Jezero (/ˈjɛzər/ YEZ-ə-roh or /ˈɛzər/ JEZ-ə-roh)[1] is a crater on Mars located at 18°22′46″N 77°34′45″E / 18.3793167°N 77.5792887°E / 18.3793167; 77.5792887[2] in the Syrtis Major quadrangle. The diameter of the crater is about 49.0 km (30.4 mi). Thought to have once been flooded with water, the crater contains a fan-delta deposit rich in clays.[3] The lake in the crater was present when valley networks were forming on Mars. Besides having a delta, the crater shows point bars and inverted channels. From a study of the delta and channels, it was concluded that the lake did not experience times when the water went down. It probably formed when there was continual surface runoff.[4]

Jezero crater
Jezero crater-Isidis basin.jpg
Jezero crater on edge of Isidis basin
Coordinates18°22′46″N 77°34′45″E / 18.3793167°N 77.5792887°E / 18.3793167; 77.5792887Coordinates: 18°22′46″N 77°34′45″E / 18.3793167°N 77.5792887°E / 18.3793167; 77.5792887
Diameter49.0 km (30.4 mi)
EponymJezero, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Jezero crater (lower right) and region seen from the Viking 1 Orbiter

In 2007, following the discovery of its ancient lake, the crater was named for Jezero[5] in Bosnia and Herzegovina, country's one of several eponymous towns.[6] In several Slavic languages, including Czech, Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian and Slovene, the word jezero means 'lake'.

In November 2018, it was announced that Jezero crater had been chosen as the landing site for the planned Mars 2020 rover mission.[7][8][9]


Life may have developed in the crater since it is believed the lake was long-lived; the delta may have required a period of 106–107 years to form.[10] Clay minerals have been detected in and around the crater.[11][12][13] The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter identified smectite clays.[14] Clays form in the presence of water, so this area probably once held water and maybe life in ancient times. The surface in places is cracked into polygonal patterns. Such shapes often form when clay dries out. These patterns can be seen in the image below. The image shows a channel that carried water and sediments into Jezero crater.[2]

Researchers described in a paper, released in March 2015, how an ancient Martian lake system existed in Jezero Crater. The study advanced the idea that water filled the crater at least two separate times.[15] There are two channels on the northern and western sides of the crater that probably supplied it with water; each of these channels has a delta-like deposit where sediment was carried by water and deposited in the lake.[16] Craters of a given diameter are expected to have a certain depth; a depth less than expected means sediment has entered the crater.[17] Calculations suggest that the crater may hold about one kilometer of sediments. Most of the sediments may have been brought in by channels.[10]

Jezero crater lake billions of years ago (artist concept)
Jezero crater on edge of western Isidis basin
Jezero crater on Mars
Ancient rivers (on the left) flowed into the crater; overflow flooding carved the outlet canyon (on the right).[20][21]
Jezero delta – chemical alteration by water

Mars 2020 missionEdit

Proposed Mars 2020 landing site
inside Jezero crater.

Jezero crater, once considered a site for the Mars Science Laboratory, was later proposed as a landing site for the Mars 2020 rover mission.[18][22] Following several Mars 2020 landing site workshops, in early 2017 it survived the cut and was named to be among the top three sites still in the running for the landing, along with Northeast Syrtis, 30 km to the southwest.[23]

A primary aim of the Mars 2020 mission is to search for signs of ancient life. It is hoped that a later mission could then return samples from sites identified as probably containing remains of life. To safely bring the craft down, a 12-mile (20 km) wide, smooth, flat circular area is needed. Geologists hope to examine places where water once ponded.[24] They would like to examine sediment layers.

In November 2018, Jezero crater was selected as the planned landing site for the Mars 2020 rover mission.[25]

Interactive Mars mapEdit

Acheron FossaeAcidalia PlanitiaAlba MonsAmazonis PlanitiaAonia PlanitiaArabia TerraArcadia PlanitiaArgentea PlanumArgyre PlanitiaChryse PlanitiaClaritas FossaeCydonia MensaeDaedalia PlanumElysium MonsElysium PlanitiaGale craterHadriaca PateraHellas MontesHellas PlanitiaHesperia PlanumHolden craterIcaria PlanumIsidis PlanitiaJezero craterLomonosov craterLucus PlanumLycus SulciLyot craterLunae PlanumMalea PlanumMaraldi craterMareotis FossaeMareotis TempeMargaritifer TerraMie craterMilankovič craterNepenthes MensaeNereidum MontesNilosyrtis MensaeNoachis TerraOlympica FossaeOlympus MonsPlanum AustralePromethei TerraProtonilus MensaeSirenumSisyphi PlanumSolis PlanumSyria PlanumTantalus FossaeTempe TerraTerra CimmeriaTerra SabaeaTerra SirenumTharsis MontesTractus CatenaTyrrhen TerraUlysses PateraUranius PateraUtopia PlanitiaValles MarinerisVastitas BorealisXanthe Terra 
 Interactive imagemap of the global topography of Mars. Hover your mouse to see the names of over 60 prominent geographic features, and click to link to them. Coloring of the base map indicates relative elevations, based on data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor. Whites and browns indicate the highest elevations (+12 to +8 km); followed by pinks and reds (+8 to +3 km); yellow is 0 km; greens and blues are lower elevations (down to −8 km). Axes are latitude and longitude; Polar regions are noted.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Lakdawlla, Emily (20 November 2018). "We're going to Jezero!". Planetary Society. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Wray, James (6 June 2008). "Channel into Jezero Crater Delta". NASA. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  3. ^ Muir, Hazel. "Prime landing sites chosen for biggest Martian rover". Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  4. ^ Goudge, T., et al. 2017. Stratigraphy and Evolution of Delta Channel Deposits, Jezero Crater Mars. Lunar and Planetary Science XLVIII (2017). 1195.pdf.
  5. ^ "4th July celebration at USA Embassy in Sarajevo / Pro-ruski savez na (ne)djelu: Dodik i Čović odbili doći na proslavu Dana nezavisnosti SAD-a". (in Bosnian). 3 July 2019. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Planetary Names: Crater, craters: Jezero on Mars". Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  7. ^ Chang, Kenneth (19 November 2018). "NASA Mars 2020 Rover Gets a Landing Site: A Crater That Contained a Lake - The rover will search the Jezero Crater and delta for the chemical building blocks of life and other signs of past microbes". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  8. ^ Wall, Mike (19 November 2018). "Jezero Crater or Bust! NASA Picks Landing Site for Mars 2020 Rover". Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  9. ^ Mandelbaum, Ryan F. "NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Will Land in Jezero Crater". Gizmodo. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  10. ^ a b Schon, S., J. Head, C. Fassett. 2012. An overfilled lacustrine system and progradational delta in Jezero crater, Mars: Implications for Noachian climate. Planetary and Space Science: 67, 28–45
  11. ^ Bibring, J. et al. 2006. Global mineralogical and aqueous Mars history derived from OMEGA/Mars Express data. Science: 312, 400-404.
  12. ^ Mangold, N., et al. 2007. Mineralogy of the Nili Fossae region with OMEGA/Mars Express data: 2. Aqueous alteration of the crust. Journal of Geophysical Research 112, E08S04. doi:10.1029/2006JE002835.
  13. ^ Poulet, F., et al. 2005. Phyllosilicates on Mars and implications for early martian climate. Nature, 438. doi:10.1038/nature04274.
  14. ^ Murchie, S.; et al. (2009). "A synthesis of Martian aqueous mineralogy after 1 Mars year of observations from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter" (PDF). Journal of Geophysical Research. 114 (E2): E00D06. Bibcode:2009JGRE..114.0D06M. doi:10.1029/2009JE003342.
  15. ^ "Ancient Martian lake system records two water-related events". Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Ancient Martian Lake System Records Two Water-related Events - SpaceRef". Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  17. ^ Garvin, J., S. Sakimoto, J. Frawley. 2003. Craters on Mars: Global geometric properties from gridded MOLA topography. In: Sixth International Conference on Mars. Abstract no. #3277
  18. ^ a b Staff (4 March 2015). "PIA19303: A Possible Landing Site for the 2020 Mission: Jezero Crater". NASA. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  19. ^ Goudge, Timothy A.; Mustard, John F.; Head, James W.; Fassett, Caleb I.; Wiseman, Sandra M. (6 March 2015). "Assessing the Mineralogy of the Watershed and Fan Deposits of the Jezero Crater Paleolake System, Mars". Journal of Geophysical Research. 120 (4): 775. Bibcode:2015JGRE..120..775G. doi:10.1002/2014JE004782.
  20. ^ RBurnham (19 November 2018). "Overflowing crater lakes carved Mars canyon". Red Planet Report. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  21. ^ Staff (19 November 2018). "Overflowing Crater Lakes Carved Canyons Across Mars". University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  22. ^
  23. ^ Witze, Alexandra (11 February 2017). "Three sites where NASA might retrieve its first Mars rock". Nature. Bibcode:2017Natur.542..279W. doi:10.1038/nature.2017.21470. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  24. ^ Staff (2010). "The Floods of Iani Chaos". NASA. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  25. ^ Mandelbaum, Ryan F. "NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Will Land in Jezero Crater". Retrieved 20 November 2018.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit