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The eroded valleys of Dao and Niger Valles


Colour image of Dao and Niger Valles

Perspective view of Dao and Niger Valles, looking south

These images, taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft, show the Dao Valles and Niger Valles, a system of outflow channels on Mars.

The images were taken during orbit 528 in June 2004, and show the Dao Valles and Niger Valles areas at a point where the north-eastern Hellas impact crater basin and the Hesperia Planum volcanic region meet.

The images are centred at Mars longitude 93° East and latitude 32° South. The image resolution is 40 metres per pixel. The colour image has been created from the HRSC’s nadir (vertical view) and three colour channels. The 3D and the perspective views have been created using the nadir and stereo channels.

The outflow channel system is, in some areas, 40 kilometres wide. The north-eastern ends of the two valleys are almost 200 metres deeper than the south-western regions which are also shown here. The northern Dao Valles, 2400 metres deep, is about 1000 metres deeper than the more southern Niger Valles.

The structure of the valley floor of the Niger Valles is characterised by terraced basins and chaotic fractures. The floor of the Dao Valles is much smoother, but covered with strongly eroded remnants.

These eroded valleys are in a region which is part of the southern flank of the Hadriaca Patera volcano. The surrounding surface is formed by lava streams, probably in a ’runoff’ process.

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

Guido De Marchi | alfa
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