MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-292, 30 October 2001

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One of the earliest results of the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars
Orbiter Camera (MOC) investigation shortly after the spacecraft
began to orbit Mars in 1997 was the discovery of layered rock
outcrops reaching deep down into the martian crust in the walls
of the Valles Marineris. Since that time, thousands of MOC images
have revealed layered rock in a variety of settings–crater floors,
canyon interiors, and scarps exposed by faulting and pitting. This
spectacular example taken by MOC in 2001 is found on the floor of
an impact crater located near the equator in northwestern Schiaparelli
Basin (0.15°N, 345.6°W). The image covers an area approximately
3 km (1.9 miles) across and is illuminated by sunlight from the
upper left. Layers of uniform thickness and appearance suggest that
these materials are ancient sediments, perhaps deposited in water,
or perhaps deposited by wind. Wind has subsquently eroded and exposed
the layers. Dark drifts of sand occur at the lower center of the image,
and lighter-toned windblown ripples dominate the center and upper right.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems