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Geophysical Research Letters

A reexamination of the spreading center hypothesis for Ovda and Thetis Regiones, Venus

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Abstract

Crumpler, Head, and colleagues proposed that Ovda and Thetis Regiones are spreading centers. The strong positive correlation between geoid and topography observed in Ovda and Thetis is unlike that observed for terrestrial spreading centers. The maximum elevation expected for spreading centers on Venus is 1.5 km, and a cooling plate thermal model predicts a maximum geoid anomaly of 8 meters, both much less than observed. Even if a spreading center is operative in Ovda and Thetis, most of the geoid and topography must be due to other mechanisms. Crumpier et al. also proposed the existence of “cross-strike discontinuities”, interpreted as transform fault zones, but the evidence for these structures is not conclusive.

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