Orcus Patera

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Elevation map centered on Orcus Patera. MOLA elevation map from the Mars Global Surveyor Mars orbiter

Orcus Patera is a region on the surface of the planet Mars first imaged by Mariner 4.[1] It is a depression about 380 km long, 140 km wide, and about 0.5 km (500 meters) deep but with a relatively smooth floor.[2] It has a rim up to 1.8 km high.[2] Orcus Patera is west of Mons Olympus and east of Elysium Mons.[2] It is about halfway between those two volcanoes, and east and north of Gale crater.

It has experienced aeolian processes, and has some small craters and graben structures.[2] However, it is not known how the patera originally formed.[2] Theories include volcanic, tectonic, or cratering events.[2] A study in 2000 that incorporated new results from Mars Global Surveryor along with older Viking data, did not come out clearly in favor of either volcanic or cratering processes.[3]

Mars Express observed this region in 2005, yielding a digital terrain model and color pictures.[2]


Orcus Patera by a Viking Orbiter. Orcus Patera is the elongated crater in the center. This is in the Elysium Planitia region.[4]

Mars Express[edit]

Mars Express HRSC view of Orcus Patera (Courtesy of the ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum))
Mars Express HRSC view of Orcus Patera with colors for elevation (Courtesy of the ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum))


In this labeled elevation map (color corresponds to elevation in this view of Elysium Planitia), the location of Orcus Patera can be identified in upper right. Gale crater, where the Curiosity Mars rover landed in 2012 is in the lower left

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Williams, Dave; Friedlander, Jay. "The Orcus Patera region on Mars". Mars - Mariner 4. NASA. Retrieved December 20, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "HRSC Press Release #471 - Orcus Patera (orbit 2216 & 2238)". 2010-08-27. Archived from the original on 2014-08-07. 
  3. ^ Orcus Patera : Impact Crater or Volcanic Caldera? (2000)
  4. ^ [1]