Light and Dark Bands in Darwin Crater

Darwin Crater is a 178 kilometer (110 miles) diameter impact crater located in the Southern Hemisphere of Mars southeast of Argyre Planitia.

Originally targeted by MRO’s lower-resolution imager, the CTX camera shows alternating light and dark toned bands in this region. However, the higher-resolution HiRISE camera reveals that these dark bands are actually troughs being infilled by dark-toned dunes and the light-toned bands are actually highly fractured and bouldery resistant layers that form the higher elevation regions.

Dark streaks and dust devil tracks across much of the HiRISE image indicate active sediment transport by wind processes.

Written by: Ginny Gulick   (15 June 2011)

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Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona