Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi

Sinuous Rille

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_351


Linear, meandering features interpreted to be the remains of channels formed by lava that erupted in effusive, high-volume volcanic events (Hurwitz et al. 2012).


A type of  lava channel

A type of  rille


 Arcuate rille; Large sinuous rille; Serpentine cleft (obsolete)


Sinuous channels, which narrow and shallow downstream until they fade (Kargel et al. 1994). They have relatively steep slopes and flat bottom. They can have irregular twisting planform and high sinuosity, and its meanders have cuspate inner bends and show no bifurcation, braided bars, levees, oxbows, point bars, or deltas comparable to those in  canali (Kargel et al. 1994).

Many sinuous rilles emerge from a circular topographic depression or an elongated flat floored depression (Leverington 2004; Hauber et al. 2009).

Morphometry/Regional Variations

On Venus, they are typically 10–300 km long, several hundreds of m to several (generally 2–5) km wide, with depths up to 0.5 km. Their...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Research School of Planetary SciencesUniversità d’AnnunzioPescaraItaly
  2. 2.NASA Ames Research Center/NPPMoffett FieldUSA