The Tharsis Montes volcanoes and Olympus Mons are giant shield volcanoes. Although estimates of their average surface age have been made using crater counts, the length of time required to build the shields has not been considered. Crater counts for the volcanoes indicate the constructs are young; average ages are Amazonian to Hesperian. In relative terms; Arsia Mons is the oldest, Pavonis Mons intermediate, and Ascreaus Mons the youngest of the Tharsis Montes shield; Olympus Mons is the youngest of the group. Depending upon the calibration, absolute ages range from 730 Ma to 3100 Ma for Arsia Mons and 25 Ma to 100 Ma for Olympus Mons. These absolute chronologies are highly model dependent, and indicate only the time surficial volcanism ceased, not the time over which the volcano was built. The problem of estimating the time necessary to build the volcanoes can be attacked in two ways. First, eruption rates from terrestrial and extraterrestrial examples can be used to calculate the required period of time to build the shields. Second, some relation of eruptive activity between the volcanoes can be assumed, such as they all began at a speficic time or they were active sequentially, and calculate the eruptive rate. Volumes of the shield volcanoes were derived from topographic/volume data.
Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
- Pub Date:
- March 1993
- Mars Surface;
- Mars Volcanoes;
- Planetary Geology;
- Lunar and Planetary Exploration