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Study Reveals How High Mountains Are Formulated In Jupiter's Volcanic Moon Lo

First Posted: May 19, 2016 04:00 AM EDT
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Jupiter's moon lo is the home of incredibly high mountains and high level of volcanic activity. The mountains can be over 10 miles in height that they dwarf the highest mountain in Earth, the Mount Everest.How are these massive mountains formed in Jupiter's moon lo?

 A new study reveals that the mountains are formulated through a mechanism unlike any other mountains in the solar system. Dr. Michael Bland from Astrogeology Science Center, Flagstaff, Arizona said that lo's mountains aren't volcanoes, yet they ultimately result from volcanism. He further said lo is the most volcanically active body in the Solar System, and its surface is constantly being covered with volcanic material.

Dr. Bland explained that as the new volcanic material is situated, it buried the surface. Once the surface is buried deeper into the subsurface the volume of each layer shrunk as it moved downward. This resulted in the very high stresses that increased with depth. The high subsidence stresses ultimately caused the rocks deep in their interior break and slid up over the adjacent rock that results in the up-thrust of a large crustal block, according to Daily Mail.

Meanwhile, the researchers said that with few exceptions, the lo's mountains are not volcanic in origin. They said that instead, their morphology, which differs from peaks and ridges to mesa, plateau, and massifs, is consistent with thrust or tilted fault blocks.

They also made a simulation work out what happened to the moon's lithosphere, which is the outer shell of the moon. They discovered that the mountains are formed by the moon's tectonic plates thrusting together. This is called "thrust shortening." This also happens in Mercury, which is caused by the planet constricting when its interior cools down.

Lo is the fourth largest moon and the driest known object in the Solar System. It is considered the innermost of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter. It was uncovered in 1610 and was named lo, who was the priestess of Hera, one of Zeus's lovers. It is the most geologically active object in the Solar System with more than 400 active volcanoes.

See Now: NASA's Juno Spacecraft's Rendezvous With Jupiter's Mammoth Cyclone

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