|Combined VIRTIS emissivity and Magellan SAR image of Idunn Mons|
What Did They Find?They conclude that the lava flow units on the eastern flank of Idunn Mons are likely responsible for relatively high 1µm emissivity observed by VIRTIS. This is consistent with their reconstructed stratigraphy (i.e., relative ages) of the various lava flow units. They also note that the average microwave emissivity of the lava flows is consistent with dry basalts (i.e., cooled volcanic rock), and also may indicate limited chemical weathering.
Why Is It Important?Their data are consistent with lava flows that are young enough that they have not experienced significant weathering, and may represent recent or even active volcanism on the surface of Venus. The authors look forward to new data to be collected by VERITAS, a Discovery Program finalist mission that sadly, was not selected.
- D'Incecco, P., Müller, N., Helbert, J., & D'Amore, M. (2017). Idunn Mons on Venus: Location and extent of recently active lava flows Planetary and Space Science, 136, 25-33 DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2016.12.002