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Sulfur Volcanoes on Io?The unusual rheological properties of molten sulfur, in which viscosity decreases approximately four orders of magnitude as it cools from 170 to 120 C, may result in distinctive volcanic flow morphologies that allow sulfur flows and volcanoes to be identified on Io. Search of high resolution Voyager images reveals three features--Atar Patera, Daedalus Patera, and Kibero Patera--considered to be possible sulfur volcanoes based on their morphology. All three average 250 km in diameter and are distinguished by circular-to-oval central masses surrounded by irregular, widespread flows. Geometric relations indicate that the flows were emplaced after the central zone and appear to have emanated from their margins. The central zones are interpreted to be domes representing the high temperature stage of sulfur formed initially upon eruption. Rapid quenching formed a crust which preserved this phase of the emplacement. Upon cooling to 170 C, the sulfur reached a low viscosity runny stage and was released as the thin, widespread flows.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Greeley, R.
(Arizona State Univ. Tempe, AZ, United States)
Fink, J.
(Arizona State Univ. Tempe, AZ, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1985
Publication Information
Publication: NASA, Washington Repts. of Planetary Geol. and Geophys. Program, 1984
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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