Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • Roland J. Wagner
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1231-4


A planitia designates a low-lying plain on the terrestrial planetsMercury, Venus, Moon, and Mars, on the Saturnian satellites Enceladus and Titan, and on Triton (Neptune). A planitia can extend from a few ten thousands to several millions of square kilometers across a planetary surface. Guinevere Planitia on Venus is the largest one known with a diameter of 7,520 km. Tectonism or impacts are the primary processes that can create vast low-lying plains. On planets or satellites with an atmosphere (Venus, Mars, Titan), planitiae can be subsequently modified by material deposited in the plain by wind or fluid flow.

See Also


Fluid Flow Bioorganic Chemistry Primary Process Terrestrial Planet Planetary Surface 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.German Aerospace Center (DLR)Institute of Planetary ResearchBerlinGermany