This image taken by NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey showing large, tilted blocks of chaotic terrain in Masursky Crater on Mars. Chaotic terrain is thought to occur when subsurface water is suddenly released to the surface.


Released 9 June 2003

The large, tilted blocks in this THEMIS visible image are chaotic terrain in Masursky Crater. Chaotic terrain is thought to occur when subsurface water is suddenly released to the surface, and the resulting loss of ground support causes the surface material to slump and break into blocks. Most of the chaotic terrain on Mars is seen in the vicinity of the large catastrophic outflow channels. Many of the outflow channels actually have chaotic terrain as their source. This chaotic terrain is the source of a small channel that connects to the much larger Tiu Valles.

Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude 12, Longitude 327.6 East (32.4 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.

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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