loading page

Determining characteristic morphological wavelengths for Venus using Baltis Vallis.
  • Jack W Conrad,
  • Francis Nimmo
Jack W Conrad
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Francis Nimmo
University of California, Santa Cruz
Author Profile


One of Venus’ most enigmatic landforms is Baltis Vallis, the longest observed channel on the surface (~7000 km long). Topographic conformity analysis shows that Baltis Vallis was modified over most of its observed wavelengths. Since the source location of Baltis Vallis is not well constrained, we analyze in both flow directions. For the commonly used northern source, topography across all wavelengths appears to be created after Baltis Vallis. However, for the southern source, topographic components with wavelengths longer than ~1900 km might have previously existed. Fourier analysis reveals three characteristic wavelengths, ~110-235 km, ~640±25 km and ~3500±1200 km. The shortest corresponds to deformation belts that cross Venus’ low plains, while the medium currently lacks an explanation. The longest is plausibly associated with the wavelength of dynamic uplift of the crust by mantle plumes. Higher resolution observations provided by the VERITAS mission can help resolve the source location of Baltis Vallis.