Friday, January 29, 2010
Olympus Mons is the largest volcano on Mars. This shield volcano, similar to volcanoes in Hawaii, measures 624 km (374 mi) in diameter by 25 km (16 mi) high. It is 100 times larger than Mauna Loa on Earth. Located on the Tharsis Plateau near the equator, Olympus Mons is bordered by an escarpment. The caldera in the center is 80 km (50 mi) wide and contains multiple circular, overlapping collapse craters created by different volcanic events. The radial features on the slopes of the volcano were formed by overflowing lava and debris.