Mars Express’ High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) has provided snapshots of the Aeolis Mensae region on the Red Planet.
The region, imaged on 26 and 29 March 2007, during Mars Express orbit number 4136 and 4247, is located at approximately 6° South and 145° East.
The morphology of the terrain, which lies close to the volcanic region of Elysium, is characterised by an extensive transition zone or the so-called ‘global crustal dichotomy boundary’ which separates the southern highlands and northern lowlands. It exhibits clod-shaped or lumpy relief separated by valleys and intermediated graben structures, or elongated, trench-like erosional features.
Aeolis Mensae is located at the border between the northern plains and the southern highlands, indicated by the transition zone. Between the highlands and the plains there is a large average difference in elevation, of about 3000 metres. The origin of this dichotomy is currently a subject of discussion.
Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum).