Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi

Chaotic Terrain (Venus)

  • Henrik Hargitai
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_47


Chaotically collapsed terrain occurring at the source region of Venusian outflow channels (Kargel et al. 1994).


Its origin is likely similar to chaotic terrain formation on Mars. Lava suddenly withdrew from a subsurface reservoir while the overlying rock collapsed, and rapid subsequent drainage eroded the channel (Baker et al. 1992; Ford et al. 1993; Komatsu 1993; Kargel et al. 1994).

Prominent Examples

The source region of Kallistos Vallis consists of graben-forming coalesced fractures that are flooded by lava and widened by slumping, collapse, and sapping. Its floor near the edges contains “a chaotic jumble of rocks,” 0.6–2 km across. The chaos area is few 10’s km in diameter (Kargel et al. 1994) (Fig. 1).
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  1. Baker VR, Komatsu G, Parker TJ, Gulick VC, Kargel JS, Lewis JS (1992) Channels and valleys on Venus: preliminary analysis of Magellan data. J Geophys Res 97:13421–13445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ford JP, Plaut JJ, Parker TJ (1993) Volcanic features. Chapter 9. In: Ford JP et al (eds) Guide to Magellan image interpretation. NASA, JPL-Caltech, PasadenaGoogle Scholar
  3. Kargel JS, Kirk RL, Fegly B Jr, Treiman AH (1994) Carbonate–sulfate volcanism on Venus? Icarus 112:219–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Komatsu G (1993) Channels and valleys on Venus. PhD dissertation, University of ArizonaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NASA Ames Research Center/NPPMoffett FieldUSA