Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi

Radiating Lineament System

  • Eric B. GrosfilsEmail author
  • Richard Ernst
  • Gerald A. Galgana
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_297


Laterally extensive lineament system (interpreted as fractures, dikes, or grabens) radiating from a tectono-magmatic center.

Related Terms

Giant radiating lineament system; radiating/radial graben/fissure/fracture system; graben-fissure system; radiating dike swarm and giant radiating dike swarm; nova.


Long extensional lineaments (predominantly grabens, fissures, and related fractures; rare ridges occur) in a radiating or fanning pattern. Grabens and fissures can be superposed by pit chains, pit troughs, lava channels, rilles, and small shield volcanoes. On Venus, they are about 50–2,800 km in radius with an average radius of about 325 km (Grosfils and Head 1994b; Ernst et al. 2003). On Venus, grabens and fissures tend to cluster near the center, with fissures often grading smoothly into fractures at greater distances (Grosfils and Head 1994b).


Geometries of giant radiating dike swarms (Ernst et al. 2001; Fig. 1):
  1. (1)

    Continuous fanning pattern

  2. (2)


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric B. Grosfils
    • 1
    Email author
  • Richard Ernst
    • 2
  • Gerald A. Galgana
    • 3
  1. 1.Geology DepartmentPomona CollegeClaremontUSA
  2. 2.Department of Earth SciencesCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Lunar and Planetary Institute, USRAHoustonUSA