One of the most remarkable phenomena happening in our solar system today, is Io where it continues to show massive volcanic activity. Io is only slightly bigger than Earth’s moon and is the third largest among moons orbiting around Jupiter. Planetary scientists are busy mapping its surface and are in the process of coming up with new ideas about what drives its activity.
In the highlights in the paper, “Volcanism on Io: New Insights from Global Geologic Mapping” it says…
“We produced the first complete, 1:15M-scale global geologic map of Jupiter’s moon Io
► Io was mapped into 19 material units: plains (65.8% of surface), lava flow fields (28.5%), mountains (3.2%), and patera floors (2.5%) ► The distribution of plains units is geographically constrained: White plains (dominated by SO2 + contaminants) occur mostly in the equatorial antijovian region (±30o, 90o-230oW), possibly indicative of a regional cold trap.
“► Bright (presumably sulfur-rich) flow fields make up 30% more lava flow fields than dark (presumably silicate) flows (56.5% vs. 43.5%), and only 18% of bright flow fields occur within 10 km of dark flow fields ► These results suggest that primary sulfur-rich effusions are an important component of Io’s recent volcanism.”
“► We mapped 425 paterae (volcano-tectonic depressions), which cover only 2.5% of Io’s surface, but correspond to 64% of all detected hot spots ► The freshest bright and dark flows make up about 29% of all of Io’s flow fields, suggesting active emplacement is occurring in less than a third of Io’s visible lava fields.”
“► The greater areal extent of gas-derived diffuse deposits (red + white, 85%) compared to presumably pyroclast-bearing diffuse deposits (dark (silicate ash) + yellow (sulfur-rich ash), 15%) indicates that there is effective separation between the transport of pyroclasts and gas in many Ionian explosive eruptions…”
The research produces good evidence for creationism, which advocates a young universe which is not billions of years old. Not surprising that evolutionary Planetary scientists are forcing the data into the old-age framework rather than exploring questions like how does molten material erupt onto the surface without plate tectonics? And why are heavy elements seen in the ultramafic lavas remain near the surface rather than submerging deep into the interior billions of years ago? How would Io really look with all this massive volcanic activity on this small moon happening for billions of years? Is their answer, “stuff happens” because it happens?