Styles of Volcanism on Venus: New Arecibo High Resolution Radar Data

Science  20 Oct 1989:
Vol. 246, Issue 4928, pp. 373-377
DOI: 10.1126/science.246.4928.373


Arecibo high-resolution (1.5 to 2 km) radar data of Venus for the area extending from Beta Regio to western Eisila Regio provide strong evidence that the mountains in Beta and Eisila Regiones and plains in and adjacent to Guinevere Planitia are of volcanic origin. Recognized styles of volcanism include large volcanic edifices on the Beta and Eisila rises related to regional structural trends, plains with multiple source vents and a mottled appearance due to the ponding of volcanic flows, and plains with bright features surrounded by extensive quasi-circular radar-dark halos. The high density of volcanic vents in the plains suggests that heat loss by abundant and widely distributed plains volcanism may be more significant than previously recognized. The low density of impact craters greater than 15 km in diameter in this region compared to the average density for the higher northern latitudes suggests that the plains have a younger age.