Tholus (Mars)

  • Stephanie C. WernerEmail author
Living reference work entry


Domical-shaped central vent shield volcano.


A type of shield volcano





Tholi on Mars are central vent volcanoes with well-defined summit calderas (BVSP 1981) of up to 10 km in diameter and basal dimensions between 50 and 200 km and a height of 4–10 km (Plescia 2004). They have relatively steep peripheral flanks. Most are asymmetric with a multi-stage caldera, which appear large compared to the edifice itself. Their flanks are often buried under surrounding plains of lava flows, so that their full dimensions are indeterminable (Werner 2009). In structure they resemble shield volcanoes; some, such as Ceraunius Tholus, have numerous radial channel, and others show flow features (BVSP 1981). Most have concentric grabens similar to the large shield volcanoes (BVSP 1981). The distribution named tholi on Mars is shown in Fig. 1.


Volcanic Activity Dust Storm Descriptor Term Volcanic Edifice Eruption Event 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Comparative Planetology, Centre for Earth Evolution and DynamicsUniversity of OsloOsloNorway