Geology and topography of Ra Patera, Io, in the Voyager era: Prelude to eruption

Paul M. Schenk, Alfred S. McEwen, A. G. Davies, Trevor Davenport, Kevin Jones, Brian Fessler

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Abstract

Voyager era stereo images are used to map the geology and topography of Ra Patera (a major active volcanic center and possible site of sulfur eruptions on Io). The summit of Ra Patera reaches only ∼1 km above the surrounding plains. Pre-Voyager-era lava flows occur on slopes of 0.1-0.3°, comparable to the lunar mare. These flows were emplaced at either low viscosities, high eruption rates, or both. A 600-km-long ridged mountain unit (rising to ∼8 km near Carancho Patera) forms a 60 by 90 km wide plateau ∼0.5 km high 50 km east of Ra Patera. The new lava flows observed by Galileo flowed around the southern edge of this plateau.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2467-2470
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume24
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 1997

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Schenk, P. M., McEwen, A. S., Davies, A. G., Davenport, T., Jones, K., & Fessler, B. (1997). Geology and topography of Ra Patera, Io, in the Voyager era: Prelude to eruption. Geophysical Research Letters, 24(20), 2467-2470.