Basaltic Ring Structure

  • Henrik HargitaiEmail author
Living reference work entry


A rimmed topographic depression within basaltic lava flow (Burr et al. 2009).



Circular or elliptical structures with raised rims. They may have interior concentric ridges (Hodges 1978; Burr et al. 2009).


Formation of the Columbia Plateau examples involved lava–water interaction, perhaps together with inflation (thickening) of the surrounding lava flows that produced basaltic dikes. Basalt extrusion occurred and the molten material was intersected by a rising groundwater table that rapidly accumulated volatiles. It caused venting, doming, and cracking. Fractures formed concentric to the focus of pressure release and were filled by melts. Subsequent catastrophic floods removed most of surficial material and left only the roots of the structure exposed on the surface (Hodges 1978).

Planetary Examples

Mesoscale rings in Athabasca Valles (Fig. 1) were proposed to be basaltic ring structures formed by lava flows in...


Lava Flow Catastrophic Flood Topographic Depression Basaltic Lava Flow Basaltic Dike 
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  1. Burr DM, Bruno BC, Lanagan PD, Glaze LS, Jaeger WL, Soare RJ, Wan Bun Tseung J-M, Skinner JA Jr, Baloga SM (2009) Mesoscale raised rim depressions (MRRDs) on Earth: a review of the characteristics, processes, and spatial distributions of analogs for Mars. Planet Space Sci 57:579–596CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Hodges CA (1978) Basaltic ring structures of the Columbia Plateau. Geol Soc Am Bull 89(9):1281–1289. doi:10.1130/0016-7606(1978)89/1281:BRSOTCS2.0.CO;2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Jaeger WL, Keszthelyi LP, Burr DM et al (2005) Basaltic ring structures as an analog for ring features in Athabasca Valles, Mars. Lunar Planet Sci Conf, abstract XXXVI, abstract #1886, HoustonGoogle Scholar
  4. Jaeger WL, Keszthelyi LP, McEwen AS, Dundas CM, Russell PS (2007) Athabasca Valles, Mars: a lava-draped channel system. Science 317:1709–1711CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Planetary Science Research GroupEötvös Loránd University, Institute of Geography and Earth SciencesBudapestHungary