NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
Gale Crater, located in the Aeolis region near 5.5°S, 222°W, contains a mound of layered sedimentary rock that stands higher than the rim of the crater. This giant mound suggests that the entire crater was not only once filled with sediment, it was also buried beneath sediment. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows some of the eroded remains of the sedimentary rock that once filled Gale Crater. The layers form terraces; wind has eroded the material to form the tapered, pointed yardang ridges seen here. The small circular feature in the lower right quarter of the picture is a mesa that was once a small meteor impact crater that was filled, buried, then exhumed from within the sedimentary rock layers exposed here. This image is illuminated from the left.
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.