Periodic Hot-Spot Distribution on Io

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Science  04 Oct 1991:
Vol. 254, Issue 5028, pp. 89-91
DOI: 10.1126/science.254.5028.89


The Jovian satellite Io has active volcanic hot spots. The point-to-point correlation of the hot-spot distribution indicates that the hot spots preferentially make chains. The arrangement of the chains is periodic with a typical spacing of 120 kilometers. The chains exhibit concordant trends with stresses imposed by the tidal deflection of the lithosphere, suggesting that the hot spots are formed along fissures in the lithosphere. The typical spacing may be controlled by lithosphere thickness.