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The influence of environmental conditions on volcanic processes on the terrestrial planets

White, O.L.; (2010) The influence of environmental conditions on volcanic processes on the terrestrial planets. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis aims to identify what environmental conditions are most influential on volcanic processes on the terrestrial planets. The research primarily focuses on intermediate-sized volcanoes on Venus and Mars; complete surveys of these planets have been performed in order to compile a new catalogue of all such features that lists morphological and locational information for each one. This has yielded three key findings: evolutionary precursors of large volcanoes and several morphologies of steep-sided domes have been identified on Venus, and low-relief shields with very similar morphologies have been identified on Venus and Mars. In each case, morphological differences and similarities are interpreted with respect to the changing configuration of magma within the edifices, differences in surface environment, and magma properties and supply rate. The research topic is also approached from two other aspects. Data obtained by the MARSIS radar sounder have been scrutinized in order to identify aquifers in the shallow Martian crust, and from this gauge the potential for crustal water to have influenced past volcanic activity. However, MARSIS has not succeeded in resolving Martian aquifers, leading to an independent estimate of its aquifer detection depth, and the conclusion that this instrument is insufficient to significantly constrain estimates of the crustal water budget. In addition, ground-penetrating radar surveys have been performed on Icelandic rootless cones, a category of small volcanic feature, in order to determine how their environments have affected their morphologies and interior structures during formation and subsequent modification. Five Icelandic cones have been surveyed, and three classes of cone morphology have been identified. Analogous cone morphologies are observed on Mars, and have been correlated to their interpreted modification environments using the results of the Icelandic surveys as a basis.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:The influence of environmental conditions on volcanic processes on the terrestrial planets
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Earth Sciences

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