Investigating Mars: Coprates Chasma

Scaled Image

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU

About this image

Coprates Chasma is one of the numerous canyons that make up Valles Marineris. The chasma stretches for 960 km (600 miles) from Melas Chasma to the west and Capri Chasma to the east. Landslide deposits, layered materials and sand dunes cover a large portion of the chasma floor. This image is located in eastern Coprates Chasma. The branching features near the bottom of the image are spurs of rock in the cliff face. The rock is more resistant to erosion that fine materials like sand and dust. Those materials are visible below the spurs, and then onto the canyon floor. Unlike the large landslide deposits, these small fans of material build up over time as the material above erodes. There are sand dunes along the edge of the fans in this image.

The Odyssey spacecraft has spent over 15 years in orbit around Mars, circling the planet more than 69000 times. It holds the record for longest working spacecraft at Mars. THEMIS, the IR/VIS camera system, has collected data for the entire mission and provides images covering all seasons and lighting conditions. Over the years many features of interest have received repeated imaging, building up a suite of images covering the entire feature. From the deepest chasma to the tallest volcano, individual dunes inside craters and dune fields that encircle the north pole, channels carved by water and lava, and a variety of other feature, THEMIS has imaged them all. For the next several months the image of the day will focus on the Tharsis volcanoes, the various chasmata of Valles Marineris, and the major dunes fields. We hope you enjoy these images!

Please see the THEMIS Data Citation Note for details on crediting THEMIS images. 


Image ID: 
V36294002 (View data in Mars Image Explorer)
2010-02-18 17:20
Wed, 2017-10-04
1024 pixels (18 km)
3648 pixels (64 km)
0.0178 km/pixel
0.0183645 km/pixel


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