NASA Logo

NTRS

NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
The origin of Venusian channels: Modelling of thermal erosion by lavaMagellan imagery has revealed that channels, apparently volcanic in origin, are abundant on the surface of Venus. There has been much debate about the origin of these channels. Are they the result of erosional (either thermal or mechanical) or constructional processes? A common characteristic of the simple sinuous channels is that they show evidence of erosion near their source and then become purely constructional, forming levees and in some cases roofing over completely. One method of showing that thermal erosion is capable of producing the type of channels seen is to use computer modeling incorporating the physical conditions on Venus and the physical characteristics of the different types of lava that may have been erupted. It is possible to calculate, relatively easily, two channel parameters. The first is the erosion rate, which combined with eruption duration, gives depth. The second is for how long after leaving the source the erupted lava will continue to be capable of thermal erosion before constructional processes dominate. Making assumptions about the rheology of the lava (e.g., assume it behaves as a Bingham plastic) along with the slope angle yields a flow velocity and therefore a distance over which thermal erosion will take place. Due to the resolution (both vertical and horizontal) of the Magellan altimetric data, the distance from the source that the channel is erosional can be much more accurately measured than the depth of the channel. This will remain the case until stereo imagery becomes available for large areas of the planet.
Document ID
19940007659
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Bussey, D. B. J. (London Univ. Observatory)
Sorensen, S-A. (London Univ. Observatory)
Guest, J. E. (London Univ. Observatory)
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
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

Related Records

IDRelationTitle19940007055Analytic PrimarySixth Annual Workshop on Space Operations Applications and Research (SOAR 1992), volume 219940007543Analytic PrimaryTwenty-fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 1: A-F