Alba Mons is roughly 1600 kilometers in diameter but only ~6 kilometers tall at its highest point. It is the largest volcano in the solar system, in terms of area and volume. It has thinner lava flows than other Martian shield volcanos, with both enormous sheet-like layers and hundreds of long, narrow channels on its flanks. Most of the narrow channels are over 100 kilometers long, with some over 300 kilometers, suggesting very fluid lava erupting over long periods of time. Alba Mons is located on a system of faults running northwards from Tharsis.
Many of the valleys on Alba Mons are similar in appearance to those produced by rainfall on earth's Hawaiian volcanoes.
Alba differs from the other Martian paterae in several ways, lacking furrowed ash deposits and being located in lowlands rather than highlands.
Alba Mons is antipodal to Hellas Planitia.