Today's VIS image shows part of Athabasca Valles. Multiple streamlined islands are seen in this image. The teardrop shaped features were formed by liquid flow deflected around features such as craters and hills. The 'tail' of the island points downstream. The source of the fluid was likely an outburst of groundwater, perhaps related to the Elysium volcanic complex located to the northwest of this image.
Arising from Cerberus Fossae, the formation mode of this channel is still being debated. While the channel features are similar to water flow, other features are similar to lava flows, and yet other features have an appearance of slabs of material that floated on an underlying fluid. It is thought that Athabasca Valles is the youngest outflow channel system on Mars. Athabasca Valles is just one of the complex channel formations in the Elysium Planitia region.
Orbit Number: 89977 Latitude: 9.44823 Longitude: 156.138 Instrument: VIS Captured: 2022-03-28 00:21
Please see the THEMIS Data Citation Note for details on crediting THEMIS images.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, 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.