Orcus Patera is a region on the surface of the planet Mars first photographed by Mariner 4. Of unknown formation, whether by volcanic, tectonic, or cratering causes, the region includes a depression about 380 kilometres (240 miles) long, 140 kilometres (87 miles) wide, surrounded by a rim up to 1.8 kilometres (1 mile) high.
Orcus Patera was first imaged by Mariner 4. It is a depression about 380 kilometres (240 miles) long, 140 kilometres (87 miles) wide, and about 0.5 kilometres (1⁄3 mile) deep but with a relatively smooth floor. It has a rim up to 1.8 kilometres (1 mile) high.
It has experienced aeolian processes, and has some small craters and graben structures. However, it is not known how the patera originally formed. Theories include volcanic, tectonic, or cratering events. A study in 2000 that incorporated new results from Mars Global Surveyor along with older Viking data, did not come out clearly in favor of either volcanic or cratering processes.
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