Olympus Mons - The shield volcano

Saturday, June 9, 2012 0 comments

The tallest known mountain in the entire solar system in on the red planet Mars. Olympus Mons, the large volcanic mountain measures upto 22km, almost three times as tall as Mount Everest. The edifice is about 600 km wide and stands above the surronding plains.

It is a shield volcano, Olympus Mons has a very low profile. The average slope is 5 degrees. The volcano's slope and profile are likened to a circus tent help up by the single pole.

The atmospheric pressure at the top of Olympus Mons is 72 pascal, about 12% of the average Martian surface pressure of 600 pascal.The atmospheric pressure at the summit of Mount Everest is 32,000 pascals, or about 32% of Earth's sea level pressure.High-altitude orographic clouds are frequently observed over the Olympus Mons summit, and airborne Martian dust is still present.

Olympus Mons is an unlikely landing location for automated space probes in near future. Due to insufficient atmosphereic thickness it slows down the spacecrafts.


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