Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology JPL HOME EARTH SOLAR SYSTEM STARS & GALAXIES SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY BRING THE UNIVERSE TO YOU JPL Email News RSS Mobile Video
JPL Banner
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
Home Participate
MULTIMEDIA

Images

Image Gallery


read the article 'Erisa Hines'
03.30.2016 Erisa Hines
read the article 'Buzz Aldrin'
03.30.2016 Buzz Aldrin
read the article 'Women in Science'
02.12.2016 Women in Science
read the article 'Wind at Work'
02.10.2016 Wind at Work
read the article 'Avalanche Ho!'
09.30.2015 Avalanche Ho!
read the article 'Icy Wonderland'
05.11.2015 Icy Wonderland
read the article 'South Pole Spiders'
03.27.2015 South Pole Spiders
read the article 'A Smile a Day....'
03.27.2015 A Smile a Day....
This image shows an exposure of layered rock that exhibits a type of fracturing -- called columnar jointing -- that results when cooling lava contracts.
02.25.2009

First Observation of Columnar Jointing on Mars

This image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows an exposure of layered rock that exhibits a type of fracturing -- called columnar jointing -- that results when cooling lava contracts.

The observation is cited in a report, "Discovery of Columnar Jointing on Mars," in the February 2009 issue of the journal Geology. The authors propose that flooding by water was likely what caused a quick cooling of lava to result in this jointing.

The image, taken Oct. 31, 2007, shows a portion of an unnamed crater 16 kilometers (10 miles) in diameter and centered at 21.52 degrees north latitude, 184.35 degrees north longitude. Shown here is a section about one kilometer (0.6 mile) wide from the image catalogued by the HiRISE team as PSP_005917_2020. The column-forming fractures resemble textures common on Earth in locations such as the Colombia River Basalt Group and in the Colorado Plateau.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

All Images

HiRISE Flickr Photostream

HiRISE Flickr Wallpaper

HiRISE Flickr 4K

HiRISE Flickr 8K

USA.gov
PRIVACY     FAQ     SITEMAP     FEEDBACK     IMAGE POLICY