Geological and structural mapping of Ishtar Terra margins on VENUS: Implications for crustal plateau evolution

  • Date

    July 24,2019

  • Time


  • Venue


  • Speaker

    Miss Cheng Hiu Ching Jupiter Department of Earth Sciences, HKU

The origins of crustal plateaus on Venus are poorly understood. Several formation models have been proposed, including the downwelling, upwelling, pulsating continents, bolide impact models, and waning heat-pipe model. Key predictions include tessera-plain onlapping relationships and highland deformation. Addressing this problem, detailed mapping of five sites along the margin of Ishtar Terra (the highland region holding Venus’s highest peak) is performed, focusing on identifying surface units and sets of deformation lineaments. This work indicates that all tessera units and associated deformations are embayed by lava plains in four out of five studied areas. Plains-forming volcanism occurs after, or outlasts, all crustal plateau tectonism, which is consistent with three models: the pulsating continents, waning heat-pipe, and upwelling models. At the fifth site, tessera units appear to be embayed by plains, but it is also possible that this boundary is a linear fault system. Deformation relationships alone are unable to test models as they show a large variance in possible deformational histories given significant radar data uncertainties. A two times higher resolution radar imagery (i.e., 40 meters/pixel) and an order of magnitude better resolution topographic map (i.e., 450 meters/pixel) will be necessary to more rigorously test models via embayment relationships and deformation patterns. Our mapping also identifies some new features, including (1) embayment of tessera fractures alone on lava plains, as well as (2) 10-20 km long and 2-5 km wide eye-pattern ridges, composed of (3) V-shape lineaments.

Additional information: Miss Cheng Hiu Ching Jupiter,