We present a 1:10-M-scale geologic map of the Aphrodite Map Area (AMA) of Venus (0°N–57°S/60–80°E). Geologic mapping employed NASA Magellan synthetic aperture radar and altimetry data. The AMA geologic map, with detailed structural elements and geologic units covering over one eighth of Venus' surface, affords an important and unique perspective to test models of global-scale geologic processes through time. Geologic relations record a history inconsistent with global catastrophic resurfacing. The AMA displays a regional coherence of preserved geologic patterns that record three sequential geologic eras: the ancient era, the Artemis superstructure era, and the youngest fracture zone era. The ancient era and Artemis superstructure, with a footprint covering more than 25% of the surface, are recorded in the Niobe Map Area to the north. The latter two eras likely overlap in time. The fracture zone domain, part of a globally extensive province, marks the most spatially focused tectonomagmatic domain within the AMA. Impact craters are both cut by and overprint fracture zone structures. Twelve percent of AMA impact craters that occur within the fracture zone domain predate or formed during fracture zone development. This observation indicates the relative youth of the fracture zone era and is consistent with the possibility that this domain remains geologically active. The AMA records a rich geologic history of large tract of the surface of Venus and provides an important framework to formulate new working hypotheses of Venus evolution and contribute to planning future studies of the surface of planets.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank reviewer I. Romeo and an anonymous reviewer for thoughtful reviews, and for helpful comments and guidance from editor Kirsty Tiampo. Geologic mapping was supported by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (Award NNX12AQ71G). V.?L.?H. gratefully acknowledges support from the McKnight Foundation and the University of Minnesota. The authors have no financial conflicts of interests or other conflicts of interest with regard to this work.
- Aphrodite Map Area, Venus
- geologic map