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Pavonis Mons is the middle of three volcanos (collectively known as Tharsis Montesmarker) on the Tharsismarker bulge near the equator of the planet Mars. To its north is Ascraeus Monsmarker, and to its south is Arsia Monsmarker. The largest volcano in the solar system, Olympus Monsmarker, is to its northwest. Its name is Latin for "Peacock Mountain".

Pavonis Mons stands 14 kilometres above Mars' mean surface level and experiences an atmospheric pressure of around 130 Pa (1.3 mbar). By comparison, the highest mountain on Earth, Mount Everestmarker, stands about 8.85 km above sea level. To its lower east flank, there is a chain of elliptical, or oval-shaped, pits, lined up down the center of a shallow trough. They were both formed by collapse associated by faulting – the scarp on each side of the trough is a fault line. (Such features are normally found when the ground is moved by molten rock or tectonic forces.)


Using new MGS and Odyssey data, combined with recent developments in the study of cold-based glaciers, scientists believe glaciers once existed on Pavonis Mons and probably still do to some extent. The evidence for this are concentric ridges (these are moraines dropped by the glacier), a knobby area (caused by ice sublimating), and a smooth section that flows over other deposits (debris-covered glacial ice). The ice could have been deposited when the tilt of Mars changed the climate, thereby causing more moisture to be present in the atmosphere. Studies suggest the glaciation happened in the Late Amazonian period, the last period (that is the latest) in Mars history. Also, multiple stages of glaciation probably occurred. The ice present today represents one more resource for the possible, future colonization of the planet.

Possible Plate Tectonics

Pavonis Mons is the middle of three volcanos (collectively known as Tharsis Montes) on the Tharsis bulge near the equator of the planet Mars. The other Tharsis volcanoes are Ascraeus Mons and Arsia Mons. The three Tharsis Montes, together with some smaller volcanoes to the north form a rather straight line. This arrangement suggests that they were formed by a crustal plate moving over a hot spot. Such an arrangement exists in the Earth's Pacific Oceanmarker, especially with the Hawaiian Islands. The Hawaiian Islands are in a straight line, with the youngest in the south and the oldest in the north. So geologists believe the plate is moving while a plume of hot magma rises, then punches through the crust to produce a volcanic mountain.

See also


  1. Martian Weather Observation NASA MGS data 0.7 degrees N 245.9 degrees E 13368 meters

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