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Venus small volcano classification and descriptionThe high resolution and global coverage of the Magellan radar image data set allows detailed study of the smallest volcanoes on the planet. A modified classification scheme for volcanoes less than 20 km in diameter is shown and described. It is based on observations of all members of the 556 significant clusters or fields of small volcanoes located and described by this author during data collection for the Magellan Volcanic and Magmatic Feature Catalog. This global study of approximately 10 exp 4 volcanoes provides new information for refining small volcano classification based on individual characteristics. Total number of these volcanoes was estimated to be 10 exp 5 to 10 exp 6 planetwide based on pre-Magellan analysis of Venera 15/16, and during preparation of the global catalog, small volcanoes were identified individually or in clusters in every C1-MIDR mosaic of the Magellan data set. Basal diameter (based on 1000 measured edifices) generally ranges from 2 to 12 km with a mode of 34 km, and follows an exponential distribution similar to the size frequency distribution of seamounts as measured from GLORIA sonar images. This is a typical distribution for most size-limited natural phenomena unlike impact craters which follow a power law distribution and continue to infinitely increase in number with decreasing size. Using an exponential distribution calculated from measured small volcanoes selected globally at random, we can calculate total number possible given a minimum size. The paucity of edifice diameters less than 2 km may be due to inability to identify very small volcanic edifices in this data set; however, summit pits are recognizable at smaller diameters, and 2 km may represent a significant minimum diameter related to style of volcanic eruption. Guest, et al, discussed four general types of small volcanic edifices on Venus: (1) small lava shields; (2) small volcanic cones; (3) small volcanic domes; and (4) scalloped margin domes ('ticks'). Steep-sided domes or 'pancake domes', larger than 20 km in diameter, were included with the small volcanic domes. For the purposes of this study, only volcanic edifices less than 20 km in diameter are discussed. This forms a convenient cutoff since most of the steep-sided domes ('pancake domes') and scalloped margin domes ('ticks') are 20 to 100 km in diameter, are much less numerous globally than are the smaller diameter volcanic edifices (2 to 3 orders of magnitude lower in total global number), and do not commonly occur in large clusters or fields of large numbers of edifices.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Aubele, J. C.
(Brown Univ. Providence, RI, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 1: A-F
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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