Gale Crater is one of several craters around the equator that have deposits of light-toned layered deposits. This HiRISE image covers the northern edge of the light-toned layered deposit in the center mound of Gale Crater, as well as a small portion of the crater floor.
The top of the image shows a relatively flat surface with lots of impact craters. Moving southward, there is a large canyon where dark sands have accumulated and formed ripples and dunes.
As one moves further to the south, the light-toned layered deposit rises upward in topography. Layering is visible in some locations. The surface of the light-toned deposit is very fractured, producing meter-size blocks. The fact that we don’t see many loose rocks along the surface suggests that the rocks are quickly being destroyed by winds due to their fragile nature.
Resistant hills tend to be elongated from the upper left to the lower right, consistent with upslope or downslope winds eroding the rocks.
Written by: Cathy Weitz (23 December 2009)
This is a stereo pair with PSP_001752_1750 .
More info and image formats at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/PSP_001488_1750
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona