NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
Burial and exhumation of impact craters, and their destruction by erosion, are common and repeated themes all over the surface of Mars. Many craters in western Arabia Terra exhibit light-toned, layered outcrops of ancient sedimentary rock. Like the sedimentary rocks explored further to the south in Meridiani Planum by the Opportunity Mars Exploration Rover (MER-B), these intracrater sedimentary rocks may have been deposited in water. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows an example of light-toned sedimentary rocks outcropping in a crater that is much farther north than most of the similar examples in western Arabia. This one is located near 36.6°N, 1.4°W, and shows several old impact craters in various states of erosion and exhumation from beneath and within the sedimentary rock materials. The image covers an area approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and is illuminated by sunlight from the lower 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.