Relation of Major Volcanic Center Concentration on Venus to Global Tectonic Patterns

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Science  30 Jul 1993:
Vol. 261, Issue 5121, pp. 591-595
DOI: 10.1126/science.261.5121.591


Global analysis of NASA Magellan image data indicates that a major concentration of volcanic centers covering ∼40 percent of the surface of Venus occurs between the Beta, Atla, and Themis regiones. Associated with this enhanced concentration are geological characteristics commonly interpreted as rifting and mantle upwelling. Interconnected low plains in an annulus around this concentration are characterized by crustal shortening and infrequent volcanic centers that may represent sites of mantle return flow and net down-welling. Together, these observations suggest the existence of relatively simple, largescale patterns of mantle circulation similar to those associated with concentrations of intraplate volcanism on Earth.