Cerberus Fossae - Athabasca Valles

Scaled Image

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU

About this image

Today’s VIS image shows a section of Cerberus Fossae. Located southeast of the Elysium Planitia volcanic complex, the linear graben in the image were created by tectonic forces related to the volcanic activity. The graben are sources of both channels and significant volcanic flows. The Cerberus Fossae graben cut across features such as hills, indicating the relative youth of the tectonic activity. Graben form where extensional tectonic forces allows blocks of material to subside between paired faults. Cerberus Fossae are 270km (168 miles) long.

Just off the image to the right is the start of Athabasca Valles, which is seen flowing below the graben to the bottom left of the image. Arising from Cerberus Fossae, the formation mode of this channel is still being debated. While the channel features are similar to water flow, other features are similar to lava flows, and yet other features have an appearance of slabs of material that floated on an underlying fluid. It is thought that Athabasca Valles is the youngest outflow channel system on Mars. Athabasca Valles is just one of the complex channel formations in the Elysium Planitia region.

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


Image ID: 
V86770003 (View data in Mars Image Explorer)
2021-07-06 22:48
Thu, 2021-11-18
512 pixels (18 km)
3744 pixels (135 km)
0.036284 km/pixel
0.0364723 km/pixel


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