More than 30 scientists from Russia, Canada, USA, and Morocco are participating in the mapping of the planet and studying its geography, climate, and volcanic activity.
The research group of Tomsk University led by Richard Ernst is the largest team in Venus studies, which makes TSU a leading center in this area.
“Venus is a lot like Earth in size and inner structure, but differs noticeably too: there is no tectonic plate activity on the planet and the atmosphere is 96% CO2, which is 90 times denser than the Earth’s atmosphere. Moreover, the surface temperature is 450 degrees Celsius, hence the absence of bodies of water and, consequently, erosion. We are investigating whether the same thing could happen to the Earth,” says Richard Ernst.LIP formation causes a massive outburst of CO2, which leads to drastic climate change and global extinction. In addition, LIP formation is connected with rift genesis, continents breaking apart, and formation of ore deposits.
“We interpret the regional system of dyke swarms relying on similar research on the earth systems. Regional swarms are the key component of the LIPs’ conduction systems. Their location lets us detect the center of the mantel plumes – narrow rising columns of the hot mantle which spread under the surface, influencing the climate,” explains Hafida El Bilali.Carlos Braga, a researcher at the TSU Laboratory of Geochronology and Geodynamics, presented the results of the mapping of the volcanic center Atira. It is located in the Beta-Atla-Themis region of Venus and is ten times bigger than Lake Baikal. The long history of this geological structure is evident in the high number of lava streams that flow in different directions. Geomorphological characteristics of Venus’s landscape play a major role in determining the age of streams and the order of layering. This provides scientists a better understanding of Venus’s volcanic activity and its consequences, which can be later paralleled to the findings of similar processes on Earth.
The Moscow International Solar System Symposium has been organized since 2010 by the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academу of Sciences. The main topics of the symposium concern the formation and evolution of the solar system, planetary systems, and other stars, studies of the planets of the solar system and their moons and small cosmic bodies, interpretation of environments, and problems of astrobiology. Experimental research provides a solid scientific basis for the design and preparation of the space missions discussed during the symposium.
Pictures provided by the staff of the TSU Faculty of Geology and Geography