We produced a geologic/geomorphologic map of the Chaac-Camaxtli region of Io's leading anti-Jovian hemisphere using regional resolution (186 m/pixel) Galileo imaging data collected during orbit I27 (February 2000) integrated with lower resolution (1.4 km/pixel) color data, along with other Galileo imaging and spectral data. This is the first regional map of Io made from Galileo data. Nine color and geomorphologic units have been mapped, and the close proximity of dark and various colored bright materials suggests that there is an intimate interaction between (presumably) silicate magmas and sulfur bearing volatile materials that produced a variety of explosive and effusive deposits in the recent geologic past. This region of Io is dominated by 11 volcanic centers, most of which are paterae that are analogous in morphology to terrestrial calderas but larger in size. Mapping of structural features indicates that most of the active regions occur in topographic lows, and less active or inactive paterae are associated with topographic highs. This indicates that crustal thickness variations influence magma access to the surface. Surface changes in this region since the Voyager flybys (1979) are relatively minor (additional bright and dark flows, color changes), although several active vents have migrated within paterae. This observation, along with the identification of the relatively regular spacing of paterae (~100-150 km) along a line, may indicate there are multiple interlacing fractures in the crust that serve as magma conduits from the interior. This connection between volcanism and tectonism may have implications for tidal heating mechanisms and their effect on Io's lithosphere. Some inactive patera floors may be evolving into bright plains material, which, if composed of silicates, might explain the strength of Io's crust to support steep patera walls and tall mountains.
Journal of Geophysical Research (Planets)
- Pub Date:
- September 2002
- Volcanology: Planetary volcanism (5480);
- Planetology: Solar System Objects: Jovian satellites;
- Planetary Sciences: Remote sensing;
- Planetary Sciences: Surface materials and properties