Geology and topography of Ra Patera, Io, in the Voyager era: Prelude to eruption

Paul M. Schenk, Alfred McEwen, A. G. Davies, Trevor Davenport, Kevin Jones, Brian Fessler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Voyager era stereo images are used to map the geology and topography of Ra Patera (a major active volcanic center and possible site of sulfur eruptions on Io). The summit of Ra Patera reaches only ∼1 km above the surrounding plains. Pre-Voyager-era lava flows occur on slopes of 0.1-0.3°, comparable to the lunar mare. These flows were emplaced at either low viscosities, high eruption rates, or both. A 600-km-long ridged mountain unit (rising to ∼8 km near Carancho Patera) forms a 60 by 90 km wide plateau ∼0.5 km high 50 km east of Ra Patera. The new lava flows observed by Galileo flowed around the southern edge of this plateau.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number97GL02688
Pages (from-to)2467-2470
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number20
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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