Mars: Was Olympus Mons Once A Giant Volcanic Island?

Standing Report


July 25, 2023

Mars: Was Olympus Mons Once A Giant Volcanic Island?

Olympus Mons: a volcanic island in the course of a vanished Martian ocean. © A.Hildenbrand/Geops/CNRS (Picture produced from MOLA public knowledge)


Think about a volcanic island concerning the measurement of France and over 20,000 metres excessive. Such a panorama might as soon as have existed on the planet Mars.

Revealed in Earth and Planetary Science Letters on July 24, latest work led by a CNRS researcher1 exhibits that the enormous Olympus Mons volcano on Mars shares morphological similarities with many lively volcanic islands on Earth.

Scientists imagine they’re the results of contact between liquid water and lava from the volcano. Comparable options on the northern flank of the Alba Mons volcano, situated greater than 1,500 km from Olympus Mons, additionally help the concept that an unlimited ocean of liquid water as soon as occupied the Pink Planet’s northern lowlands.

Exact relationship of those volcanic rocks might present a substantial quantity of details about the climatic evolution of Mars.

  1. On the Laboratoire Géosciences Paris-Saclay (CNRS/Université Paris-Saclay)


A large volcanic island in an early Martian Ocean? A. Hildenbrand, H. Zeyen, F. Schmidt, S. Bouley, F. Costard, P.Y. Gillot, F.O. Marques, X. Quidelleur. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, July 24 2023.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Membership Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Groups, Journalist, House & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.


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