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Shape of scoria cones on Mars: Insights from numerical modeling of ballistic pathways

Broz, Petr and Cadek, O. and Hauber, Ernst and Rossi, Angelo P. (2014) Shape of scoria cones on Mars: Insights from numerical modeling of ballistic pathways. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 406, pp. 14-23. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2014.09.002. ISSN 0012-821X.

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Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X14005469


Morphological observations of scoria cones on Mars show that their cross-sectional shapes are different from those on Earth. Due to lower gravity and atmospheric pressure on Mars, particles are spread over a larger area than on Earth. Hence, erupted volumes are typically not large enough for the flank slopes to attain the angle of repose, in contrast to Earth where this is common. The distribution of ejected material forming scoria cones on Mars, therefore, is ruled mainly by ballistic distribution and not by redistribution of flank material by avalanching after the static angle of repose is reached. As a consequence, the flank slopes of the Martian scoria cones do not reach the critical angle of repose in spite of a large volume of ejected material. Therefore, the topography of scoria cones on Mars is governed mainly by ballistic distribution of ejected particles and is not influenced by redistribution of flank material by avalanching. The growth of a scoria cone can be studied numerically by tracking the ballistic trajectories and tracing the cumulative deposition of repeatedly ejected particles. We apply this approach to a specific volcanic field, Ulysses Colles on Mars, and compare our numerical results with observations. The scoria cones in this region are not significantly affected by erosion and their morphological shape still preserves a record of physical conditions at the time of eruption. We demonstrate that the topography of these scoria cones can be rather well (with accuracy of ∼10m) reproduced provided that the ejection velocities are a factor of ∼2 larger and the ejected particles are about ten times finer than typical on Earth, corresponding to a mean particle velocity of ∼92m/s and a real particle size of about 4 mm. This finding is in agreement with previous theoretical works that argued for larger magma fragmentation and higher ejection velocities on Mars than on Earth due to lower gravity and different environmental conditions.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/91903/
Document Type:Article
Title:Shape of scoria cones on Mars: Insights from numerical modeling of ballistic pathways
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Broz, PetrInstitute of Geophysics, ASCR, Prague, Czech RepublicUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Cadek, O.Charles University in Prague, Prague, Czech RepublicUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Rossi, Angelo P.Jacobs University Bremen, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 14-23
Keywords:Mars, volcanism, pyroclastic eruptions, scoria cones, modeling
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Projekt MARS-EXPRESS / HRSC (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geology
Deposited By: Hauber, Ernst
Deposited On:19 Nov 2014 09:02
Last Modified:19 Nov 2014 09:02

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