EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 428, Number 1, December II 2004
Page(s) 235 - 240
Section Planets and planetary systems
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:200400061

A&A 428, 235-240 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200400061

Arcuate graben of Venusian volcano-tectonic structures: The last phase of tectonic activity?

V.-P. Kostama and M. Aittola

Astronomy Division, Department of Physical Sciences, PO Box 3000, 90014 University of Oulu, Finland
    e-mail: petri.kostama@oulu.fi

(Received 25 June 2003 / Accepted 5 July 2004 )

Coronae and novae are two examples of Venusian volcano-tectonic structure types. Both these structures are considered either as surface expressions of diapirs or as representations of mantle upwellings. Half of the novae are located within coronae. The recent studies show that, in contrast to the earlier assumptions, at least the last activity of the nova usually postdates the coronae formation. This is possibly due to the reactivation of the nova location or increase in the activity of the formation process of the feature (Aittola & Kostama 2002, JGR, 107, 5112). In these cases, the most recent phases of activity are the nova related features, the radial structures and the lava flows produced by the nova. However, in some examples, suites of very young arcuate graben are seen adjoining the sloping flanks of the structures. The studies of the volcano flanks of Earth have shown that similar horseshoe-shaped scarps are formed after an eruption which indicate the occurrence of failure of the scoria cone. It is also possible to have a lateral spreading of the cone resulting in fracturing of coherent material due to plastic flow of subsequent material. We have found evidence of these graben in at least four of the studied corona-nova paired structures. In this study, we concentrate on measuring and analysing these suites of tectonic modification. As the earlier studies have shown, these corona-novae structures are usually very young in respect to their surrounding geology and thus the deformation of the lava flows, i.e. the graben sets could actually represent the last stage of development of the corona-novae structures of Venus.

Key words: planets and satellites: general -- planets and satellites: individual: Venus

© ESO 2004