Geophysical evidence for an active mantle plume underneath Elysium Planitia on Mars
IPGP - Îlot Cuvier
Séminaires thème Origines
Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA
Although the majority of volcanic and tectonic activity on Mars occurred during the first 1.5 billion years of its geologic history, recent volcanism, tectonism and active seismicity in Elysium Planitia reveal ongoing activity. However, this recent pulse in volcanism and tectonics is unexpected on a cooling Mars. In this talk, I will present observational evidence and geophysical models demonstrating that Elysium Planitia is underlain by an ~4,000-km-diameter active mantle plume head driving the regional volcanic and seismic activity. The inferred plume head characteristics are comparable to terrestrial plumes that are linked to the formation of large igneous provinces. These results demonstrate that the interior of Mars is geodynamically active today. Studies using data collected by InSight have to consider the presence of the plume.