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, : Introduction. Postgraduate Medicine 55(5): 48-49

Although the role of volcanism in the geology of Earth has long been recognized, its full significance among the geologic processes was not realized until data gathered for the ocean basins revealed extensive basaltic lava flows. The occurrence and effects of volcanism on other planets is also beginning to emerge. Data from unmanned lunar missions, returned samples, photographs, and astronaut observations indicate that volcanism played a significant role in shaping the lunar surface. Mariner missions to Mars have shown that volcanic processes dominate several regions of Mars, evidenced by tremendous shield volcanoes, dome volcanoes, flood-type lava flows, and fissures. Recent Mariner 10 imagery for Mercury also shows flow-like features of probable volcanic origin. With geological data available for all inner planets except Venus, we are entering an era of true comparative planetary geology, when knowledge of the differences and similarities for classes of structures (e.g., shield volcanoes) will lead to a better understanding of general geological processes, regardless of planet. Thus, it is imperative that planetologists, particularly those involved in geological mapping and surface feature analysis for terrestrial planets, be familiar with volcanic terrain in terms of its origin, structure, and morphology. One means of gaining this experience is through field trips in volcanic terrains, hence, the Hawaiian Planetology Conference. In addition, discussions with volcanologists at the conference will provide an important basis for establishing communications between the two fields that will facilitate comparative studies as more data become available.


PMID: 27416501

DOI: 10.1080/00325481.1974.11713752

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