Report

High-Temperature Silicate Volcanism on Jupiter's Moon Io

Science  03 Jul 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5373, pp. 87-90
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5373.87

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Abstract

Infrared wavelength observations of Io by the Galileo spacecraft show that at least 12 different vents are erupting lavas that are probably hotter than the highest temperature basaltic eruptions on Earth today. In at least one case, the eruption near Pillan Patera, two independent instruments on Galileo show that the lava temperature must have exceeded 1700 kelvin and may have reached 2000 kelvin. The most likely explanation is that these lavas are ultramafic (magnesium-rich) silicates, and this idea is supported by the tentative identification of magnesium-rich orthopyroxene in lava flows associated with these high-temperature hot spots.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: mcewen{at}lpl.arizona.edu

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