Studies of Venera 15 and 16 radar image and altimetry data and reevaluation of Pioneer Venus and earlier Venera data have greatly expanded the perception of the variety and complexity of geologic processes on Venus. PV data have discriminated four highland regions (each different in geomorphic appearance), a large upland rolling plains region, and smaller areas of lowland plains. Two highland volcanic centers were identified that may be presently active, as suggested by their geomorphologic appearance combined with positive gravity anomalies, lightning strike clusters, and a change in SO2 content in the upper atmosphere. Geochemical data obtained by the Venera landers have indicated that one upland area and nearby rolling plains are composed of volcanic rocks, probably basalts or syenites. New Venera radar images of the Ishtar Terra region show folded and/or faulted linear terrain and associated volcanic features that may have been deformed by both compressional and extensional forces. Lowland surfaces resemble the mare basaltic lava flows that fill basins on the Moon, Mars and Earth. Ubiquitous crater like forms may be of either volcanic or impact origin; the origin of similar lunar features was determined by the character of their ejecta deposits.
Terrestrial Planets: Comparative Planetology
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- Gravity Anomalies;
- Upper Atmosphere;
- Venus (Planet);
- Satellite Imagery;
- Lunar and Planetary Exploration