Geologic Mapping of the Olympus Mons Volcano Mars

Project: Research project

Description

The martian volcano Olympus Mons (OM), the most prominent shield volcano in the solar system, has an uncertain genetic link to volcanism in the Tharsis Province. Insights into its geological evolution can be obtained via mapping on high resolution images obtained from the latest generation of Mars spacecraft. We propose to investigate the volcanic, glacial, and erosional processes that have formed OM using geologic mapping techniques applied to HRSC data geometrically rectified to MOLA data, and supplemented by THEMIS, MOC, HiRISE and CTX data where available. HRSC obtained complete coverage of OM, enabling consistent mapping across the volcano, and all of the required data are available in the PDS. The objectives of this project include: 1) Determining the areal extent, distribution, and stratigraphic relationships of lava flow morphologies to identify and understand potential changes in late-stage effusive activity across the volcano; 2) Determining the areal extent and distribution of glacial and aeolian deposits on the flanks and their stratigraphic relationship to the lava flows, to obtain a volcano-wide understanding of lava-ice interactions and the impact of aeolian cover; and 3) Assessing the relationship between tectonic/erosional and volcanic processes, dominantly in the basal scarp, mid-flank terraces, and caldera regions, and their contribution to the volcano's shape. The product of this research will be a geologic map of OM (1:1M scale) published in a peer-reviewed journal. The result of this research will be a more complete understanding of the processes that have formed OM, which can provide additional insight into overall evolution of the Tharsis Province. This research is relevant to NASA's Strategic Sub-Goal 3C of understanding the genesis and evolution of Solar System bodies and physical processes active on the terrestrial planets. NOTE: This proposal was submitted to PG&G in 2008, and if funded by PG&G, will be withdrawn from MDAP.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date9/1/098/31/14

Funding

  • NASA: Goddard Space Flight Center: $161,714.00

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Mars
volcano
lava flow
solar system
shield volcano
eolian deposit
glacial deposit
image resolution
caldera
lava
terrace
volcanism
spacecraft
planet
ice
tectonics
distribution
province