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Title: Modelling and interpretation of Venusian channels
Author: Bussey, Benjamin John David
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1995
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The Magellan high resolution radar mapping of Venus discovered several different types of channels on the surface of the planet. Some closely resemble the sinuous rilles on the moon whilst the most spectacular type of channel, referred to as 'canali', are simple channels, up to several thousand kilometres long. One of the most remarkable features of the canali is that they often appear to have undergone erosional processes during their formation. Ambient conditions on Venus make any association with water unlikely, and point to a volcanic origin. A preliminary study of the venusian surface indicated an unusually high density of canali type channels in a region roughly 30° latitude by 30° longitude to the south east of Aphrodite Terra and to the east of Artemis Chasma. Twelve channels were found and a detailed study of them undertaken. This included measurements of length and present day slope as well as determination of cross-sectional profile. Part of this study involved consideration of their origin with particular reference to erosion by lava. As lava erosion is uncommon on Earth it was decided to consider under what conditions lava might be able to erode, either thermally or mechanically, on Venus. A numerical model is derived to investigate the sensitivity of the erosion process to various thermal and physical parameters of the lava and substrate, placing constraints on the physical characteristics required to obtain a suitably rapid erosion rate. The model allows for the effects of latent heat and also considers the presence of a liquid substrate boundary layer between the lava and solid substrate. In the model, the higher initial substrate temperature results in a calculated venusian erosion rate approximately 1.5 times greater than the equivalent terrestrial one.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available