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Venus fractures

Updated Thursday, 6th April 2006

Images provided by NASA of fractures found on the surface of Venus

This page was published over 16 years ago. Please be aware that due to the passage of time, the information provided on this page may be out of date or otherwise inaccurate, and any views or opinions expressed may no longer be relevant. Some technical elements such as audio-visual and interactive media may no longer work. For more detail, see our Archive and Deletion Policy.

Older surface standing proud of lava floods
A 105 km wide radar image covering a region where high, bright remnants of older surface stick out above lower areas flooded by dark, smooth lava. The prominent bright fracture pattern within the lava is a set of interconnected channels, perhaps created by lava draining through tectonically-controlled fractures.

A heavily fractured part of Venus
A 140 km wide radar image of a heavily fractured region of Venus. Note the partially preserved impact crater, whose eastern part was destroyed during the creation of the dark (smooth) valley that runs down the centre of the image.

A cimputer perspective view of the Dali chasm
A composite perspective view made by draping a radar image onto a computer model of topography, showing part of the Dali Chasma fracture system on Venus. The radar-bright zone along the highest part of the curved ridge may represent a change in surface composition, and could show where the temperature has become low enough for iron sulphide to condense onto the rock surface to form iron pyrites (‘fools gold’).

Similar to a river valley on Earth, but possibly cut by flowing lava
What’s this? A 130 km wide image of a partly-fractured, partly-lava covered region of Venus with a 200 km length of a winding (sinuous) channel snaking its way across the centre. It resembles a meandering river on Earth, but cannot have been carved by flowing water because Venus has long been far too hot for that. It was probably created by flowing lava.

All Images: NASA-JPL Photojournal

Continue your journey across the surface of Venus:
Terrain: An introduction
Lava flows
Mountain belts

Please note these pages include a number of large images which may take a few seconds to load if you have a slow connection to the internet.


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