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Hecates Tholus: defrosting a volcano: 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper


Publication date2009
Number of pages2
Original languageEnglish


Conference40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
CountryUnited States
CityWoodlands, Texas


Hecates Tholus lies within the Elysium volcanic region, Mars, centred at 31.73°N 150.08°E. It is generally accepted that most of the distinctive radial channels on the flanks of the volcano were eroded by fluvial activity; the source of the eroding water, however, is still very much under discussion. Existing hypotheses and models concerning the generation of water on the flanks of the volcano were investigated: two current hypotheses suggest either meltwater from a summit snowpack/glacier or seepage of groundwater from a hydrothermal system. Both of these hypotheses require an increased geothermal heat flux from an active magma intrusion. A new energy balance model presented here investigates quantitatively the effect of the cryosphere on the heat flux reaching the surface.