(ORDO NEWS) — Venus is red-hot under a stifling thick atmosphere, much of its surface formed by currents of volcanic activity. However, geologists have been unable to find conclusive evidence that the planet remains volcanically active.
Well, we just got some evidence. Venus has many volcanic features on its surface – wide volcanic plains, volcanic domes and crowns.
Researchers led by geophysicist Anna Gülcher of ETH Zürich in Switzerland used simulations to figure out how volcanic crowns form and grow, and determined that those observed on Venus must be fairly young.
This says Venus is volcanically active.
“This is the first time we can point to specific elevations and say, ‘Look, this is not an ancient volcano, but one that is active today, not extinct,” said geologist Laurent Montesi of the University of Maryland.
“This study significantly changes the view of Venus from an inactive planet to a planet whose interior can still feed many volcanoes.”
For some time, it became clear that the surface of Venus is relatively young compared to other planets such as Mars and Mercury. Analysis and geological mapping of the planet have shown that most of Venus’s crust has formed in the last billion years or so.
“The increased degree of realism in these models compared to previous studies allows us to identify several stages in the evolution of the volcano’s crown and identify geological features that are present only in currently active crowns,” said Montesi.
“We can say that at least 37 volcanic crowns have been active lately.”
These 37 crowns have been clustered in multiple locations, suggesting that some regions are more active than others and highlighting where future orbital probes might best focus their attention.
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