Heidelberg Joint Astronomical Colloquium

Speaker Thomas Platz
Title Volcanism on Mars and Other Worlds

Volcanism is one of the dominant geodynamic processes in our solar system extending from the innermost planet Mercury to the icy and rocky satellites of Jupiter and Saturn. Even our Moon produced large volcanic eruptions occurring over a period of several billion years. Our planet Earth produces vast volumes of lava - effusively along mid-ocean ridges and explosively at convergent plate boundaries. The tallest volcanoes grow to heights of up to 9 km. However, they are dwarfed by the giant volcanoes observed on Mars. Even though Mars is smaller in diameter compared to Earth, it developed edifices as high as 21 km from base to summit. The variety of volcanic edifices and lava flows observed on the surface of Mars, determination of eruption frequencies and volumes of erupted material as well as identifying past eruption styles will be the focus of this presentation.