Hecates Tholus is a Martian volcano, notable for results from the European Space Agency's Mars Express mission which indicate a major eruption took place 350 million years ago. The eruption created a caldera 10 km in diameter. It has been suggested that glacial deposits later partly filled the caldera and an adjacent depression. Crater counts indicate this happened as recently as 5 to 20 million years ago. However climate models show that ice is not stable at Hecates Tholus today, pointing to climate change since the glaciers were active. It has been shown that the age of the glaciers correspond to a period of increased obliquity of Mars' rotational axis.
The volcano is at location 32.12°N 150.24°E, in the volcanic province Elysium, and has a diameter of 182 km. It is the northernmost of the Elysium volcanoes; the others are Elysium Mons and Albor Tholus.
Hecates Tholus ridges, as seen by HiRISE. Ridges are to the west-northwest of Hecates Tholus.
- Huber et al., Ernst; Van Gasselt, S; Ivanov, B; Werner, S; Head, JW; Neukum, G; Jaumann, R; Greeley, R et al. (17 March 2005). "Discovery of a flank caldera and very young glacial activity at Hecates Tholus". Nature 434 (7031): 356–361. Bibcode:2005Natur.434..356H. doi:10.1038/nature03423. PMID 15772654.
- Google Mars - zoomable map centered on Hecates Tholus
- Blue, Jennifer. "Hecates Tholus". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology Research Program.
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