Clay Minerals Near Mawrth Vallis

Mawrth Vallis, one of the oldest valleys on the Red Planet, was one of the final four candidate landing spots for the Mars Science Laboratory and for good reason: there are clay minerals here that most likely formed in the presence of water.

This particular image is part of a collection of observations to support assessment of potential future rover landing sites. The region is rich in aluminum- and iron-bearing clays.

This caption is based on the original science rationale.

Written by: HiRISE Science Team (audio by Tre Gibbs)   (27 March 2013)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_023567_2000 .

More info and image formats at

Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona