Lava Coil

  • Andrew J. RyanEmail author
Living reference work entry


A spiral pattern observed in lava.



Approximately 5–90 m wide on Mars

Subtypes on Mars

Classification based on volutes:
  1. (1)

    Doubly voluted (like the letter “S”) (majority)

  2. (2)

    Singly voluted (few)

Classification based on spiral arm direction toward center:
  1. (1)


  2. (2)




Mars: It has been proposed that the coils formed from the rotation/twisting of ductile crust on the surface of a large volume of ponded lava in Cerberus Palus, Mars. The lava was likely emitted from the Cerberus Fossae (~300 km NE of Cerberus Palus) and flowed through Athabasca Valles before debouching into Cerberus Palus. Coils are present between large plates of rafted material, interpreted to be pieces of volcanic crust. The inter-plate regions are patterned with lava polygon (small), in addition to the coils. The inter-plate polygonal patterning is nearly ubiquitous, whereas the coils have...


Flowing Lava Shear Crack Large Igneous Province Spiral Pattern Spiral Coil 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Earth and Space ExplorationArizona State UniversityTempeUSA