EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Corona structures as a window into volcano-tectonic activity on Venus: key insights and ways forward

Anna Gülcher1, Taras Gerya1, and Laurent Montési2
Anna Gülcher et al.
  • 1ETH Zürich, Institute of Geophysics, Department of Earth Sciences, Zürich, Switzerland
  • 2Department of Geology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA

Our neighbouring planet Venus holds key insights into terrestrial planet evolution. At present, there is no mosaic of mobile tectonic plates on the planet, yet Venus’ surface is scarred with many tectonic and volcanic structures. Surface deformation seems to be related to regional-scale tectonic deformation and/or mantle upwellings, but it remains questionable exactly when, and how, Venus is resurfacing. “Coronae” are ~circular crown-like structures with traces of tectonic and volcanic activity. They are commonly proposed to be surface manifestations of mantle plume upwellings and/or magmatism, and may therefore provide fundamental insights to Venus’ interior dynamics through time. The exact processes underlying their development and the reasons for their diverse morphologies have been widely debated in the past, with several key outcomes for the Venus scientific community. 

In this presentation, I focus on our recent 3D numerical studyof plume-induced corona formation [1] and discuss what insights this study gives on the thermal evolution of Venus, as well as its present-day geological activity. The modelled corona morphologies are strongly on the lithospheric structure and the underlying dynamic processes at play. By a detailed comparison the modeling results with observed corona features (data from NASA’s Magellan mission), widespread plume activity on Venus was identified.  Moreover, I present prompting new results on the gravitational signatures of these modelled corona structures, and discuss whether we can distinguish between different stages of corona evolution in the gravity field. These outcomes may be important for future radio science experiments aboard ESA’s EnVision orbiter.

Finally, I’ll touch upon several key directions for future research on these enigmatic coronae structures, which are relevant in light of the upcoming ‘Decade(s) of Venus Science’. While I mainly formulate these key questions form a geodynamical point-of-view, I invite scientists from all disciplines of the Geo- and Planetary sciences to join the discussion on how these unique coronae can provide key information on the evolution of the interior and surface of Earth’s twin planet.

[1] Gülcher, A.J.P., Gerya, T.V., Montési, L.G.J., and Munch, J., (2020). Corona structures driven by plume–lithosphere interactions and evidence for ongoing plume activity on Venus. Nature Geoscience, 13, 547–554. 

How to cite: Gülcher, A., Gerya, T., and Montési, L.: Corona structures as a window into volcano-tectonic activity on Venus: key insights and ways forward, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7680,, 2022.


Display file