This image from NASAs Mars Odyssey shows a section of a graben that is part of Nili Fossae.

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Today's VIS image shows a section of a graben that is part of Nili Fossae. Graben are formed when a block of material drops downward between paired tectonic faults. Graben usually have straight sides with little sinuosity, whereas fluvial channels typically have large amounts of sinuosity along the length of the depression. Nili Fossae is located northeast of the large volcano Syrtis Major and northwest of the ancient impact basin Isidis Planitia. The graben, which can be about 500 meters (1,600 feet) deep, make concentric curves that follow the outline of Isidis Planitia. The faults likely formed as the crust sagged under the weight of lava flows filling Isidis Planitia.

Orbit Number: 79198 Latitude: 23.3881 Longitude: 78.7422 Instrument: VIS Captured: 2019-10-22 11:40

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.

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