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Journal of Geophysical Research

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Lava flows -- Morphology, Rheology, Magmas -- Composition, Volcanism -- Mathematical models, Astrogeology


We have used carefully controlled laboratory simulations to develop a model which relates lava flow morphology to effusion rate and rheology. Through comparisons with measured and estimated eruption rates on Earth, this approach allows us to constrain eruptive styles and compositions of extraterrestrial lava flows. By applying this model to lava flows on the Moon, Mars and Venus, we have determined that all the common flow morphologies (domes, folds and levees) on these planets could have been produced by basalt-like or andesite-like lavas through either continuous or episodic emplacement. The presence of more evolved magma compositions on other planets is not required to explain any of the observed lava flow morphologies.


This is the publisher's final pdf. Originally published in: Journal of Geophysical Research ( and is copyrighted by American Geophysical Union (

*At the time of publication Jonathan Fink was affiliated with Arizona State University

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