Surface-compositional properties of the Malea Planum region of the Circum-Hellas Volcanic Province, Mars

David Williams, Ronald Greeley, Leon Manfredi, Robin L. Fergason, Jean Phillipe Combe, François Poulet, Patrick Pinet, Christine Rosemberg, Harold Clenet, Thomas B. McCord, Jouko Raitala, Gerhard Neukum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We used Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES), Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS), High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), and Observatoire pour la Minéralogie, l'Eau, les Glaces et l'Activité (OMEGA) data to assess the physical and compositional properties of the Malea Planum portion of the Circum-Hellas Volcanic Province (CHVP). Our analysis of surface materials shows that the thermal inertia decreases from north to south, and that there is greater dust cover on the flanks of the CHVP volcanoes than in their putative calderas. Local variations in thermal inertia in Malea Planum are likely due to variations in surface material caused by aeolian and periglacial/permafrost processes, whereas regional variations are likely due to seasonal deposition and sublimation of ice at higher latitudes. Spectral analysis of OMEGA data indicates the widespread presence of pyroxenes and/or olivine, particularly in the rims of craters that likely excavated volcanic materials. Dark materials occur throughout the CHVP, but are concentrated in topographic lows such as crater and caldera floors. Derivation of modal mineralogies from OMEGA data show a variation in composition of dark materials across Malea Planum: eastern dark deposits have higher olivine and low-calcium pyroxene contents, lower high-calcium pyroxene contents, and higher ratios of low-calcium to total pyroxene, relative to western dark deposits. Correlation with cratering-model age estimates suggests that the western deposits are associated with older features (3.8. Ga) than the eastern deposits (3.6. Ga), but these age differences are within uncertainties. Nevertheless, these results suggest a potential change in composition of volcanic materials in the Malea Planum portion of the CHVP with space, and possibly time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-465
Number of pages15
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010


  • Basalts
  • HRSC
  • Mars volcanism
  • Spectroscopy
  • TES

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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