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Crater destruction on the Venusian highlands by tectonic processesIt is apparent that few, if any, craters as old, or highly modified as Imbrian craters on the surface of the moon are present on the Venusian highlands, or indeed anywhere on the planet's surface. Degraded craters such as those seen on the Moon, Mercury, or Mars are conspicuously absent. Furthermore, virtually all the impact craters on the Venusian surface show modification only by extensional tectonics, whereas the Venusian highlands show modification by compression, strike-slip movement, and finally by extension. Presumably at an earlier time, the surface of Venus resembled the surfaces of the other inner planets. The relatively recent resurfacing event that produced the plains units may be a mechanism for covering the older craters in the plains, but these vast outpourings of lava cannot be invoked as a mechanism for covering the craters on the Venusian highlands. If the plains units had covered the highlands, the entire Venusian surface would appear to be as smooth as the plains units that are embayed by and, therefore, postdate the highlands. The last major tectonic events to affect the highlands such as those seen on Ovda Regio appear to be thrust faulting with consequent folding, followed by at least three episodes of strike-slip faulting and finally extensional faulting. To test whether such tectonic movements could have destroyed highlands crater, a preliminary experiment was conducted by using a Lunar Orbiter mosaic of the lunar uplands as an analog for the ancient Venusian highlands.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Pohn, Howard A. (Geological Survey Reston, VA, United States)
Schaber, Gerald G. (Geological Survey Flagstaff, AZ., 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 3: N-Z
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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