Layering in Mawrth Vallis Crater.
Mawrth Vallis has a rich mineral diversity, including clay minerals that formed by the chemical alteration of rocks or loose regolith" (soil) by water. There is a high surface area of bedded phyllosilicate (clay) exposures (tens of kilometers), located in the bright-toned materials.

The CRISM instrument on the MRO spacecraft detects a variety of clay minerals here, which could signify different processes of formation. The high resolution of the HiRISE camera helps us to see and trace out layers, polygonal fractures, and with CRISM, examine the distribution of various minerals across the surface.

This surface is scientifically compelling for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity and this region is one of four candidate landing sites for MSL.

Written by: Jennifer Griffes
All original images are presented by:
547d825dd0db3b8058acab8d_nasa.png 547d828239b0bf7409a305d1_arizona.png 547d828cd0db3b8058acab91_esa.png 547d832bd0db3b8058acab97_hubble.png 547d83369e4d1e7609d4c35d_jpl.png