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View into the outflow valley and the delta areas

The outflow channel Pliva Vallis (Viewpoint Outflow channel) breaks through the eastern crater rim surpassing a swell. Using altitude measurements from crater rim, crater floor, swell and upper edge of the delta, the potential depth of the lake can be deduced, resulting in roughly 250 m water depth. This would result in a minimum lake water volume of 220 km3 and a maximum of 340 (see corresponding images). However, as the deltas have been severely eroded since water activity ceased approximately 3.8 billion years ago, it is no longer possible to make precise assessments. Also, the crater was filled with very extensive lava flows from the nearby Syrtis Major volcanic region about 300 million years later.


Jezero crater was chosen for a good reason as landing site. Two ancient river deltas can be found inside the crater. Within the delta deposits, numerous water-bearing minerals have been found, indicating, that liquid water was once present for an extended period of time.


Two inlet valleys, Neretva Vallis and Sava Vallis can be spotted, entering the crater in the northern and northeastern part (Viewpoint Neretva Vallis and Sava Vallis) and ending in the deltas (Viewpoint Delta basement and Delta top). Here, water-bearing clay minerals and particularly carbonates were discovered. These minerals have a high potential of conserving and retaining biosignatures over long time spans. The former presence of liquid water and the large carbonate deposits here make Jezero a perfect destination for the search for possible traces of presumabely extinct life on Mars.