Crustal plateau formation on Venus is subject to animated debate, centered on plateau support and resulting surface deformation. Detailed mapping provides critical clues for plateau evolution. Southern Tellus Regio records broadly synchronous formation of contractional and extensional structures, accompanied by deposition of flood material. Short-wavelength folds occur across the entire plateau, the extent of which has previously been undocumented. Generally the early-formed structures record a high structural fluidity, marked by variable orientation of structures or juxtaposition of neighboring structural suites. This interpretation of the geologic history of the region indicates the necessity of an extremely high geothermal gradient and provides a means to evaluate the different crustal plateau hypotheses. The mantle downwelling, mantle upwelling, and pulsating continents hypotheses fail to accommodate the surface features recorded in this study. However, the lava pond hypothesis provides a suitable hypothesis of crustal plateau formation that accommodates structural elements recorded in this study.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. January 2013. Major: Geological Sciences. Advisor: Vicki Hansen. 1 computer file (PDF): vi, 72 pages.
Structural and geologic mapping of southern Tellus Regio, Venus: implications for crustal plateau formation.
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