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Thermal evolution and interior structure of Venus

Plesa, Ana-Catalina and Walterova, Michaela and Maia, Julia and van Zelst, Iris and Breuer, Doris (2023) Thermal evolution and interior structure of Venus. EGU General Assembly 2023, 2023-04-23 - 2023-04-28, Vienna, Austria. doi: 10.5194/egusphere-egu23-8996.

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Official URL: https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU23/EGU23-8996.html


The dense atmosphere of Venus and the planet’s young surface, dominated by volcanic features, bear witness to its past and potentially ongoing volcanic activity. While unique among the terrestrial planets of our Solar System, Venus is likely similar to a myriad of extrasolar worlds [1]. Thus, investigating Venus’s interior structure, thermal history, and magmatic processes may guide our understanding of the evolution and present-day state of an entire class of exoplanets. The present-day geodynamic regime of Venus’s mantle is still debated, but models agree that magmatism played a major role in shaping the atmosphere and surface that we observe today [2]. In this contribution we will summarize the evidence for recent and possibly ongoing magmatic activity in the interior of Venus and show how we can combine current and future observations with thermal evolution models to constrain the planet’s present-day interior structure, dynamics, and magmatic activity. We calculate the tidal deformation and moment of inertia in our models to provide estimates on deep interior parameters. While the tidal Love number k2, which is sensitive to the size and state of the core, has been determined from Magellan and Pioneer Venus Orbiter tracking data with large uncertainties [3], the phase lag of the deformation, whose value is particularly sensitive to the thermal state of the interior, has not yet been measured. A rough estimate of the core size of 3500 km with large (>500 km) uncertainties comes from the moment of inertia factor that was determined from Earth-based radar observations [4]. Our models address the recent volcanic activity that was suggested by several observations [e.g., 5]. In particular, we focus on investigating the constraints coming from estimates of the elastic lithosphere thickness, which is linked to the thermal state of the lithosphere at the time of the formation of geological features. Gravity and topography analyses indicate small elastic thicknesses for a variety of locations including coronae [6], steep-sided domical volcanoes [7], and crustal plateaus [8]. The young age of many surface features on Venus suggests a warm lithosphere at present-day, potentially linked to partial melting in the interior. Moreover, a recent study found that the inferred heat flux at 75 locations on Venus associated with recent volcanic and tectonic activity is similar to the values measured on Earth in areas of active extension [9]. Future measurements of the NASA VERITAS and ESA EnVision missions aim to constrain present-day volcanic and tectonic activity as well as the thickness of major layers (crust, mantle, and core) in the interior of Venus. These measurements will provide unprecedented information to address the interior structure and thermal history of our neighbor, who can teach us about the diversity of evolutionary paths that rocky planets around other stars might have followed.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/196802/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Thermal evolution and interior structure of Venus
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Plesa, Ana-CatalinaUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3366-7621UNSPECIFIED
Maia, JuliaObservatoire de la Côte d’Azur, Laboratoire Lagrange, Université Côte d’Azur, Nice, Francehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-3605-6554UNSPECIFIED
van Zelst, IrisUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4698-9910UNSPECIFIED
Breuer, DorisUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-9019-5304UNSPECIFIED
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Page Range:EGU23-8996
Keywords:Venus, Thermal evolution, Interior structure, Thermal state
Event Title:EGU General Assembly 2023
Event Location:Vienna, Austria
Event Type:international Conference
Event Start Date:23 April 2023
Event End Date:28 April 2023
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Exploration of the Solar System, R - Planetary Evolution and Life, R - Veritas, R - Project EnVision
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Physics
Deposited By: Plesa, Dr. Ana-Catalina
Deposited On:31 Aug 2023 12:51
Last Modified:24 Apr 2024 20:57

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