Olympus Mons a volcano on Mars

Olympus Mons a volcano on Mars

Fig. 2.32 . A mosaic of the towering Martian volcano Olympus Mons, using data obtained from the Viking 1 orbiter in the late 1970s. It is the largest known volcano in the solar system, rising about 25 kilometers and spreading over 600 kilometers at its base. Counts of impact craters suggest that the lava flows on the gentle slopes of this volcano are relatively young, averaging only about 30 million years old. The summit caldera, or central depression, is a composite of as many as seven roughly circular depressions that formed by recurrent collapse when magma was withdrawn from within the volcano. The caldera is almost 3 kilometers deep and up to 70 kilometers across. The volcano is surrounded by a well-defined scarp, or cliff, that is up to 6 kilometers high. Many of the plains surrounding the volcano are covered by terrain containing ridges and grooves; it is called an aureole, the Latin term for "circle of light". Mons is the Latin term for "mountain". Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece, is the home of the gods in Greek mythology. (Courtesy of NASA/JPL/USGS.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University