Mantle plumes still active under Tharsis, Elysium?

figure-2[Editor’s note: From a paper by A.-C. Plesa and eight co-authors recently published in Geophysical Research Letters.]

The thermal state and interior structure of Mars

We constrain the thermal state and interior structure of Mars by combining a large number of observations with thermal evolution models. Models that match the available observations require a core radius larger that half the planetary radius and a crust thicker than 48.8 km but thinner than 87.1 km on average.

All best‐fit models suggest that more than half of the planet’s bulk abundance of heat producing elements is located in the crust. Mantle plumes may still be active today in the interior of Mars and produce partial melt underneath the Tharsis volcanic province.

Our results have important implications for the thermal evolution of Mars. Future data from the InSight (Interior exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) mission can be used to validate our models and further improve our understanding of the thermal evolution of Mars. [More at link]

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