Io: Heat flow from dark paterae

Glenn J. Veeder, Ashley Gerard Davies, David Williams, Dennis L. Matson, Torrence V. Johnson, Jani Radebaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Dark paterae on the jovian satellite Io are evidence of recent volcanic activity. Some paterae appear to be entirely filled with dark volcanic material, while others have only partially darkened floors. Dark paterae have area and heat flow longitudinal distributions that are bimodal as well as anti-correlated with the longitudinal distribution of mountains on Io at a global scale. As part of our study of Io's total heat flow, we have examined the darkest paterae and quantified their thermal emission in order to assess their contribution. This is the first time that the areas of the dark material in these paterae have been measured with such precision and correlated with their thermal emission. Dark paterae yield a significantly larger contribution to Io's heat flow than dark volcanic fields. Dark paterae (including Loki Patera) yield at least ∼4×1013W or ∼40% of Io's total heat flow. In comparison, dark flow fields yield ∼1013W or ∼10% of Io's total heat flow. Of the total heat loss from dark paterae, Loki Patera alone yields ∼1013W or ∼10% of Io's total thermal emission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-261
Number of pages26
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Io
  • Jupiter, Satellites
  • Volcanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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