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Spatially Isolated Time-Transgressive Equilibrium Resurfacing; the SPITTER hypothesis, an alternative for catastrophic resurfacing of Venus

Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Hansen (University of Minnesota Duluth)

The SPITTER hypothesis postulates near steady-state impact crater formation and destruction resulted from SPatially Isolated Time Transgressive formation of ancient crustal plateaus. SPITTER does not depend on a particular mechanism of plateau formation (e.g., downwelling, plume, or impact-induced lava-pond; although a lava-pond hypothesis best fits structural data), but rather focuses on the elements common to all plateau hypotheses: plateaus evolved spatially and temporally separately on thin lithosphere; plateau formation obliterated craters across ~3x106 km2 areas. Secular change to thick lithosphere resulted in crater accumulation. Local young surfaces reflect volcanotectonic burial of craters. The emerging view provides tantalizing evidence that Venus' surface records a long rich history of terrestrial planet evolution, rather than ~500 m.y. as widely assumed.

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