Coronae on Venus: Morphology and Origin

E. R. Stofan, V. E. Hamilton, D. M. Janes, and S. E. Smrekar


Coronae are features first identified on Venus. They are surrounded by an annulus of concentric fractures and lineaments, are associated with large amounts of volcanism, and many have radially-oriented fractures in their interiors. Most coronae exhibit partially raised topography, primarily high topography associated with fracturing along the corona annulus. Coronae form through a sequence of volcanism, uplift of topography, and tectonic deformation, followed by reduction of topographic relief and continued volcanism. However, many variations to this sequence have been identified. Coronae occur at volcanic rises, as isolated features in the plains, and most commonly, along chasmata systems. Most coronae form due to upwelling followed by gravitational relaxation, but current models do not adequately explain the tectonic, volcanic, and topographic variations observed at coronae. Coronae provide a direct link to interior processes on Venus as these features are the most likely to result from mantle/lithosphere interactions, and therefore can provide clues to mantle dynamics, as well as information on the interior structure of the planet.


in Venus II, Bougher et al., eds., University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 1997.

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