Volcanism and ice interactions on Earth and Mars

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Volcano/ice interactions produce meltwater. Meltwater can enter the groundwater cycle and under the influence of hydrothermal systems, it can be later discharged to form channels and valleys or cycled upward to melt permafrost. Water or ice-saturated ground can erupt into phreatic craters when covered by lava. Violent mixing of meltwater and volcanic material and rapid release can generate lahars or jokulhlaups, that have the ability to freight coarse material, great distances downslope from the vent. Eruption into meltwater generate unique appearing edifices, that are definitive indicators of volcano/ice interaction. These features are hyaloclastic ridges or mounds and if capped by lava, tuyas. On Earth, volcano/ice interactions are limited to alpine regions and ice-capped polar and temperate regions. On Mars, where precipitation may be an ancient phenomenon, these interactions may be limited to areas of ground ice accumulation or the northern lowlands where water may have ponded fairly late in martian history. The recognition of features caused by volcano/ice interactions could provide strong constraints for the history of volatiles on Mars.

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Volcanism and ice interactions on Earth and Mars
Year Published 2000
Language English
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description 22 p.
Larger Work Type Book chapter
Larger Work Subtype Book Chapter
Larger Work Title Environmental effects on volcanic eruptions: From deep oceans to deep space
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