Lava Flows around Olympus Mons

Scaled Image

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU

About this image

At first glance, this image of lava flows around the large scarp of Olympus Mons shows little contrast in surface materials due to dust cover, but a closer look reveals textures characteristic of the variable surface roughness associated with different lava flows in this region. The lobate edges of the flows are distinctive, and permit the discrimination of many overlapping individual flows. On small scales, the surfaces of some flows look wrinkly and ropy, indicating a relatively fluid type of lava flow referred to as pahoehoe. Other surfaces appear more rough and broken, and might be referred to as a'a flows, which have higher viscosities and effusion rates compared to pahoehoe flows. The surface textures of lava flows can thus sometimes be used for comparative purposes to infer lava viscosity and effusion rates. There is also a bright streak in the wind shadow of the impact crater in the lower left of the image where dust that settles onto the surface is not easily scoured away.

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


Image ID: 
V02551006 (View data in Mars Image Explorer)
2002-07-12 07:50
Thu, 2002-09-19
1024 pixels (19 km)
3648 pixels (67 km)
0.018473 km/pixel
0.018608 km/pixel


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