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Differentiation of magma oceans and the thickness of the depleted layer on VenusVarious arguments suggest that Venus probably has no asthenosphere, and it is likely that beneath the crust there is a highly depleted and highly viscous mantle layer which was probably formed in the early history of the planet when it was partially or completely molten. Models of crystallization of magma oceans suggest that just after crystallization of a hypothetical magma ocean, the internal structure of Venus consists of a crust up to about 70 km thickness, a depleted layer up to about 500 km, and an enriched lower layer which probably consists of an undepleted 'lower mantle' and heavy enriched accumulates near the core-mantle boundary. Partial or even complete melting of Venus due to large impacts during the formation period eventually results in differentiation. However, the final result of such a differentiation can vary from a completely differentiated mantle to an almost completely preserved homogeneous mantle depending on competition between convection and differentiation: between low viscosity ('liquid') convection and crystal settling at small crystal fractions, or between high viscosity ('solid') convection and percolation at large crystal fractions.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Solomatov, V. S. (California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Stevenson, D. J. (California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, 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 3: N-Z
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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