Research Articles

Evidence for Divergent Plate-Boundary Characteristics and Crustal Spreading on Venus

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Science  04 Dec 1987:
Vol. 238, Issue 4832, pp. 1380-1385
DOI: 10.1126/science.238.4832.1380


Detailed examination of the topography and morphology of western Aphrodite Terra reveals numerous features that are similar to terrestrial divergent plate-boundary characteristics. Individual domains between fracturezone-like discontinuities contain a variety of bilaterally symmetrical topographic elements that suggest that topographic features have been created at rise crests, rifted and separated, and moved laterally to their present symmetrical positions. The topographic and morphologic similarities, together with strikingly similar mirror-image map patterns on both sides of the rise axis, suggest that western Aphrodite Terra shares the characteristics of oceanic divergent plate boundaries, and is the site of crustal spreading on Venus. Topographic profiles are consistent with spreading rates of the order of several centimeters per year.

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