Long runout Mars landslides reconstructed in 3D

image-2Planetary Geomorphology Image of the Month, June 1, 2019: Giulia Magnarini (University College, London).

The availability of high resolution imagery of the surface of Mars from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter CTX and HiRISE cameras (NASA PDS) allow us to reconstruct fantastic 3D views of the martian topography using stereophotogrammetry technique.

Digital terrain models (DTMs) are obtained using the difference in two images of the same target taken from different angles. In the process, orthoimages are generated and draped over the DTM. CTX stereo-derived DTMs have 20 m/px resolution; HiRISE stereo-derived DTMs have 1-2 m/px resolution.

This technique is applied to the study of martian long runout landslides and it represents a powerful tool, as the 3D reconstruction allows detailed observations and morphometric analysis of these landforms and their morphological features (Images 1-3).

Characterized by large volumes (> 106 m3), martian long runout landslides are able to travel for tens of kilometre, moving on nearly horizontal surfaces with velocities that can exceed 100 km/h. Numerous mechanisms have been proposed to explain their remarkable mobility…. [More at link]

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