Southeastern Section - 67th Annual Meeting - 2018

Paper No. 19-8
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


GOLDER, Keenan B., Earth and Planetary Sciences, The University of Tennessee, 1621 Cumberland Ave, 602 Strong Hall, Knoxville, TN 37996-1410 and BURR, Devon M., Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Tennessee, 602 Strong Hall, 1621 Cumberland Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37996-1526

Volcanism has shaped the surface of the terrestrial planets, often associated with the emplacement of lava flows. These flows are found to exhibit a wide variety of morphologies, and have vastly different areal extents and volumes. Understanding both the similarities and differences between the lava flows on each planet can offer significant insight into planetary evolution. Our work requires high-resolution mapping of lava flows using satellite data, to investigate potential magma source locations and initial emplacement conditions.

We have mapped lava flows on three planets, Mercury, Earth, and Mars. These mapped lava flows are significant components in multiple projects. The mapping on Mercury is being used in the investigation of differences between the interior and exterior plains of the Caloris impact basin, and what these flows can tell us about their magma source(s). We have mapped two lava flows on Earth, the McCartys flow in New Mexico, USA, and the Laki flow in Iceland, for use in numerical modeling of lava flows as terrestrial analogue studies for comparable flows on Mars. The mapping of lava flows in the Cerberus Plains on Mars had a twofold goal. The first was to delineate the extent of three 1000+ km long lava flows and use their surface age relationships, derived from crater-counting techniques, to infer their magma source(s). The second was to set the boundaries for numerical modeling of the lava flows, based on the results derived from the terrestrial analogue work done in New Mexico and Iceland. This numerical modeling is being used to determine the initial conditions for the emplacement of these lava flows, and which component of the lava controls the development of long lava flows.

Though the datasets differ, we use common techniques to accomplish our goals. These projects are fundamentally based on geomorphological mapping and highlight the utility of comparative mapping across multiple planets.