Scaled Image

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU

About this image

This THEMIS visible image shows a portion of the summit region of Arsia Mons, one of the four giant volcanoes in the Tharsis region of Mars. This volcano stands over 20 km above the surrounding plains, and is approximately 450 km in diameter at its base. A large volcanic crater known as a caldera is located at the summit of all of the Tharsis volcanoes. These calderas are produced by massive volcanic explosions and collapse. The Arsia Mons summit caldera alone is over 120 km in diameter, making it larger than many volcanoes on Earth. The THEMIS image shows a portion of the eastern wall of the caldera, revealing the steep walls and linear features associated with the collapse that formed the caldera. The ridge with linear faults that extends from the lower left toward the center right was formed at some stage during a collapse event. Several circular pits are present, and several of these pits appear to have coalesced into a long, unusual trough. These pits and troughs likely formed when lava was removed from beneath them and the overlying surface collapsed. Numerous lava flows can be seen on the floor of the caldera. Many of these flows occurred after the collapse that formed the caldera crater, and have buried many of the pre-existing features. The faulted, pitted ridge appears to have been partially flooded by these lava flows, indicating that the caldera of Arsia Mons has undergone a complex history of numerous events. The wispy bright features throughout the image are water-ice clouds that commonly form over the volcano summits during the early northern spring when this image was acquired.

Please see the THEMIS Data Citation Note for details on crediting THEMIS images. 


Image ID: 
V01428002 (View data in Mars Image Explorer)
2002-04-10 19:25
Mon, 2002-05-20
1024 pixels (17 km)
3648 pixels (63 km)
0.017438 km/pixel
0.017565 km/pixel


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