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Characteristics of Basaltic Lava Flows on VenusSome ideas relating to the formation of lava flows on Venus are reviewed. The surface morphological features seen in the panoramic images made by the Venera 13 and 14 landers are examined in detail. The major element compositions measured by the Soviet probes indicate that the surface rocks at the Venera 13 site resemble a terrestrial tholeite composite whereas the Venera 14 rocks are similar to terrestrial alkali basalts. Few data exist on the rheological properties of such magma types on Earth; these properties are a strong function of magma volatile content, and there are important gaps in our knowledge of the typical volatiles to be associated with the magmas on Venus. However, the suggestion that Venusian magmas may be water poor together with consideration of the fact that the high Venusian surface temperatures may cause magmas to experience up to 50 K less cooling during their rise to the surface than corresponding terrestrial counterparts, leads to the finding that Venusian magmas may typically have plastic viscosities, E, up to a factor of three greater than terrestrial counterparts on eruption. A similar analysis of yield strength variations with temperature, magma composition and volatile content suggests that temperature will exert the main control and that Venusian magma yield strengths, Y, may be a factor of several times smaller than those of terrestrial equivalents.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Wilson, L.
(Brown Univ. Providence, RI, United States)
Garvin, J. B.
(Brown Univ. Providence, RI, United States)
Head, J. W.
(Brown Univ. Providence, RI, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1985
Publication Information
Publication: NASA, Washington Repts. of Planetary Geol. and Geophys. Program, 1984
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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