Polygenic eruptions on Alba Patera, Mars
- Cite this article as:
- Mouginis-Mark, P.J., Wilson, L. & Zimbelman, J.R. Bull Volcanol (1988) 50: 361. doi:10.1007/BF01050636
- 60 Downloads
A combination of photogeologic mapping, analysis of Viking Orbiter thermal inertia data, and numerical modelling of eruption conditions has permitted us to construct a new model for the evolution of the martian volcano Alba Patera. Numerous digitate channel networks on the flanks of the volcano are interpreted to be carved by sapping due to the release of non-juvenile water from unconsolidated flank deposits. Using the thermal inertia measurements, we estimate the particle size of these deposits to be 3–10 µm, which, together with theoretical modelling of the disperison of explosively derived volcanic materials, leads us to conclude that the flank deposits on Alba Patera are low-relief pyroclastic flows. The recognition of numerous late-stage summit and sub-terminal lava flows thus makes Alba Patera a unique martian volcano that is transitional between the older pyroclastic-dominated highland paterae and the more recent effusive central-vent volcanoes such as the Tharsis Montes.