influxes of groundwater from nearby Tharsis volcanism.

This is a stereo pair with PSP_003910_1685.

The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

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