Sample of Venus' surface taken from Magellan. Image credit: NASA/JPL

Sample of Venus' surface taken from Magellan. Image credit: NASA/JPL

Good morning, Earthlings!

Earth has faults, mountains, folds, volcanoes all due to plate tectonics. These plates of rock slide and crash into each other, creating such interesting geologic features!

Venus ALSO has volcanoes, mountains, folds...and no plate tectonics...

That is due to Venus being extremely hot and dry, so the crust is not broken into sliding pieces, but rather like a bendable plastic. A good example of how folds work on Venus is to squeeze a stress ball. As you squeeze it, crease lines form, then relax. We think Venus works the same way!

If something were to "break" on the surface of Venus, it is still volcanically active and fluid that it can essentially "heal" itself. This is why we think we don't see noticeable craters- volcanic fluids cover those up too!

A type of ridge-like faults, known in the planetary community as rupes, are found across the surface of Venus. This is the result of what is called "crustal shortening", or when the crust overlaps and sticks. 

 Magellan image of Lakshmi Planitia (north of image) bounded by Danu Montes mountain range (south). Image credit: NASA/JPL

Magellan image of Lakshmi Planitia (north of image) bounded by Danu Montes mountain range (south). Image credit: NASA/JPL

Thank you for reading and come back next week for a look at what Seyfert Galaxies are!