NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology JPL HOME EARTH SOLAR SYSTEM STARS & GALAXIES SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY JPL Email News RSS Mobile Video
Follow this link to skip to the main content
JPL banner - links to JPL and CalTech
left nav graphic Overview Science Technology The Mission People Spotlights Events Multimedia All Mars
Mars for Kids
Mars for Students
Mars for Educators
Mars for Press
+ Mars Home
+ Rovers Home
Multimedia
Summary
Images
Press Release Images
Spirit
Opportunity
All Raw Images
Spirit
Opportunity
Panoramas
Spirit
Opportunity
3-D Images
Spirit
Opportunity
Special-Effects Images
Spirit
Opportunity
Spacecraft
Mars Artwork
Landing Sites
Videos
Podcasts
Press Release Images: Opportunity
06-Jan-2006
 
This image shows examples  seen in Meridiani Planum outcrop rocks of well-preserved, fine-scale layering and what geologists call 'cross-lamination.'
'Festoon' Pattern in Meridiani Outcrop

This image from the panoramic camera on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows the best examples yet seen in Meridiani Planum outcrop rocks of well-preserved, fine-scale layering and what geologists call "cross-lamination." Opportunity acquired this image of a rock called "Overgaard" at the edge of "Erebus Crater" during the rover's 690th Martian day (Jan. 2, 2006).

The uppermost part of the rock, just above the center of the image and in the enlargement at top, shows distinctive centimeter-sized, smile-shaped features that sedimentary geologists call "festoons." The detailed geometric patterns of such nested sets of concave-upward layers in sedimentary rocks imply the presence of small, sinuous sand ripples that form only in water on Earth. Similar festoon cross-lamination and other distinctive sedimentary layer patterns are also visible in the lower parts of the rock, just left of center, and in other rocks near the rim of Erebus. Essentially, these features are the preserved remnants of tiny (centimeter-sized) underwater sand dunes formed long ago by waves in shallow water on the surface of Mars.

This image was obtained in the late afternoon (4:15 p.m. local solar time) using the panoramic camera's 430 nanometer filter.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell
Browse Image | Medium Image (399 kB) | Large (1.0 MB)

JPL Image Use Policy

USA.gov
PRIVACY    |     FAQ    |     SITEMAP    |     CREDITS