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Arcuate and circular structures in the Tharsis region: Evidence of coronae on MarsArcuate and circular structures are evident in the Tharsis region of Mars. They involve concentric graben and fracture systems and are often associated with volcanic centers. The most prominent example is Alba Patera, a low relief volcanotectonic center. It is surrounded by a graben system comprised of the Alba and Tantalus Fossae and part of the Ceranius Fossae system that are thought to have formed during the Early Amazonian. The graben concentric to Alba Patera form an annulus that is 600 km in diameter. The similarity between Alba Patera and coronae on Venus was observed prior to the Magellan mission. Magellan imagery of Venusian coronae has revealed a number of striking similarities between these structures, Alba Patera, and the other circular structures on Mars. Coronae on Venus are circular to ovoidal volcanotectonic features that range in diameter from 60 to over 1000 km. Concentric graben form partial to complete tectonic annuli. More regionally extensive graben systems are deflected toward, and in many cases merge with, the concentric graben. Volcanic flows and domes dominate the surface enclosed within the concentric graben. However, distinctive differences exist between coronae on Venus and the structures on Mars. Circular structures on Mars lack radial graben crosscut by concentric graben. There is also no evidence of the complex topography associated with coronae on Venus. The differences between coronae on Venus and the suspected coronae on Mars may be largely due to the difference in the thickness of the elastic lithosphere on the two planets. The topographic expression of the interaction between the diapir and the lithosphere would be expected to be greatly subdued on Mars because of the large difference in lithospheric thickness. The lack of circular structures with diameters below 200 km suggests a lower limit to the size that coronae could form on Mars.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Watters, T. R. (Smithsonian Institution Washington, DC, United States)
Zimbelman, J. R. (Smithsonian Institution Washington, DC, United States)
Scott, D. H. (Geological Survey Flagstaff, AZ., United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-Fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 3: N-Z
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19940015909Analytic PrimaryWorkshop on the Martian Northern Plains: Sedimentological, Periglacial, and Paleoclimatic Evolution19940016163Analytic PrimaryTwenty-Fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 3: N-Z