Canali-type channels on Venus: Some genetic constraints



Canali-type channels on Venus are unique because of their great lengths (up to 6800 km) and nearly constant channel cross sectional shapes along their paths. A simple model incorporating channel flow and radiative cooling suggests that common terrestrial-type tholeiite lava cannot sustain a superheated and turbulent state for the long distances required for thermal erosion of canali within allowable discharge rates. If canali formed mainly by constructional processes, laminar tholeiitic flows of relatively high, sustained discharge rates might travel the observed distances, but the absence of levees would need to be explained. An exotic low temperature, low viscosity lava like carbonatite or sulfur seems to be required for the erosional genesis of canali.