Western Flank of Olympus Mons
This image was taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) during orbit 143 from an altitude of 266 kilometres. The image is centred at 222° E and 22° N and has a resolution of about 25 metres per pixel. North is to the right.
The image shows the western flank of the shield volcano Olympus Mons in the Tharsis region of the western Martian hemisphere. The escarpment at lower left rises from the surface level to over 7000 metres.
At the top of the image, part of the extensive plains west of the escarpment are shown, known as the 'aureole' (from the Latin for 'circle of light'). To the north and west of the volcano, these 'aureole' deposits are regions of gigantic ridges and blocks extending some 1000 kilometres from the summit.
The origin of the deposits has challenged planetary scientists for an explanation for decades. The most persistent explanation, however, has been landslides. Large masses of shield material can be found in the aureole area. Several indications also suggest a development and resurfacing connected to glacial activity.
This colour image has been created from the nadir channel and three colour channels. Image resolution has been decreased to 50% to reduce the volume of data for use on the internet.
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