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Vicki Hansen

hansen  

Professor

University of
Minnesota Duluth
Duluth, MI 55812



   
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Research Summary

  • Geologic Evolution of Venus

  • The Formation of Venus' Ribbon-Tessera Terrain

  • Early Earth and Venus Comparison

 

Title 1

Venus Records a Rich Early History

Abstract 1

The distribution and character of Venus’ impact craters led to the widely accepted idea that Venus underwent global catastrophic resurfacing ca. 500 Ma, and thus Venus records only a short history, encompassing surface evolution since postulated catastrophic resurfacing. Ribbon tessera terrain, a structurally distinctive unit, represents some of Venus' oldest surfaces, and is widely accepted as forming prior to postulated global catastrophic resurfacing. A global geologic map of ribbon tessera terrain exposures and structural trends reveals planet-scale patterns that, together with altimetry, record a rich geologic history that predates proposed global catastrophic resurfacing. This study serves to highlight the history that awaits discovery. Ribbon tessera terrain formed during a specific geologic era, marked by relatively unique environmental conditions, conceptually similar to Earth’s Archean.


Title 2

Artemis, Venus: A Global-Scale Tectonomagmatic Feature

Abstract 2

New geologic mapping reveals that Artemis, a unique 2400-km-diameter feature on Venus, is much larger than previously recognized, including a wide outer trough (>5000 km diameter), a radial dike swarm (12,000 km diameter), and a concentric wrinkle ridge suite (13,000 km diameter). Artemis’ evolution included formation of its interior and chasma, accompanied by lateral propagation of radial dikes. The escape of dike magma to the surface formed local cover deposits that buried parts of the remaining radial fracture suite. Cover deposits are cut, in turn, by wrinkle ridges. The outer trough formed late relative to radial fractures, cover deposits, and wrinkle ridges. We suggest that Artemis represents the magmatic signature of a deep mantle plume acting on relatively thin lithosphere. As such, it appears to represent the largest tectonomagmatic feature in the solar system. The newly recognized vast extent of Artemis holds implications for the formation of giant radial dike swarms, wrinkle ridge formation, terrestrial planet mantle-lithosphere coupling, and Venus’s surface and geodynamic evolution.


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