Graben System

Living reference work entry


System of large, lithospheric scale extensional tectonic surface structures (graben) (Hauber et al. 2010).



A system of long, narrow lineaments of negative relief.


Classification based on geometry:
  1. (1)

    Radiating graben system (Venus (Fig. 1); Mars: Tharsis, Alba (Fig. 2); Mercury: Pantheon Fossae (Fig. 3)). This type is the most intensively studied graben system (Ernst et al. 2003).

  2. (2)

    Circumferential graben system (Venus; Mars: Alba (Fig. 4)).

  3. (3)

    Linear graben system (Venus; Mars: Alba) (Fig. 5).

  4. (4)

    Rift or rift zone: “Rift zones” on Venus are defined as “numerous and densely packed extensional structures” (Ivanov and Head 2011) (Figs. 1 and 6). “Rifts” on Mars are large fault-bounded tectonic structures...


Rift Zone Lineament System Rift Valley Rift System Continental Rift 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Planetary Science Research GroupEötvös Loránd University, Institute of Geography and Earth SciencesBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Vernadsky InstituteMoscowRussia