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Global Characterization of Polygonally Fractured Terrain on Venus and Implications for a Climate Change OriginOn Earth, polygonal fractures with spacings of 1-100 cm form in lava flows that cool slowly under isotropic stress conditions. On Venus, polygonal fractures are observed with typical fracture spacings of 1-2 km, covering regions 10s to 100s of km across. These features have been proposed to form via cooling of lava flows or above subsurface intrusions, or due to surface cooling caused by climate change. A watershed algorithm was modified to search the entire Magellan image database autonomously for terrains with polygonal fractures. Here we characterize the 204 polygon terrains found using this method (including over 170 newly identified regions) with respect to size, morphology, stratigraphy, and geologic setting. These results are used to examine different models of origin.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Conference Paper
Smrekar, S. E.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Moreels, P.
(California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Franklin, B. J.
(California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Science XXXIV
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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