Astrogeology Research Program
Mars Transverse Mercator (MTM) -30262 and -30267 quadrangles cover the summit region and east margin of Hadriaca Patera, one of the Martian volcanoes designated highland paterae. MTM -30262 quadrangle includes volcanic deposits from Hadriaca Patera and Tyrrhena Patera (summit northeast of map area) and floor deposits associated with the Dao and Niger Valles canyon systems (south of map area). MTM -30267 quadrangle is centered on the caldera of Hadriaca Patera. The highland paterae are among the oldest, central-vent volcanoes on Mars and exhibit evidence for explosive eruptions, which make a detailed study of their geology an important component in understanding the evolution of Martian volcanism. Photogeologic mapping at 1:500,000-scale from analysis of Viking Orbiter images complements volcanological studies of Hadriaca Patera, geologic investigations of the other highland paterae, and an analysis of the styles and evolution of volcanic activity east of Hellas Planitia in the ancient, cratered highlands of Mars. This photogeologic study is an extension of regional geologic mapping east of Hellas Planitia.
The Martian highland paterae are low-relief, areally extensive volcanoes exhibiting central calderas and radial channels and ridges. Four of these volcanoes, Hadriaca, Tyrrhena, Amphitrites, and Peneus Paterae, are located in the ancient cratered terrains surrounding Hellas Planitia and are thought to be located on inferred impact basin rings or related fractures. Based on analyses of Mariner 9 images, Potter (1976), Peterson (1977), and King (1978) suggested that the highland paterae were shield volcanoes formed by eruptions of fluid lavas. Later studies noted morphologic similarities between the paterae and terrestrial ash shields and the lack of primary lava flow features on the flanks of the volcanoes. The degraded appearances of Hadriaca and Tyrrhena Paterae and the apparently easily eroded materials composing their low, broad shields further suggest that the highland paterae are composed predominantly of pyroclastic deposits. Analyses of eruption and flow processes indicate that the distribution of units at Hadriaca and Tyrrhena Paterae is consistent with emplacement by gravity-driven pyroclastic flows. Detailed geologic study of the summit caldera and flanks of Hadriaca Patera is essential to determine the types of volcanic materials exposed, the nature of the processes forming these deposits, and the role of volcanism in the evolution of the cratered highlands that are characteristic of the southern hemisphere of Mars.
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