Cer­berus Fos­sae – shaped by vol­can­ism and tec­ton­ics

Cerberus Fossae – shaped by volcanism and tectonics
Cer­berus Fos­sae – shaped by vol­can­ism and tec­ton­ics
Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin

Cerberus Fossae – shaped by volcanism and tectonics

The land­scape in the Cer­berus Fos­sae re­gion ap­pears as if cut by a knife. The tec­ton­ic frac­ture struc­tures were formed less than 100 mil­lion years ago, per­haps even on­ly 10 mil­lion years ago. This can al­so be seen in the pro­files of the fos­sae, which are bound by ex­treme­ly steep walls that are al­most ver­ti­cal in places and more than 500 me­tres high in some ar­eas. The SEIS seis­mome­ter on NASA’s In­Sight lan­der was able to lo­calise two quakes here, about 1700 kilo­me­tres east of the land­ing site, quite ac­cu­rate­ly, and an­oth­er one with some­what greater un­cer­tain­ty. The im­age was cre­at­ed from da­ta ac­quired on 27 Jan­uary 2018 by the High Res­o­lu­tion Stereo Cam­era (HRSC) on board the Eu­ro­pean Mars Ex­press space­craft.

The landscape in the Cerberus Fossae region appears as if cut by a knife. The tectonic fracture structures were formed less than 100 million years ago, perhaps even only 10 million years ago. This can also be seen in the profiles of the fossae, which are bound by extremely steep walls that are almost vertical in places and more than 500 metres high in some areas. The SEIS seismometer on NASA’s InSight lander was able to localise two quakes here, about 1700 kilometres east of the landing site, quite accurately, and another one with somewhat greater uncertainty. The image was created from data acquired on 27 January 2018 by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board the European Mars Express spacecraft.

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