Tube-Fed Lava Flow Field
Tube-Fed Lava Flow Field
PSP_009501_1755  Science Theme: Volcanic Processes
This lava flow field is part of a small shield volcano within the lava plains south of Pavonis Mons. It illustrates the importance of lava tubes in the formation of large lava flow fields.

Shield volcanoes are often covered by a combination of open lava channels and partly enclosed lava tubes, through which lava once flowed when the volcano was active. Tubes are often located axial to topographic ridges, and after a lava flow ends, a tube can drain leaving an empty space into which the roof can collapse.

However, if a tube is filled to capacity or under pressure when the lava is flowing, narrow ridge-like features and/or small lava flow breakouts can form. This scenario is one possible explanation for the ridged lava flow in the center of this image. Here, a narrow wall-like feature is axial to a larger topographic ridge that appears to be the source for a series of smaller lava flows.

Written by: Posted for Jacob Bleacher by L.Crumpler  (24 September 2008)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_008433_1755.
Acquisition date
05 August 2008

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
255.8 km (159.0 miles)

Original image scale range
26.7 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~80 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
59°, with the Sun about 31° above the horizon

Solar longitude
108.6°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  38.3°
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
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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.