The Claritas Fossae region is characterised by systems of "graben" running mainly north-west to south-east. A graben forms when a block of the planet's crust drops down between two faults, due to extension, or pulling, of the crust.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson, and the instrument was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo.
Originally released July 13, 2011