PDA

View Full Version : "Volcanoes" on Mars and Io



John T
2003-Nov-05, 01:47 AM
Just a couple of questions:

Are the huge-looking volcanoes on Mars (Olympus Mons etc), really and actually true "volcanoes" (in the terrestrial sense)?

Are these volcanic features that we actually observe, the remnants of previously "gassed-out" volcanoes from some previous age, probably millions of years ago (which is what we are told)?

Why then does the topography of these volcanoes etc look so remarkably "fresh" and rather unusual, in a volcanic sense.

Similarly, could anyone please explain why the huge "volcanoes" on Jupiter's moon Io (courtesy the Gallileo probe), keep moving about?

Ilya
2003-Nov-05, 01:57 AM
Just a couple of questions:

Are the huge-looking volcanoes on Mars (Olympus Mons etc), really and actually true "volcanoes" (in the terrestrial sense)?


Yes. What is a "volcano not in terrestrial sense"?



Are these volcanic features that we actually observe, the remnants of previously "gassed-out" volcanoes from some previous age, probably millions of years ago (which is what we are told)?


Not necessarily. There is some evidence that they may have erupted quite a bit more recently.



Why then does the topography of these volcanoes etc look so remarkably "fresh" and rather unusual, in a volcanic sense.


What is so unusual? They look like shield volcanoes.



Similarly, could anyone please explain why the huge "volcanoes" on Jupiter's moon Io (courtesy the Gallileo probe), keep moving about?

They don't move. Where did you get that idea?

BTW, Io volcanoes may be huge in their output, but they are not that tall.

nexus
2003-Nov-05, 02:00 AM
Well the volcanoes on Mars probably look "fresh" because there hasn't been any water to erode them in quite a while.

freddo
2003-Nov-05, 04:08 AM
Why then does the topography of these volcanoes etc look so remarkably "fresh" and rather unusual, in a volcanic sense.


If you're talking fresh like how big and well preserved Olympus Mons is, there are a couple of things that Mars doesn't have that allow the great volcano to be as such:

- No plate tectonics (apparently) - el volcano doesn't shift through its life
- Lessened gravity, mountains can be taller without collapsing under its own weight.
- No water erosion (at least not for some time anyway)!


BTW, Io volcanoes may be huge in their output, but they are not that tall

Less like a volcano, more like a geyser - roughly speaking.

Val Trottan
2003-Nov-05, 06:42 PM
I think John T is inferring that some of Io's volcanoes may be acting like the volcanoes which created the Hawaiian chain in the Pacific.
I saw a show on the Discovery Science channel ó and perhaps John may have as well ó which showed a few pictures of Ioan(?) volcanoes changing radically and "moving" along the surface in a relatively short amount of time.

Although there is no official word on the hows and the whys, I think hotspots and moving surface areas may be the culprit there.

That's a big maybe. It was late when I saw that show.

John T
2003-Nov-08, 12:53 AM
Dear gentlemen (and of course, and rather more prominently within these discussions, "ladies"...at least in my "book")

All I am saying is this:

It appears to me that, the apparent "volcanoes" on Mars, are most likelly "raised electrical blisters".

Similarly, the apparent "volcanoes on Io" (that is: Jupiter's closest moon), are most likely due to the interaction of electrcical forces emanating and interacting between Jupiter and Io.

Surely, these anomalies on Io are not just "volcanoes".

If they are, then please explain them?

Cheers.

aurora
2003-Nov-08, 05:25 AM
If they are, then please explain them?


Umm.. the interior of the body heats up, and the heat has to escape?

Io gives off more heat, averaged over all its surface, than even the most active regions on Earth (like Yellowstone). This is due to the interior heating (mostly) caused by the interaction with an eliptical orbit and huge Jupiter and nearby Europa and Ganymede. Io, Europa and Ganymede are all in an orbital pattern with each other.

There is no reason to come up with any bizarre theories to explain what can be explained with simple physics.

And the volcanoes on Mars are extremely similar in appearance to shield volcanoes on Earth.

mike alexander
2003-Nov-08, 08:57 AM
JohnT, please define 'raised electrical blister' and how they form. I think I know what you are referring to, but am not completely sure.

John T
2003-Nov-08, 02:03 PM
mike alexander wrote:


JohnT, please define 'raised electrical blister' and how they form. I think I know what you are referring to, but am not completely sure.

Dear Posters,

I said "raised electrical blister", because the currently-used term "fulgamite" is a rather contentious issue.
The word "fulgamite" is not mentioned in the dictionary, but "fulgarite" is.

For me at least "raised electrical blister" will do.

What I am talking about is pure conjecture and refers to the work of the late Ralph Juergen's, who I believe first hypothesized on the idea.
He wrote two papers:
'Of the Moon and Mars' parts one and two.
I have searched for these papers on the net, but cannot find them (unless anyone else can!).
However, I do have "part 2".

The hypothesis describes the effects of the purported encounters between the Earth and the Moon by the planet Mars, during the periods 747 BC to 687 BC (or thereabouts).
This, as I see it, is an attempt to explain the many numerous myths that apparently refer to and describe these events.

To quote "here and there" from the paper and with reference to "raised electrical blisters," Juergen's first discusses the effects of lightning on metal caps placed over the ends of lightning rods.

It was a certain R.D. Hills (who first coined the term "fulgamites"), who referred to these blisters on the metal caps (caused by a lightning stroke), as "pips," or mounds of metal, "melted and raised above the surface of the metal."...thus "fulgamites".
He describes the sides of these fulgamites as "usually ridged with closely spaced concentric grooves" and their bases as being "usually flared like a bell."
"He further attributes the mounding-up of these fulgamites to magnetic-pinch forces at the junction of the discharge with the electrode (lightning rod)."
"His calculations indicate that such forces in a lightning column are easily adequate to raise metallic welts a centimeter or so in diameter, and they neatly account for the bell-shaped fulgamite surfaces as well. The concentric rings and ridges, in his opinion, are best explained as remnants of ripples set up in the molten surface during fulgamite formation by oscillations in the plasma of the lightning column."

Much more is explained in the paper, but the above appears to be the gist of the hypothesis regarding the formation of these "electrical blisters."
All Juergen's is saying in my view, is that on a cosmic scale, assuming that interplanetary electric discharges do and have actually occurred, ie between Mars and the Moon in this case, the same effects can also possibly explain similar formations on a large anode surface such as Mars (during the encounter with the then "cathodic" Moon).

In the effects of a terrestrial lightning discharge, albeit on metal caps, as briefly described above, and lasting just a few milliseconds, fulgamites are raised a few centimeters or so.
In an assumed electric discharge between planetary bodies however, lasting perhaps several minutes, such exchanges might be of sufficient magnitude to raise really huge electrical blisters (or fulgamites), albeit miles high, at the "anode end."

Call this hypothesis "bizarre" if you wish, no problem, because obviously there is no proof that such huge fulgamites can be formed in this way, at least in our experience.
However, have a close look at Olympus Mons, particularly the several smooth and fairly concentric "calderas" at the summit, at least six of them superimposed upon each other (caused by a succession of oscillating plasma discharges in the lightning column?), the ridges and concentric grooves around the base, the overall "flared" bell-shaped appearance etc and the whole "volcano" appears to bear all the hallmarks of a "raised electrical blister."

It has been further conjectured that the famous (or infamous!) 'Face on Mars' is but another example of a fulgamite, perhaps formed in a matter of seconds by quickly wandering discharge arcs.
Most of the striated base on this 'Face' consists of rippled ridges "with closely spaced concentric grooves."
The possible remnants of arc impingement can also be seen on the upper surfaces (particularly around the eyes, nose and mouth areas), where the arc initially discharged for a few seconds, ceased, moved on, then discharged again, ceased etc., thereby ultimately forming a rather artificial-looking rectilinear-shaped "mesa", that resembles a face.

There are many other examples too.

There is also an explanation as to what occurred at the cathode end of this discharge.

mike alexander
2003-Nov-10, 06:11 PM
JohnT: thanks for the reply. That was roughly what I had guessed, but confirmation is welcome (I vaguely recall fulgurites as those glassy masses formed when lightning strikes sand or other friable quartz media).

The problem I have with this hypothesis is that of scaling and materials. Going from a blister on a metal surface a few centimeters in diameter to a blister hundreds of kilometers in diameter and many kilometers high in rock is quite a jump. Would a pinch effect work on rock, even molten rock? Is the increase in volume of the affected area due to decreased density (I don't know this) due to gas inclusions? If not, the volume of the blister would have to come from somewhere in the immediate vicinity. Is there any evidence that the terrian surrrounding, say Olympus Mons is depressed relative to areas even further out?

I also have a question based in total ignorance. Is there sufficient material in the interpanaetary medium to support a discharge of the current density and temporal duration required to produce such an effect on the planetary surface? Vacuum is a fair dielectric.

DogB
2003-Nov-11, 01:50 AM
....Call this hypothesis "bizarre" if you wish.......

OK. That's bizzare!:o


P.

John T
2003-Nov-13, 12:43 AM
DogB wrote:


OK. That's bizzare!

Hey DogB,

I do repect a guy whose mind is made up.

However, do you have any constructive reasons for your comment?

John T

DogB
2003-Nov-13, 01:02 AM
DogB wrote:


OK. That's bizzare!

Hey DogB,

I do repect a guy whose mind is made up.

However, do you have any constructive reasons for your comment?

John T

Oh my mind is open but I’ll take some convincing.

I don’t know much about the Io volcanoes but the Mars volcanoes look like fairly conventional shield volcanoes to me.

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it’s going to take some fancy talking to make me believe that it’s anything but a duck.

P.

Dickenmeyer
2003-Nov-13, 05:55 AM
Quack Quack
Olympus, the other Tharsis volcanoes, Elysium Mons, all look like typical, albeit very large, shield volcanoes right down to the calderas on their peaks.
Mars is conducive to building shield volcanoes larger than those on Earth due to it's lower gravity and lack of plate tectonics. On Earth continental drift slides the plates across hot spots over time, creating chains of smaller shield volcanoes like the Hawaiian Islands whereas on Mars they just grew to their maximum size in situ. Also no colliding plates and subduction zones to mangle them together in a tangle of mountain building or "suck" them back down into the mantle.

Jpax2003
2003-Nov-13, 06:39 AM
I always thought olympus mons resembled a cowpie.

I have heard of a myth, that might explain it, and this is pure conjecture. When Aesthie, the twin of Mrs. O'leary prize bovine, kicked over the lantern causing the Chicago fire, she lept so high in fear that she actually jumped over the moon. THe propsed leap was from earth over the moon and landed at mars. The vacuum obviously caused Aesthie to expand due to low pressure. Shen she landed at mars, lower gravity also allowed her to grow to gigantic proportions. However, landing on an alien world was, needless to say, freaky for the already skittish cow. Thus she deposited the proportional cowpie and then vanished. Her current whereabouts are a mystery.

This "nursery rhyme" is a truth that we have all forgotten due to "pan-chimeric-delusion" It is now suspected that Aesthie returned to earth in 1908 in siberia. When she landed in the region of tunguska, her once inflated form needed to re-compress now that it was back under earth pressure and gravity. Her excess mass was converted, per Einstein, to energy resulting in a large explosion. The method of energy extrapolation has not been determined, but the recent discovery of "bovides" crashing into the upper atmosphere suggests that the source of the tunguska explosion was due to "bovine methane outgassing."

We who are researching this phenomenon are close on the heels of the long lost dish and spoon.

John T
2003-Nov-14, 12:37 AM
DogB


Oh my mind is open but Iíll take some convincing.

I donít know much about the Io volcanoes but the Mars volcanoes look like fairly conventional shield volcanoes to me.

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck itís going to take some fancy talking to make me believe that itís anything but a duck.

Sure, no problem!

A volcano, is a volcano, is a volcano.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Cheers

John T