Team Number: 080 School Name: Mosquero High School Area of Science: Earth Science Project Title: A Wonder of Olympus Mons Project Abstract: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/abstracts/080.html Interim Report: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/interims/080.html Final Report: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/finalreports/080/finalreport.html
Olympus Mons is a shield volcano. These types of volcanoes are shaped like a warrior's shield (hence their name) with long gentle slopes produced by eruptions of low-viscosity basaltic lava. Viscosity is the measure of fluidity of a substance. Because basalt contains a very low viscosity lever, its flow during an eruption would be exteremely slow and severely hot leaving its imprint along the sides of the volcano. The lava flows from shield volcanoes are usually 1 to 10 meters (3.3 to 33 ft) thick but may still extend great distances from the vent, despite its basaltity.
Olympus Mons is said to be an extinct volcano. That is also what was said anout Mount St. Helens in Washington and the 1990 eruption came as such a surprise. Although a volcano has been declared extinct, the possibility of eruptions still linger.
For this reason, we feel the results of our project will be rather interesting. It is possible to make a precise, not necessarily exact, prediction of an eruption on Olympus Mons. Several indications have already been recognized by researchers and have already provided assistance in premonitions. These are the three of the most obvious:
The results we hope to obtain will be the chances of eruptions in so many years. We will study previous eruption records and try to recognize a pattern since we cannot travel to Mars for closer monitoring. In addition we will seek the assistance from the NASA Volcanology Team, Cascades Volcano Observatory and Volcano World, all of whom we have access to on the Internet.