Since ancient times man tried to discover new things about his origin. Because it was not enough just to explore our planet, mankind has tried, using new technologies, to identify new clues and other locations except those located on our planet.
Arsia Mons, the giant Martian shield volcano produced one new lava flow at its summit every 1 to 3 million years during the final peak of activity.
The last volcanic activity of the Arsia Mons was present somewhere around 50 milions years ago, which is very recent in geological terms – the same time with Earth’s Cretaceous–Paleogene exctinction, when the most plants and animals of our planet went extinct (including).
Arsia Mons is the southernmost member of a trio of broad, gently sloping shield volcanoes collectively known as Tharsis Montes.
Measuring about 68 miles (110 kilometers) across, the Arsia Mons caldera can hold the entire volume of water in Lake Huron – that means it is deep enough.
“We estimate that the peak activity for the volcanic field at the summit of Arsia Mons probably occurred approximately 150 million years ago—the late Jurassic period on Earth—and then died out around the same time as Earth’s dinosaurs,”- Jacob Richardson
The NASA team, using a new computer model developed by Richardson and his colleagues at the University of South Florida, mapped the boundaries of the lava flows from each of the 29 volcanic vents and determined the stratigraphy, or layering, of the flows.
The team used a technique called crater counting, which helps tallying up the number of craters – to estimate the ages of the flows.
“Think of it like a slow, leaky faucet of magma,” said Richardson. “Arsia Mons was creating about one volcanic vent every 1 to 3 million years at the peak, compared to one every 10,000 years or so in similar regions on Earth.”
The modeling also yielded estimates of the volume flux for each lava flow. At their peak about 150 million years ago, the vents in the Arsia Mons’ caldera probably collectively produced about 1 to 8 cubic kilometers of magma every million years, slowly adding to the volcano’s size.