Geology of Loki

Chapter Two


     The geology of Loki is wildly different from that of Earth: Loki's surface is almost entirely covered by water.

     The illustration shows the results of the preliminary survey of the planet's oceans. Red areas represent underwater areas of high volcanic activity. Green areas are the shallowest parts of the ocean, being a mile or less in depth. Blue areas are between a mile and two miles deep, and dark blue areas are the deepest zones.

Whereas the largest portion of the heat on the Earth is from sunlight, Loki gets the majority of its heat from friction caused by tidal forces due to its close proximity to Thor. These same tidal forces cause accelerated crust formation and greatly increased volcanic activity.

     A cautious exploration of a portion of one of the volcanic areas showed open ridges and vents from which lava flowed, spreading out and forming terraces that gradually sloped down to greater depths. The entire ridge area was cracked and broken, with many openings contributing to the eruptions. The vents themselves were sometimes surrounded by areas of uneven rock, forming chimneys and steep cones; in other places large eruptions of lava appeared to have formed smoother surfaces. Lava that had been forced out of the volcanoes and cooled while thrown up into the water had formed boulders and pebbles that littered the underwater scene. As the surrounding ocean area was perturbed by steam and molten rock, our descriptions are tentative at this time.


Chris Jones
Sat Feb 18 00:31:33 MST 1995