Quantification of Extraterrestrial Lava Flow Effusion Rates Through Laboratory Simulations

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Journal of Geophysical Research, ISSN: 0148-0227

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10.1002/(issn)2156-2202; 10.1002/(issn)2156-2202/
Baum, B. A.; Krantz, W. B.; Fink, Jonathan H.; Dickinson, R. E.
American Geophysical Union (AGU); Wiley-Blackwell
Impact craters; Saturn (Planet) -- Satellites; Jupiter (Planet) -- Satellites; Volcanology -- Research; Lava flows; Geologic formations; Rheology; Geology -- California -- Lassen Volcanic National Park; Landslides -- California -- Lassen Volcanic National Park; Rocklides -- California -- Lassen Volcanic National Park; Lava fields; Rhyolite; Mammoth Mountain (Calif.); Submarine volcanoes; Geology; Volcanology; Instrumentation
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We have used carefully controlled laboratory simulations to develop a model which relates lava flow morphology to effusion rate and rheology. Through comparisons with measured and estimated eruption rates on Earth, this approach allows us to constrain eruptive styles and compositions of extraterrestrial lava flows. By applying this model to lava flows on the Moon, Mars and Venus, we have determined that all the common flow morphologies (domes, folds and levees) on these planets could have been produced by basalt-like or andesite-like lavas through either continuous or episodic emplacement. The presence of more evolved magma compositions on other planets is not required to explain any of the observed lava flow morphologies.