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Venus' center of mass - center of figure displacement and implicationsEarth, Moon, Mars, and Venus all have centers of mass (C.M.) that are displaced from their centers of figure (C.F.) by amounts which range from 340 meters (Venus) to 2.5 km (Mars). These offsets have all been calculated from the first degree terms in spherical harmonic expansions of topography. We describe an alternate method for calculating C.M. - C.F. offsets directly from a global topographic data set and apply it to Venus. Using Magellan altimetry, we find that Venus' C.F. is displaced approximately 280 meters from its C.M. in the direction of Western Aphrodite Terra (4.4 deg S, 135.8 deg E). We investigate several simple models for this offset and find that it is most consistent with thickened crust in Ovda and Thetis Regiones (which constitute most of W. Aphrodite). The location of the C.F. offset also places constraints on the degree of crustal thickening in Western Ishtar Terra and/or this highland's mode of origin. We favor a model in which offset due to thick crust in Western Ishtar Terra is balanced by an opposing offset due to cold, downwelling mantle material beneath the highland.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Bindschadler, D. L.
(California Univ. Los Angeles, CA, United States)
Schubert, G.
(California Univ. Los Angeles, CA, 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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