Exploring Mars

Exploring the Mars's moons, Phobos and Deimos

The Mars missions

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Geology of Mars

 Mars Exploring MarsGeology of Mars

An eventful history...

From a geological point of view, Mars bears the traces of an eventful history: the planet reveals a wide range of geological structures such as strong asymmetry between the northern hemisphere, with a multitude of volcanoes (now extinct), and southern hemisphere covered with numerous impact craters. There are huge Mars volcanoes, such as the Olympus Mons with dimensions of 27 km high (Everest measuring just under 9 km high) and a width of 600 km in diameter, attesting an intense volcanic activity in the past. Their gigantism also suggests the absence of tectonic plates which usually creates a chain of smaller volcanoes. It should be noted that the surface is covered with reddish dust and boulders.

Previous missions did not detect any tectonic activity on Mars. However, some quakes may occur because of thermal variations on the planet or because of loading of the large volcanoes on the Martian surface. Meteorite impacts could be the second source of seismic activity on the planet.

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