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Evolution of Venusian rifts: Insights from Numerical Modeling

Regorda, Alessandro and Thieulot, C. and van Zelst, Iris and Erdös, Z. and Maia, Julia and Buiter, Susanne (2023) Evolution of Venusian rifts: Insights from Numerical Modeling. EGU General Assembly 2023, 23-28 April 2023, Vienna, Austria. doi: 10.5194/egusphere-egu23-15108.

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Official URL: https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU23/EGU23-15108.html


Venus is a terrestrial planet with dimensions similar to the Earth and, although it is generally assumed that it does not host plate-tectonics, there are indications that Venus might have experienced, or still does experience, some form of tectonics. In fact, there are widespread observations of rifts on Venus called ‘chasma’ (plural ‘chasmata’), from radar-image interpretation of normal-fault-bounded graben structures (Harris & Bédard, 2015). The rifts on Venus have been likened to continental rifts on Earth such as the East African (e.g., Basilevsky & McGill, 2007) and Atlantic rift system prior to ocean opening (Graff et al., 2018), even if they are commonly wider than their terrestrial equivalent (e.g., Foster & Nimmo, 1996). However, despite being a prominent feature on its surface, little is known about the mechanisms responsible for creating rifts on Venus beyond the assumption that they are extensional features (Magee & Head, 1995). Since rifting on Earth in both continental and oceanic settings has been extensively studied through modeling, we adapted 2D thermo-mechanical numerical models of rifting on Earth to Venus in order to study how rifting structures observed on the Venusian surface could have been formed. More specifically, we investigated how rifting evolves under the high pressure and temperature conditions of the Venusian surface and the lithospheric structure proposed for Venus. Our results show that a strong crustal rheology such as diabase is needed to localize strain and to develop a rift under the harsh surface conditions of Venus. The evolution of the rift formation is predominantly controlled by the crustal thickness, with a 25 km-thick diabase crust required to produce mantle upwelling and melting. Lastly, we compared the surface topography produced by our models with the topography profiles of different Venusian chasmata. We observed a good fit between models characterised by different crustal thicknesses and the Ganis and Devana Chasmata, suggesting that differences in rift features on Venus could be due to different crustal thicknesses.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/196965/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Title:Evolution of Venusian rifts: Insights from Numerical Modeling
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Regorda, AlessandroDepartment of Earth Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, ItalyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Thieulot, C.University of Utrecht, Department of Earth Sciences, Budapestlaan 4 3584 CD, Utrecht, NetherlandsUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
van Zelst, IrisUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4698-9910UNSPECIFIED
Erdös, Z.The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany; Tectonics and Geodynamics, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Maia, JuliaObservatoire de la Côte d’Azur, Laboratoire Lagrange, Université Côte d’Azur, Nice, Francehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-3605-6554UNSPECIFIED
Buiter, SusanneThe Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany; Tectonics and Geodynamics, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Page Range:EGU23-15108
Keywords:venus, rifting, numerical modelling, lithosphere dynamics
Event Title:EGU General Assembly 2023
Event Location:Vienna, Austria
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:23-28 April 2023
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Robotics
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R RO - Robotics
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Planetary Exploration, R - Planetary Evolution and Life
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Physics
Deposited By: van Zelst, Iris
Deposited On:04 Sep 2023 09:20
Last Modified:04 Sep 2023 09:20

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