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It stands over 21km high and extending in diameter of over 500km (Head & Milkovich, 2003). Due to striking similarities in characteristics; volcanologists have classified the…
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Download file to see previous pages As a result of different environmental conditions between Earth and Mars like absence of plate tectonics in Mars, the Olympus Mons cooled forming slopes that were 21km high. This is due to over a million years of cooling.
There are several volcanoes on earth that match the characteristic of the Olympus Mons although they are not as big. A good example is the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii. This is the greatest volcano on the planet Earth despite being oversized almost three times by the Olympus Mons. Mauna Loa is also classified as a shield volcano and its 9km in height and 120km across. However, a volcano the size of Olympus Mons cannot be found on Earth because of unsuitable condition for such formations.
Radiometric dating is the process of analyzing the radioactive elements in a rock so as to determine its age (Weins, 2002). This dating method is based on the knowledge of radioactive decay whereby an unstable element (parent) breaks down by giving of electrons, neutron or protons to form a new daughter isotope (same element but with different atomic mass). Each particular unstable element takes a predictable amount of time to decay from a parent to a daughter element called half-life (Weins, 2002). The knowledge of the half-lives of different element can enable scientist to determine the age of a rock.
This dating technique is most suitable for igneous (volcanic) rock with radioactive elements whose half-lives are known. The presence of different radioactive isotopes in the rock has brought forth the existence of many radiometric techniques each depending on the isotope in question. A scientist can opt to analysis abundant unstable elements found in rocks. Elements like Lutetium-176, Uranium-238, Uranium-235, Rubium-87, Potassium-40, and Carbon-14 are preferred because of their instability, abundance, and known half-life (Dickin, 2005). This method calculates the age of rocks between 100,000 years to above 3.6billion ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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