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Recent mafic volcanism on Mars

January 1, 1987

The evidence for volcanism on Mars is commonly accepted, but none has been documented in the Valles Marineris equatorial rift system. A recent survey of the troughs in this valley revealed dark patches that are interpreted to be volcanic vents. The configuration and association of these patches with tectonic structures suggest that they are of internal origin; their albedo and color ratios indicate a mafic composition; and their stratigraphic position, crispness of morphologic detail, and low albedo imply that they are young, perhaps even recent.