|Mounds on Mars in Acidalia Planitia, Mars. From|
Oehler and Allen, Evidence for pervasive mud volcanism
in Acidalia Planitia, Mars, Icarus, 208(2),pp. 636-657, 2010.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Mud volcanoes on Mars?
In a recent article in Earth and Planetary Science Letters (v. 304, pp. 511-519, 2011), Pondrelli et al. reported on possible mud volcanoes within Firsoff impact crater. The mounts are on the crater floor, and appear as isolated or composit cones 100-500 m in diameter, and tens of meters high. More than 1/3 have subcircular depressions on their apices, 5-39 m deep, interpreted as vents. The mounds themselves are meter-sized boulders embedded in a finer-grained matrix, a mud breccia. The mounds are located on or near faults and are aligned with fractures, suggesting larger pathways for fluid migration along faults related to the impact that produced the crater. The authors speculate that methane was involved in the process of forming the mounds.