Introduction

Huge volcanoes, deep canyons, fractured ground – the Tharsis volcanic province that was covered here by HRSC in a wide swath is among the geologically most interesting and also most investigated regions on Mars. The image recorded by HRSC cuts across Tharsis from the northwest to the southeast: from the north polar ice cap in the lower left corner of the image over the giant volcanoes Alba Mons, a part of Olympus Mons, Ascraeus and Pavonis Mons that emerge over the cloud cover as darker spots, and finally the web-like Noctis Labyrinthus and the Valles Marineris canyon system with its characteristic dark-colored deposits in the upper left. A pale blue atmospheric haze marks the upper horizon which is situated near the equator.