Basal Scarp

  • Matt B. Weller
Living reference work entry


Steep-walled, several km high perimeter of Olympus Mons volcano on Mars.



The 600–800 km diameter, 23 km high Olympus Mons shield volcano is partially bounded by an escarpment with a height up to 10 km (McGovern et al. 2004; Figs. 13). The basal scarp is a roughly concentric feature composed of linear, concave, and convex segments separated by radial fractures (Geological Survey 1981). The scarp serves as a break between volcanic flow structures; above the basal scarp lava channels dominate, while below it tabular sheets are representative of lava emplacement (Bleacher et al. 2007). Beyond the scarp there are large aureoles (Tanaka 1985), and closer to the flank of Olympus Mons, various features interpreted as mass movement features and debris-covered piedmont glaciers are present (Basilevsky et al. 2005; Milkovich et al. 2006).


Lava Flow Detachment Fault Submarine Landslide Wrinkle Ridge Lava Emplacement 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Earth ScienceRice UniversityHoustonUSA