The moon and the planets

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 221–234 | Cite as

Origin of the Olympus Mons aureole and perimeter scarp

  • Rosaly M. C. Lopes
  • J. E. Guest
  • C. J. Wilson


The aureole materials that form an annulus of corrugated terrain surrounding Olympus Mons are considered to be the product of mass movement. The scarp at the mountain's foot formed as a result of this massive removal of material from the volcano's outer flanks. This interpretation is supported by a comparison of the amount of material originally available before scarp formation, and the present volume of aureole materials. On the basis of distribution, surface textures and theoretical considerations it is considered that the aureole was produced by a series of megaslides, rather than by a flow mechanism. Production of the megaslides may have been assisted by a period of widespread melting of permafrost.


Theoretical Consideration Surface Texture Mass Movement Flow Mechanism Massive Removal 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Co. 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosaly M. C. Lopes
    • 1
  • J. E. Guest
    • 1
  • C. J. Wilson
    • 2
  1. 1.University of London ObservatoryLondonEngland
  2. 2.Geology DepartmentImperial CollegeLondonEngland

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