Chryse Planitia is a circular plain in the northern equator close to the Tharsis region. Chryse Planitia is believed to be an ancient impact basin, it's floor being 2.5km below the planet's average surface height. It is 1600 km in diameter, with a land area of approximately 2,560,000 km2 (an area approximating that of Greenland).
Chryse Planitia was named in 1973 and means "Golden Plain" in Greek.
In 1976, the boulder-shrewn plains of Chryse Planitia were chosen as the location for the Viking 1 lander (where the Thomas Mutch Memorial Station is located today). Although believed to have once been the bottom of an ancient lake basin, Viking 1 observed no fluvial features in the region and appeared at the time to be volcanic. The 1996 Mars Pathfinder mission was therefore sent to Ares Vallis, an outflow channel emptying into Chryse Planitia.