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This is an image of Venus.
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NASA/JPL

Volcanic Formations of Venus

One reason scientists think that Venus has a thick crust comes from the shape of the volcanoes of Venus. (This is a different reason than in the case of Mars).

In the long time in which the volcanoes exist, there has not been a form of erosion called "slumping". Over time, volcanoes slump, like icecream in a dish which is left out too long. An example of slumping is found on Jupiter's moon Callisto.

This means that the crust of Venus has a significant amount of strength to it, and cannot be bent or deformed, as in the case of the Earth. Thus the lithosphere cannot subduct. It stays in place and thickens by cooling gradually.


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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA