Libya Montes valley region on Mars
Science & Exploration

The Libya Montes valley on Mars

27/03/2006 2310 views 2 likes
ESA / Science & Exploration / Space Science / Mars Express

These images, taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft, show the region of Libya Montes, south of the Isidis Planitia impact basin on Mars.

Map showing location of Libya Montes in context
Map showing location of Libya Montes in context

The HRSC obtained these images during orbit 922 with a ground resolution of approximately 14.3 metres per pixel at equatorial latitudes near longitude 81° East.

The images show the central reaches of a 400-kilometre long valley that was carved into the surface in early Martian history, approximately 350 million years ago.

The central parts of the broad valley show traces of an interior valley, documenting the flow of water that once occurred on the surface of the planet during periods of wetter climate.

An animated look at Libya Montes
An animated look at Libya Montes

Determinations of discharge volumes on the basis of high-resolution HRSC-derived digital terrain models reveal discharge rates comparable to those of the middle reaches of the USA's Mississippi river.

Baesd on crater-size frequency distributions on the valley floor and surrounding terrain it has been shown that the formation time of the valley is about 350 million years.

Libya Montes valley region on Mars, perspective view
Libya Montes valley region on Mars, perspective view

Measurements of erosion rates suggest that the active phases of valley development are characterised by short periods of intense fluvial activity rather than sustained liquid flow.

Details on valley formation have been published by R. Jaumann (DLR) and colleagues, as an article ‘Constraints on fluvial erosion by measurements of the Mars Express High Resolution Stereo Camera’ in Geophysical Research Letters, 32, L16203, doi:10.1029/2005GL023415).

3D anaglyph view of Libya Montes valley region
3D anaglyph view of Libya Montes valley region

The colour scenes were derived from the three HRSC colour channels and the nadir channel. The perspective views have been calculated from the digital terrain model derived from the stereo channels.

The 3D anaglyph image was calculated from the nadir and one stereo channel. The black and white high-resolution images were derived from the nadir channel that provides the highest detail of all the channels. Image resolution has been decreased for use on the internet.

Perspective view of Libya Montes valley, looking east
Perspective view of Libya Montes valley, looking east

For more information on Mars Express HRSC images, you might like to read our updated 'Frequently Asked Questions'.

Related Links

Pavonis Mons
Science & Exploration

Lava tubes on Pavonis Mons

23/05/2006 5557 views 7 likes
Read
Extensional tectonics in Tempe Terra
Science & Exploration

Extensional tectonics in Tempe Terra

08/05/2006 1226 views 1 likes
Read
Nanedi Valles valley system on Mars
Science & Exploration

Nanedi Valles system on Mars

24/04/2006 3087 views 4 likes
Read
Crater Galle, the 'happy face' on Mars
Science & Exploration

'Happy face' crater on Mars

10/04/2006 8227 views 13 likes
Read
Libya Montes valley region on Mars
Science & Exploration

The Libya Montes valley on Mars

27/03/2006 2310 views 2 likes
Read
Perspective view, looking north-west, from behind the 'hourglass' crater
Science & Exploration

'Hourglass'-shaped crater - new video and perspectives

17/03/2006 2266 views 3 likes
Read
Perspective view of the eastern scarp of Olympus Mons, looking south-west
Science & Exploration

Eastern scarp of Olympus Mons

03/03/2006 4700 views 3 likes
Read
Perspective view of the Ausonia Mensa massif
Science & Exploration

Ausonia Mensa remnant massif

24/02/2006 1590 views 0 likes
Read
Perspective view of Phlegethon Catena
Science & Exploration

Pits and tectonic grabens in Phlegethon Catena

09/02/2006 2684 views 2 likes
Read
The Claritas Fossae region of Mars
Science & Exploration

Claritas Fossae region of Mars

03/02/2006 615 views 0 likes
Read
Colour view of Juventae Chasma
Science & Exploration

Sulphate deposits in Juventae Chasma

19/01/2006 1951 views 3 likes
Read
Colour view of 'butterfly'-shaped crater at Hesperia Planum
Science & Exploration

‘Butterfly’ impact crater in Hesperia Planum

04/01/2006 2413 views 5 likes
Read
Science & Exploration

Fly over the Chasma Boreale at Martian north pole

18/10/2005 3849 views 10 likes
Read
Colour nadir view of Biblis Patera
Science & Exploration

The Biblis Patera volcano

07/09/2005 2730 views 5 likes
Read
The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC)
Science & Exploration

Behind the lens...

13/02/2004 2265 views 3 likes
Read