Mapping of the Culann-Tohil region of Io from Galileo imaging data

David Williams, Paul M. Schenk, Jeffrey M. Moore, Laszlo P. Keszthelyi, Elizabeth P. Turtle, Windy L. Jaeger, Jani Radebaugh, Moses P. Milazzo, Rosaly M C Lopes, Ronald Greeley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We have used Galileo spacecraft data to produce a geomorphologic map of the Culann-Tohil region of Io's antijovian hemisphere. This region includes a newly discovered shield volcano, Tsũi Goab Tholus and a neighboring bright flow field, Tsũi Goab Fluctus, the active Culann Patera and the enigmatic Tohil Mons-Radegast Patera-Tohil Patera complex. Analysis of Voyager global color and Galileo Solid-State Imaging (SSI) high-resolution, regional (50-330 m/pixel), and global color (1.4 km/pixel) images, along with available Galileo Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) data, suggests that 16 distinct geologic units can be defined and characterized in this region, including 5 types of diffuse deposits. Tsũi Goab Fluctus is the center of a low-temperature hotspot detected by NIMS late during the Galileo mission, and could represent the best case for active effusive sulfur volcanism detected by Galileo. The Culann volcanic center has produced a range of explosive and effusive deposits, including an outer yellowish ring of enhanced sulfur dioxide (SO2), an inner red ring of SO2 with short-chain sulfur (S3-S4) contaminants, and two irregular green diffuse deposits (one in Tohil Patera) apparently produced by the interaction of dark, silicate lava flows with sulfurous contaminants ballistically-emplaced from Culann's eruption plume(s). Fresh and red-mantled dark lava flows west of the Culann vent can be contrasted with unusual red-brown flows east of the vent. These red-brown flows have a distinct color that is suggestive of a compositional difference, although whether this is due to surface alteration or distinct lava compositions cannot be determined. The main massif of Tohil Mons is covered with ridges and grooves, defining a unit of tectonically disrupted crustal materials. Tohil Mons also contains a younger unit of mottled crustal materials that were displaced by mass wasting processes. Neighboring Radegast Patera contains a NIMS hotspot and a young lava lake of dark silicate flows, whereas the southwest portion of Tohil Patera contains white flow-like units, perhaps consisting of 'ponds' of effusively emplaced SO2. From 0° -15° S the hummocky bright plains unit away from volcanic centers contains scarps, grooves, pits, graben, and channel-like features, some of which have been modified by erosion. Although the most active volcanic centers appear to be found in structural lows (as indicated by mapping of scarps), DEMs derived from stereo images show that, with the exception of Tohil Mons, there is less than 1 km of relief in the Culann-Tohil region. There is no discernable correlation between centers of active volcanism and topography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-97
Number of pages18
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Geological processes
  • Io
  • Satellites of Jupiter
  • Surfaces (satellite)
  • Volcanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Mapping of the Culann-Tohil region of Io from Galileo imaging data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this