Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera
Valleys and Lava Flows near Olympus Mons
MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-102, 25 March 1999
The Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) on board the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS)
spacecraft has been documenting a variety of landforms in the volcanic
Tharsis region, including these valleys and associated lava flows
on the plains southeast of Olympus Mons. Lava flows are visible in the
upper left quarter of this image, but meandering valleys with
streamlined 'islands' dominate the scene. The valleys might have been
carved by running water, but extremely fluid lava or mud
might also have flowed through the channels. The exact role of
each type of fluid--water, mud, or lava--remains to be determined.
Illumination is from the right. The area shown is 7.3 km (4.5 mi)
wide by 12 km (7.5 mi) long.
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,
CA. 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, CA
and Denver, CO.
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