Geologic mapping of the Amirani-Gish Bar region of Io: Implications for the global geologic mapping of Io

David Williams, Laszlo P. Keszthelyi, David A. Crown, Windy L. Jaeger, Paul M. Schenk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We produced the first geologic map of the Amirani-Gish Bar region of Io, the last of four regional maps generated from Galileo mission data. The Amirani-Gish Bar region has five primary types of geologic materials: plains, mountains, patera floors, flows, and diffuse deposits. The flows and patera floors are thought to be compositionally similar, but are subdivided based on interpretations regarding their emplacement environments and mechanisms. Our mapping shows that volcanic activity in the Amirani-Gish Bar region is dominated by the Amirani Eruptive Center (AEC), now recognized to be part of an extensive, combined Amirani-Maui flow field. A mappable flow connects Amirani and Maui, suggesting that Maui is fed from Amirani, such that the post-Voyager designation "Maui Eruptive Center" should be revised. Amirani contains at least four hot spots detected by Galileo, and is the source of widespread bright (sulfur?) flows and active dark (silicate?) flows being emplaced in the Promethean style (slowly emplaced, compound flow fields). The floor of Gish Bar Patera has been partially resurfaced by dark lava flows, although other parts of its floor are bright and appeared unchanged during the Galileo mission. This suggests that the floor did not undergo complete resurfacing as a lava lake as proposed for other ionian paterae. There are several other hot spots in the region that are the sources of both active dark flows (confined within paterae), and SO2- and S2-rich diffuse deposits. Mapped diffuse deposits around fractures on mountains and in the plains appear to serve as the source for gas venting without the release of magma, an association previously unrecognized in this region. The six mountains mapped in this region exhibit various states of degradation. In addition to gaining insight into this region of Io, all four maps are studied to assess the best methodology to use to produce a new global geologic map of Io based on the newly released, combined Galileo-Voyager global mosaics. To convey the complexity of ionian surface geology, we find that a new global geologic map of Io should include a map sheet displaying the global abundances and types of surface features as well as a complementary GIS database as a means to catalog the record of surface changes observed since the Voyager flybys and during the Galileo mission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-217
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Geological processes
  • Io
  • Jupiter
  • Satellite
  • Volcanism
  • satellites
  • surfaces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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