Earth, Moon, and Planets

, Volume 69, Issue 3, pp 285–310 | Cite as

Evidence of vertical and horizontal motions on Venus: Maxwell Montes

  • V. Ansan
  • P. Vergely


Based on full-resolution Magellan radar images, the detailed structural analysis of central Ishtar Terra (Venus) provides new insight to the understanding of the Venusian tectonics. Ishtar Terra, centered on 65° N latitude and 0° E longitude includes a high plateau. Lakshmi Planum, surrounded by highlands, the most important being Maxwell Montes to the East. Structural analysis has been performed with classical remote-sensing methods. Folds and faults identified on radar images were reported on structural map. Their type and distribution allowed to define the style of the crustal deformation and the context in which these structures formed. This analysis shows that Lakshmi Planum formed under a crustal stretching associated with a volcanic activity. This area then became a relatively steady platform, throughout the formation of Maxwell Montes mountain belt. Maxwell Montes is characterized by a series of NNW-SSE trending thrust faults dipping to the East, formed during a WSW-ESE horizontal shortening. In its NW quarter, the mountain belt shows a disturbed deformation controlled by pre-existing grabens and old vertical crustal fault zone. The deformation of this area is characterized by a shortening of cover above a flat detachment zone, with a progressive accommodation to the southwest. All these tectonic structures show evidence of horizontal and vertical crustal movements on Venus, with subsidence, mountain belt raise, West regional overthrusting of this mountain belt, and regional shear zone.


Fault Zone Shear Zone Thrust Fault Crustal Movement Crustal Deformation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Ansan
    • 1
  • P. Vergely
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre National d'Etudes SpatialesDivision Instrumentation RadarToulouse cedexFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Géologie Dynamique de la Terre et des planèts, Bât. 509Université. Paris-SudOrsay cedexFrance

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