Scaled Image

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU

About this image

Today's VIS image shows part of Ius Chasma and one of its mega gullies (bottom of image). Ius Chasma is unique from the other chasmata of Valles Marineris in possessing mega gullies on both sides of the chasma. The largest mega gullies are located in Sinai Planum, dissecting those plains and emptying into the canyon. Mega gullies are thought to be sapping channels caused by groundwater flow and erosion. The Earth analog is springs - water that flows underground and then breaches the surface creating channels. The morphology of the Mars gullies mirrors terrestrial springs. The channel is fairly uniform in width and the "head" of the channel is rounded like an amphitheater. The channel lengthens by erosion at the "head" backwards as the surface where the spring emerges is undercut. For Mars it is theorized that subsurface water would stay liquid due to underground heating. Ius Chasma is at the western end of Valles Marineris, south of Tithonium Chasma. Valles Marineris is over 4000 kilometers long, almost as wide as the United States. Ius Chasma is almost 850 kilometers long (528 miles), 120 kilometers wide and over 8 kilometers deep.

Please see the THEMIS Data Citation Note for details on crediting THEMIS images. 


Image ID: 
V91408019 (View data in Mars Image Explorer)
2022-07-23 20:09
Tue, 2022-10-25
256 pixels (18 km)
3792 pixels (268 km)
0.070697 km/pixel
0.0718179 km/pixel


PNG | JPEG (high res) | JPEG (reduced res) | PDF | TIFF