Located north of Olympus Mons and west of Alba Patera, Acheron Fossae, seen in this NASA Mars Odyssey image, provides a record of early tectonic activity in the Tharsis region.


Located north of Olympus Mons and west of Alba Patera, Acheron Fossae provides a record of early tectonic activity in the Tharsis region. Acheron Fossae is a relatively high standing region characterized by multiple subparallel graben. As seen in the image, the graben trend generally to the northwest. The entire area predates the Alba Patera flows (which embay the eastern most Acheron grabens) and the Olympus Mons volcano (one of the youngest Tharsis features). The subdued nature of the highstanding hills, the erosion the graben walls, the eroded rims of all the visible craters, and the wind etching of the flat surfaces all help indicate the great age of Acheron Fossae.

Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, 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.

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