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Global organization of tectonic deformation on VenusThe geographic organization of surface deformation on Venus as on Earth is a key to understanding the global tectonic system. To date we have mapped the distribution of three unambiguous tectonic land forms on Venus: (1) linear foldbelts analogous to those at plate margins of the Earth; (2) linear rift zones, analogous to continental rifts on the Earth; and (3) distributed plains deformation in the form of wrinkle ridges and extensional faults and fractures. The linear foldbelts are the dominant structural style in the Northern Hemisphere; ninety percent of the planet's foldbelts lie above the equator. In contrast, compressive deformation in the Southern Hemisphere is dominated by two large, sweeping patterns of wrinkle ridges. The two hemispheres are divided by an equatorial region that is largely covered by rift zones and several large tessera blocks. A tectonic model of generally poleward convergence of the Northern Hemisphere explains the distribution of foldbelts and rift zones. In our model, a northern hemispherical plate (or system of plates) moves poleward and deforms along discrete, predominately longitudinal bands. We recognize four types of foldbelts based on their relationships to other large-scale tectonic features on Venus. There are foldbelts that lie within the low plains, foldbelts associated with coronae, novae and chasmata, foldbelts that lie at the margins of poly-deformed tessera plateaus, and the folded mountain belts around Lakshmi Planum. We see a geometric increase in the area of fold belts when normalized to percent area at a given latitude. This increase is consistent with our model of poleward convergence. Also, the orientations of most foldbelts are either approximately north-south or parallel to lines of latitude in the northern hemisphere. This observation is also consistent with the model in that the longitudinal bands are the result of the decreasing area of the sphere as the plate moves poleward and the latitudinal belts are the direct result of poleward compression. The trends of wrinkle ridges have been mapped over the planet and several large, sweeping patterns evidently reflect long-wavelength topography. Using wrinkle ridges as paleostress indicators, we have developed local and regional stress trajectory maps.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Bilotti, Frank
(Princeton Univ. NJ, United States)
Connors, Chris
(Princeton Univ. NJ, United States)
Suppe, John
(Princeton Univ. NJ, 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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