Lunar and Planetary Institute
Lunar and Planetary Institute



Mars Express Images Crater in Mamers Valles, Mars

May 22, 2008
Source:  European Space Agency

Crater in Mamers Valles.The High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) onboard the ESA spacecraft Mars Express obtained images of a region at the end of Mamers Valles, a long, winding valley. The focus is on a circular depression that contains a crater. The images were taken on August 5, 2006, with a ground resolution of approximately 14 m/pixel. The images are centered at approximately 39° north and 17° east on the planet.

The circular depression seen in the images is approximately 30 km wide and 1400 m deep, and lies at the southeastern end of Mamers Valles. The valley of Mamers Valles is approximately 1000 km long, running along the boundary between the northern lowlands and southern highlands in the region of Deuteronilus Mensae.

Scientists term a region such as Mamers Valles “fretted terrain” because it shows numerous deep and wide labyrinth-like valleys and circular depressions. The depressions often show structures formed by liquid flowing on the floor. The structures formed by the flows are thought to be ice-rich debris flows. They show some resemblance to block glaciers seen on Earth.

The patches of rock at the center of the depression are thought to be remnants of rock that were detached from the flanks of the depression and transported to the center. The wrinkle ridges, as the name indicates, are formed by compressive forces acting on the surface. The dark-colored material inside the crater could have formed in situ or may have been transported by the wind.

The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) experiment on the ESA Mars Express mission is led by Principal Investigator Gerhard Neukum, who was also responsible for the technical design of the camera. The science team for the experiment consists of 45 co-investigators from 32 institutions and 10 nations.

For more information, visit

ESA Mars Express Website

DLR Mars Express Website


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Last updated May 22, 2008