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The second Sun-near planet of our Solar System. Information on the composition (atmosphere, surface) is Earth-based, Earth-orbital and spacecraft-based (incl. landers like Venera 9); also based on modelling.
The planet represents an extremely harsh environment, with global mean surface temperature of ca. 740 K and pressure of ca. 95 bar, the surface being extremely dry (ca. 20 ppm of H2O).
The atmosphere is also harsh; the composition of the lower portion is: 96.5% CO2, ~4% N2 (2.5 in the more upper portions), 30-185 ppm SO2, 40-150 ppm H2O, 17-51 ppm CO, 3 ppm H2S, with traces of HDO, HCl, COS, S1-8, SO and HF.
The typical composition of the surface (information from 3 landers) in wt.% is: 45.1-48.7 SiO2, 1.25-1.59 TiO2, 15.8-17.9 Al2O3, 7.7-9.4 FeO, 0.14-0.2 MnO, 8.1-11.5 MgO, 7.1-10.3 CaO, 2-2.4 Na2O, 0.1-4.0 K2O, 0.88-4.7 SO3.
Note on the mineral list: it is based on a normative composition taken from the results of the lander's analyses, taken exclusively from the volcanic plains and rises area; this has limitations, as the composition is based on XRF measurements, that include elements starting from Mg. Thus, this composition does not consider the possible presence of carbonate minerals, and some of the listed minerals may or may not exist in reality. Meanwhile, there are fluvial-like geological features on the planet, and it has been suggested that they may be connected with carbonatite lavas; some other geological formations were also supposed to be due to kimberlitic magmatism. Calcite is predicted to be stable; to be sure, the sulphuric acid rains are supposed to occur, but this concerns the upper atmosphere, and the compound is though to evaporate when in its lower part. Iron sulfides and anhydrite may be present in some of the Venusian regions.
- Volcanic plains and rises: ca. 80% of the surface; landforms are usually typical of fluid basaltic lava; the post-accretion heat on Venus is mainly due to radioactivity of U, Th and K; a (single) evidence of high Th content is suggestible of chemical differentiation; the surface is generally low in K, but there are exceptions; the basalts are similar to either MORB and alkaline Earth basalt types in Mg*, FeO/MnO and Ca/Al ratioes, and abundance of Ti
- Steep sided domes: scattered, together with "pancakes", among the volcanic plains; likely connected with the activity of more viscous magma
- Long Channels or Canali: meandering features, may be as much as 6800 km long, incised into the plains or tesserae; the liquids responsible of the formation of canalli are basalt, liquid sulfur, carbonatite lavas, carbonate-sulfate lavas, or water
- Venusian Highlands: their low radar reflectance indicate a possible occurrence of "heavy metal frost" in form of metal sulfides (e.g., galena) rather than previously though elemental tellurium
* Highland Plateaus: ca. 8% of the surface; often deformed by faults -> tessera; some internal parts seem to be resurfaced by basaltic lava flows
* Ishtar Terra: a unique feature resembling typical Earth's continent
* Low-emissivity deposits: concern the highest elevations, like Maxwell Montes around Ishtar Terra
Mineral ListMineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities
6 valid minerals.
Localities in this Region
This page contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in mindat.org without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.
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Fegley, Jr., B., Treiman, A.H., Sharpton, V.L. (1992): Venus surface mineralogy - Observational and theoretical constraints. Proceedings of Lunar and Planetery Science: 22: 3-19
Schaefer, L., Fegley, Jr., B. (2004): Heavy metal frost on Venus. Icarus: 168: 215-219
Treiman, A.H. (2006): Geochemistry of Venus’ Surface: Current Limitations as Future Opportunities. Chapter in: Exploring Venus as a Terrestrial Planet. AGU Chapman Conference Book.
Marcq, E., Bertaux, J.-L., Montmessin, F., Belyaev, D. (2013): Variations of sulphur dioxide at the cloud top of Venus's dynamic atmosphere. Nature Geoscience: 6(1): 25–28.