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Published January 1980 | Published
Journal Article Open

Tectonics and composition of Venus


The uncompressed density of Venus is a few percent less than the Earth. The high upper mantle temperature of Venus deepens the eclogite stability field and inserts a partial melt field. A thick basaltic crust is therefore likely. The anomalous density of Venus relative to the progression from Mercury to Mars may therefore have a tectonic rather than a cosmo-chemical explanation. There may be no need to invoke differences in composition or oxidization state.

Additional Information

© 1980 by the American Geophysical Union. Paper number 9L1659. Received September 17, 1979; accepted November 27, 1979. I would like to thank J. V. Smith, W. Kaula and E. Stolper for helpful comments on the original manuscript. This research was supported by NASA Contract No. NGL-05-002-069. Contribution No. 3291, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125.

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