Large‐scale spatial patterns in topography at Alpha Regio, Venus

V. Sumin Finn, V. R. Baker, A. Z. Dolginov, I. Gabitov, A. Dyachenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hypsometric topographic analysis of Magellan altimetry data at Alpha Regio results in a multimodal distribution. Planimetric display of the spatial distribution for altitudes close to each mode reveals large‐scale ring‐like and crescentic patterns. The latter result from the intersection of horizontal altitude ranges with sloping patterns that are quasi‐circular in shape. The spatial patterns of topographic features near Alpha Regio have the following attributes: (1) quasi‐circular shapes of individual elements; (2) a hierarchy of distinctive sizes for those elements, with diameters of various elements at approximately 2800, 1500, 500–700, and 200 km; and (3) a large‐scale arrangement or pattern in which the 1500‐km highland plateau of Alpha Regio is surrounded by a ring of 500‐km structures, all of which constitute a 2800‐km megastructure. We hypothesize that the intricate patterns of hierarchical scaling for large‐scale spatial elements of Venusian topography result from corresponding complexity in Venusian mantle convection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1901-1904
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 1995
Externally publishedYes


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