Planetologists told why volcanoes on Earth are active, and they sleep on Mars

Volcanoes were an important part of the history of the Earth and Mars. So why don’t we see any activity on Mars today? If quite short, the problem is that Mars is less than our planet. However, for a complete understanding of the issue, scientists decided to figure it out in detail.

Mount Olympus is one of the largest famous mountains in the solar system — it overshadows all the mountains on the ground. It is on the surface of Mars. Back in the XIX century, observers noted that the vertex of Mons Mons may rest over the dusty layer of the Red Planet.

Olympus is just one of the thousands of volcanoes observed on the surface of Mars, and scientists know that volcanic activity has formed most of the surface of the planet. However, this process has long stopped: the youngest volcanoes on Mars about 500 million years. The lack of currently active volcanoes on Mars is quite puzzling, considering that we see evidence that they were active.

Both Earth and Mars are the planets of the earth group, mainly consisting of stone and metal. But Mars has only the tenth of the mass of the Earth. It has a profound impact on gravity: if you weigh 100 kg on Earth, you will weigh only 38 kg on Mars.

Low gravity has a strong influence on how volcanic eruptions can occur on Mars, as they are due to the buoyancy of the fluid, known as Magma. Magma is a complex mixture of liquid, solid and gas components. Building is the difference in the density between the environment of the earth’s crust and magma rising for the eruption. High buoyancy means that Magma goes to the surface without serious effort.

On Marsa buoyancy of magma is relatively low, however, like gravity. In addition, magmatic cameras, feeding eruptions are deeper than their analogues on Earth. All this means that the planet requires more strength to overcome the buoyancy of the lower magma and take it to the surface. Scientists believe that this leads to a large, but less frequent eruptions on Mars.

One-time major eruptions can explain why Olympus has become so big. More magma — more material for the «construction» of the mountain.

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