NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a thick mantle of dust covering lava flows north of Pavonis Mons so well that the flows are no longer visible. Flows are known to occur here because of the proximity to the volcano, and such flows normally have a very rugged surface. Fine dust, however, has settled out of the atmosphere over time and obscured the flows from view. The cliff at the top of the image faces north (up), the cliff in the middle of the image faces south (down), and the rugged slope at the bottom of the image faces north (up). The dark streak at the center-left was probably caused by an avalanche of dust sometime in the past few decades. The image is located near 4.1°N, 111.3°W. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the right/lower right.
Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, California. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, California and Denver, Colorado.