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Small Volcanic Vents of the Tharsis Volcanic Province, Mars
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  • Jacob Richardson,
  • Jacob E Bleacher,
  • Charles Connor,
  • Lori Sherea Glaze
Jacob Richardson

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Jacob E Bleacher
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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Charles Connor
University of South Florida, University of South Florida
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Lori Sherea Glaze
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Distributed-style volcanism is an end member of terrestrial volcanism that produces clusters of small volcanoes when isolated magma bodies ascend from broad magma source regions. Volcano clusters can develop over millions of years, one volcano at a time, and can be used to infer unobserved geologic phenomena, including subsurface stresses and cracks during eruption periods. The Tharsis Volcanic Province covers approximately one-quarter of the martian surface and hosts a large concentration of small volcanoes that formed from distributed volcanism. We present a catalog of 1106 small volcanic vents identified within Tharsis Volcanic Province. This catalog includes morphologic measurements for each cataloged vent. Vent lengths range from 71 m to 51 km, widths range from 40 m to 3.1 km, and 90% of vents have lengths at least 1.5 times their widths. Additionally, 90% of edifices associated with vents have topographic prominences <100 m. Vents are found throughout Tharsis, though they generally form clusters near large volcanoes or among large graben sets. Older regions with volcanic eruption ages of >1 Ga are found at the Tharsis periphery in the Tempe-Mareotis region and Syria Planum. Vents in the Tharsis interior have reported ages <500 Ma. Regional trends in vent orientation and intervent alignment are dependent on nearby central volcanoes and fossae. We use these findings to hypothesize that within the most recent 500 Ma, magma was present under and to the east of the Tharsis Montes and that some of this magma erupted and built hundreds of small volcanoes in this region.
Feb 2021Published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets volume 126 issue 2. 10.1029/2020JE006620