Wind Streaks on Venus: Clues to Atmospheric Circulation

Science  21 Jan 1994:
Vol. 263, Issue 5145, pp. 358-361
DOI: 10.1126/science.263.5145.358


Magellan images reveal surface features on Venus attributed to wind processes. Sand dunes, wind-sculpted hills, and more than 5830 wind streaks have been identified. The streaks serve as local "wind vanes," representing wind direction at the time of streak formation and allowing the first global mapping of near-surface wind patterns on Venus. Wind streaks are oriented both toward the equator and toward the west. When streaks associated with local transient events, such as impact cratering, are deleted, the westward component is mostly lost but the equatorward component remains. This pattern is consistent with a Hadley circulation of the lower atmosphere.