This image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows exposures of deposits along the plateau just to the south of Coprates Chasma.

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This image shows exposures of deposits along the plateau just to the south of Coprates Chasma.

Whereas Coprates Chasma and many of the other chasmata of Valles Marineris contain kilometer-thick light-toned mounds made up of sulfates, several of the deposits along the plateau have signatures of clays. This indicates that water was here for extensive periods of time to cause the plains to weather and alter into clays.

HiRISE is one of six instruments on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colorado. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

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