Noctis Volcano

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Scientists recently discovered a massive volcano on Mars, temporarily designated ‘Noctis volcano’, that has been active until recent times, with the possible remains of a relict glacier at its base.

About Noctis Volcano

  • It is a newly-discovered volcano located just south of Mars’ equator, in Eastern Noctis Labyrinthus, west of Valles Marineris, the planet’s vast canyon system.
  • The volcano sits on the eastern edge of a broad regional topographic rise called Tharsis, home to three other well-known giant volcanoes: Ascraeus Mons, Pavonis Mons, and Arsia Mons.
  • The massive structure spans over 9,022 meters in elevation, higher than the highest peak, Mount Everest, on Earth.
  • The volcano is spread in a huge area with a width of over 450 kilometres.
  • The central summit area is marked by several elevated mesas forming an arc, reaching a regional high and sloping downhill away from the summit area.
  • The gentle outer slopes extend out to 225 kilometres (140 miles) away in different directions.
  • The caldera remnant–the remains of a collapsed volcanic crater once host to a lava lake–can be seen near the centre of the structure. 
  • Lava flows, pyroclastic deposits (made of volcanic particulate materials such as ash, cinders, pumice, and tephra), and hydrated mineral deposits occur in several areas within the structure’s perimeter.
  • It was active for a very long time on the Red Planet, and in its southeastern part lies a thin, recent volcanic deposit beneath which glacier ice is likely still present.

Q1) What is a Volcano?

A volcano is an opening in the earth’s crust through which gases, molten rock materials (lava), ash, steam, etc. are emitted outward during an eruption. Such vents or openings occur in those parts of the earth’s crust where the rock strata are relatively weak. Volcanic activity is an example of an endogenic process. 

Source: Giant volcano discovered on Mars is promising location to hunt for life