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Volcanoes top top Venus: A simulated shade image the the surface of Venus created by NASA utilizing radar topography data obtained by the Magellan spacecraft. Enlarged views at 900 x 900 pixels or 4000 x 4000 pixels.

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Discovery that a volcanic Landscape

Venus is the closest planet to Earth. However, the surface of Venus is obscured by number of layers of special cloud cover. These clouds are so thick and also so persistent that optical telescope observations from planet are unable to produce clear pictures of the planet"s surface features.

The first detailed information about the surface ar of Venus was obtained in the at an early stage 1990s, when the Magellan spacecraft (also known as the Venus Radar Mapper) used radar imaging to develop detailed topography data for many of the planet"s surface. That data was offered to produce images the Venus such together the ones displayed on this page.

Researchers supposed the topography data to disclose volcanic features on Venus, yet they to be surprised to discover that at least 90% the the planet"s surface was covered by lava operation and wide shield volcanoes. They were also surprised the these volcanic features on Venus were enormous in size when compared to similar features top top Earth.


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Shield volcanoes: Venus vs. Earth: This graphic compares the geometry the a big shield volcano native Venus through a large shield volcano native Earth. Shield volcanoes on Venus room usually an extremely broad in ~ the base and have gentler slopes 보다 the shield volcanoes uncovered on Earth. VE=~25

Olympus Mons: The biggest Shield Volcano ~ above Mars


Enormous Shield Volcanoes

The Hawaiian archipelago are frequently used as examples of huge shield volcanoes ~ above Earth. This volcanoes room on the orderof 120 kilometers broad at the basic and about 8 kilometers in height. They would be amongst the tallest volcanoes onVenus; however, they would certainly not it is in competitive in width. Huge shield volcanoes on Venus space an exceptional 700 kilometerswide at the base but are only around 5.5 kilometers in height.

In summary, the huge shield volcanoes ~ above Venus are several times as large as those ~ above Earth and also they have actually a lot gentler slope. A loved one size to compare of volcanoes top top the two planets is displayed in the accompanying graphic - which has actually a vertical exaggeration of about 25x.


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Sapas Mons Volcano: A simulated shade image that Sapas Mons volcano, located on the Atla Regio rise close to the equator that Venus. The volcano is around 400 kilometers across and around 1.5 kilometers high. The radial illustration of the volcano in ~ this scale is led to by hundreds of overlapping lava flows - some originating from among the two summit vents yet most originating from flank eruptions. Image produced by NASA using radar topography data obtained by the Magellan spacecraft. Enlarged see at 900 x 900 pixels or 3000 x 3000 pixels.

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Sapas Mons Volcano: an oblique watch of Sapas Mons volcano, the same volcano displayed in the overhead view above. This photo views the volcano indigenous the northwest. Attributes visible in this image can easily be suitable to the overhead watch above. Lava flows number of hundred kilometers in length appear as narrow channels on the flanks the the volcano and spread into broad flows ~ above the level that surrounds the volcano. Image by NASA. Enlarge image.


Extensive Lava Flows

Lava flows on Venus are thought come be created of rocks that are comparable to the basalts discovered on Earth. Plenty of of the lava operation on Venus have actually lengths of number of hundred kilometers. The lava"s mobility might be enhanced by the planet"s average surface temperature of about 470 degrees Celsius.

The pictures of Sapas Mons volcano ~ above this page contain plenty of excellent examples of long lava flows on Venus. The radial appearance of the volcano is produced by lengthy lava flows expanding from the two vents in ~ the peak and from many flank eruptions.

Pancake Domes

Venus has a big number of features that have been referred to as "pancake domes." these are similar to lava domes discovered on Earth,but on Venus they room up come 100 times together large. Pancake domes are an extremely broad, through a very flat top and also are commonly lessthan 1000 meter in height. They are thought to form by the extrusion that viscous lava.


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Pancake domes on Venus: Radar photo of three pancake domes on the left and a geologic map the the exact same area ~ above the right. Anyone interested in learning around the surface features of Venus can attain radar pictures from NASA and compare them through geologic maps ready by USGS.


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Evidence of current volcanic activity: Radar pictures of Idunn Mons Volcano in the Imdr Regio region of Venus. The image on the left is a radar topography photo with a vertical exaggeration of about 30x. The image on the ideal is color-enhanced based upon heat imaging spectrometer data. The red locations are warmer and also thought come be proof of recent lava flows. Photo by NASA.


When did the Volcanoes top top Venus Form?

Most that the surface ar of Venus is spanned by lava flows that have actually a really low affect cratering density. This low affect density reveals the the planet"s surface is greatly less 보다 500,000,000 year old. Volcanic task on Venus cannot be detected native Earth, but magnified radar imaging native the Magellan spacecraft suggests that volcanic task on Venus still wake up (see accompanying radar image).


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Geologic map of Venus: USGS has created detailed geologic maps for many areas of Venus. These maps have actually descriptions and correlation charts because that the mapped units. They additionally include signs for faults, lineaments, domes, craters, lava circulation directions, ridges, grabens and also many other features. These deserve to be paired v NASA radar photos to learn about volcanoes and other surface attributes of Venus.


Other processes that form the surface of Venus

IMPACT CRATERING

Asteroid results have produced countless craters ~ above the surface of Venus. Although these features are numerous, theydo no cover more than a couple of percent of the planet"s surface. The resurfacing of Venus with lava flows, i beg your pardon is believed to have occurred about 500,000,000 year ago, took location after impact cratering of planets in ours solar system had actually fallen to a very low level.

EROSION and SEDIMENTATION

The surface ar temperature that Venus is about 470 levels Celsius -- much too high for fluid water. Without water, stream erosion and sedimentation space unable come make significant modifications to the surface ar of the planet. The just erosionalfeatures it was observed on the planet have actually been meeting to flowing lava.

WIND EROSION and DUNE FORMATION

The atmosphere of Venus is believed to be around 90 times as dense as Earth"s. Return this limits wind activity, some dune-shaped attributes have been identified on Venus. However, the accessible images do not display wind-modified landscapes extending a significant portion that the planet"s surface.

PLATE TECTONICS

Plate tectonic task on Venus has not been plainly identified. Plate borders have no been recognized. Radar images and also geologic maps created for the planet execute not present linear volcano chains, spreading ridges, subduction zones, and transform faults that provide evidence of bowl tectonics ~ above Earth.


Information for Volcanoes top top Venus
<1> NASA picture Gallery of Venus, a searchable collection of photos that deserve to be downloaded, NASA, critical accessed January 2017. <2> USGS Geologic Maps the Venus, a repertoire of maps in .pdf format, USGS, critical accessed January 2017.<3> Volcano Sapas Mons, images and information about the volcano indigenous the Magellan spacecraft program, NASA, 1996.<4> Venus worldwide View, computer system simulated worldwide view that Venus from the Magellan spacecraft program, NASA, 1996.<5> NASA-Funded Research says Venus is Geologically Alive, article about recent volcanism top top Venus, NASA, 2010.<6> Volcanoes top top Venus, overview article from the Volcano people collection, Oregon State University, 2005.

Summary

Volcanic task is the dominant procedure for shaping the see of Venus, v over 90% the the planet"s surface being extended by lava flows and shield volcanoes.

The shield volcanoes and lava operation on Venus are very large in dimension when compared to similar features ~ above Earth.

Author: Hobart M. King, Ph.D.


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