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Comparative hypsometric analysis of both Earth and Venus topographic distributionsPrevious studies have compared the global topographic distribution of both planets by means of differential hypsometric curves. For the purpose of comparison, the terrestrial oceanic load was removed, and a reference base level was acquired. It was chosen on the basis of geometric considerations and reflected the geometric shape of the mean dynamical equilibrium figure of the planetary surface in both cases. This reference level corresponds to the well-known sea level for the Earth; for Venus, given its slow rate of rotation, a sphere of radius close to the mean, median and modal values of the planetary radii distribution were considered and the radius value of 6051 km arbitrarily taken. These studies were based on the low resolution (100 x 100 sq km) coverage of Venus obtained by the Pioneer Venus altimeter and on the 1 deg x 1 deg terrestrial topography. But, apart from revealing the distinct contrast existing between the Earth's bimodal and Venus' strong unimodal topographic distribution, the choice of such a reference level is inadequate and even misleading for the comparative geophysical understanding of the planetary relief distribution. The present work reinvestigates the comparison between Earth and Venus hypsometric distribution on the basis of the high-resolution data provided, on one hand, by the recent Magellan global topographic coverage of Venus' surface, and on the other hand, by the detailed NCAR 5 x 5 ft. grid topographic database currently available for the Earth's surface.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Rosenblatt, P. (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales Toulouse, France)
Pinet, P. C. (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales Toulouse, France)
Thouvenot, E. (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales Toulouse, France)
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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