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Title: Dynamics of fault motion and the origin of contrasting tectonic style between Earth and Venus
Authors: Karato, Shun-ichiro
Barbot, Sylvain
Keywords: DRNTU::Science::Geology
Particle Size
Issue Date: 2018
Source: Karato, S., & Barbot, S. (2018). Dynamics of fault motion and the origin of contrasting tectonic style between Earth and Venus. Scientific Reports, 8, 11884-. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-30174-6
Series/Report no.: Scientific Reports
Abstract: Plate tectonics is one mode of mantle convection that occurs when the surface layer (the lithosphere) is relatively weak. When plate tectonics operates on a terrestrial planet, substantial exchange of materials occurs between planetary interior and its surface. This is likely a key in maintaining the habitable environment on a planet. Therefore it is essential to understand under which conditions plate tectonics operates on a terrestrial planet. One of the puzzling observations in this context is the fact that plate tectonics occurs on Earth but not on Venus despite their similar size and composition. Factors such as the difference in water content or in grain-size have been invoked, but these models cannot easily explain the contrasting tectonic styles between Earth and Venus. We propose that strong dynamic weakening in friction is a key factor. Fast unstable fault motion is found in cool Earth, while slow and stable fault motion characterizes hot Venus, leading to substantial dynamic weakening on Earth but not on Venus. Consequently, the tectonic plates are weak on Earth allowing for their subduction, while the strong plates on Venus promote the stagnant lid regime of mantle convection.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-30174-6
Rights: © 2018 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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