Diverse Lava Flows on Olympus Mons
Diverse Lava Flows on Olympus Mons
ESP_017888_1950  Science Theme: Volcanic Processes
The flanks of Olympus Mons are covered with lava flow after lava flow. Most of these flows are relatively narrow flows with a channel running down the middle. They appear similar to the lava flows found on Mt. Etna in Sicily.

However, in this image, we see these typical lavas partially covered by another, more recent flow. This flow also has a central channel, but is about 10 times wider than the more typical flows.

At the center of the HiRISE image the channel disappears. This is probably because the channel was blocked here and lava spilled out of the channel and covered a broad, fan-shaped, area. The eruption that produced this unusual flow was probably more vigorous and perhaps lasted longer than the more common ones.

Written by: Lazlo Kestay  (23 June 2010)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_016820_1950.
Acquisition date
21 May 2010

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
268.5 km (166.9 miles)

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27.6 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~83 cm across are resolved

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46°, with the Sun about 44° above the horizon

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93.6°, Northern Summer

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NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.