Using data collected by NASA’s Magellan spacecraft, launched in 1989 and active until 1994, the researchers mapped the surface structures they called “campi”, which means “area or campus” in Latin.
Venus’ rocky outer layer was thought to be in one piece, unlike Earth’s, which is divided into a mosaic of moving tectonic plates. But the findings suggest that contrary to conventional wisdom, a very vibrant, geologically active planet may exist.
The results of computer modeling of images from the Magellan spacecraft showed that molten rock (magma) swirling under the crust can cause stress, fracture, and disruption at the surface.
Therefore, it was noted that Venus’ tectonic activity may be similar to the Archaean period, 2.5 to 4 billion years ago, when the heat flux on Earth was higher and the rocky outer layer was thinner.
“We identified a previously unrecognized pattern of tectonic deformation on Venus that is driven by an internal force just like on Earth,” said Paul Byrne, lead author of the study.
Bryne said that although it is different from the tectonic movement they see on Earth now, this is still evidence of an internal force observed through movements on the planet’s surface.