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Magma vesiculation and pyroclastic volcanism on Venus

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/11/1982
<mark>Journal</mark>Icarus
Issue number2
Volume52
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)365-372
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Theoretical consideration of the magma vesiculation process under observed and inferred venusian surface conditions suggests that vesicles should form in basaltic melts, especially if CO2 is the primary magmatic volatile. However, the high surface atmospheric pressure ((∼90 bars) and density on Venus retard bubble coalescence and disruption sufficiently to make explosive volcanism unlikely. The products of explosive volcanism (fire fountains, convecting eruption clouds, pyroclastic flows, and topography-mantling deposits of ash, spatter, and scoria) should be rare on Venus, and effusive eruptions should dominate. The volume fraction of vesicles in basaltic rocks on Venus are predicted to be less than in chemically similar rocks on Earth. Detection of pyroclastic landforms or eruption products on Venus would indicate either abnormally high volatile contents of Venus magmas (2.5-4 wt%) or different environmental conditions (e.g., lower atmospheric pressure) in previous geologic history.