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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
<mark>Original language</mark>English


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.