The effect of atmospheric pressure on the dispersal of pyroclasts from martian volcanoes

Kerber, Laura and Forget, François and Madeleine, Jean-Baptiste and Wordsworth, R. and Head, James and Wilson, Lionel (2013) The effect of atmospheric pressure on the dispersal of pyroclasts from martian volcanoes. Icarus, 223 (1). pp. 149-156. ISSN 0019-1035

Full text not available from this repository.


A planetary global circulation model developed by the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD) was used to simulate explosive eruptions of ancient martian volcanoes into paleo-atmospheres with higher atmospheric pressures than that of present-day Mars. Atmospheric pressures in the model were varied between 50 mbar and 2 bars. In this way it was possible to investigate the sensitivity of the volcanic plume dispersal model to atmospheric pressure. It was determined that the model has a sensitivity to pressure that is similar to its sensitivity to other atmospheric parameters such as planetary obliquity and season of eruption. Higher pressure atmospheres allow volcanic plumes to convect to higher levels, meaning that volcanic pyroclasts have further to fall through the atmosphere. Changes in atmospheric circulation due to pressure cause pyroclasts to be dispersed in narrower latitudinal bands compared with pyroclasts in a modern atmosphere. Atmospheric winds are generally slower under higher pressure regimes; however, the final distance traveled by the pyroclasts depends greatly on the location of the volcano and can either increase or decrease with pressure. The directionality of the pyroclast transport, however, remains dominantly east or west along lines of latitude. Augmentation of the atmospheric pressure improves the fit between possible ash sources Arsia and Pavonis Mons and the Medusae Fossae Formation, a hypothesized ash deposit.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
21 Feb 2013 11:15
Last Modified:
21 Nov 2022 23:22