Premium Radially fractured domes: A comparison of Venus and the EarthPremium
Janes Daniel M.,
Squyres Steven W.
geophysical research letters
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
Radially fractured domes are large, tectonic and topographic features discovered on the surface of Venus by the Magellan spacecraft. They are thought to be due to uplift over mantle diapirism, and to date are known to occur only on Venus. Since Venus and the Earth are grossly similar in size, composition and structure, we seek to understand why these features have not been seen on the Earth. We model the uplift and fracturing over a mantle diapir as functions of lithospheric thickness and diapir size and depth. We find that lithospheres of the same thickness on the Earth and Venus should respond similarly to the same sized diapir, and that radially fractured domes should form most readily in thin oceanic lithospheres on Earth if diapiric activity is similar on the two planets. However, our current knowledge of the Earth's oceanic floors is insufficient to confirm or deny the presence of radially fractured domes. We compute the expected dimensions for these features on the Earth and suggest a search for them to determine whether mantle diapirism operates similarly on the Earth and Venus.
Subject(s)astrobiology , astrophysics , diapir , geology , geophysics , lithosphere , mantle (geology) , paleontology , physics , planet , plate tectonics , tectonics , venus
SCImago Journal Rank2.007
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