Google Venus

Authors Abstract
David Sandwell
Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Ross Beyer
NASA Ames Research Center

Ekaterina Tymofyeyeva
Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Catherine Johnson
University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Stafford Marquardt
Google Earth

Jenifer Austin 
Google Earth

Kurt Schwehr
Google Earth

Much of our understanding of the geodynamics and geology of Venus has been derived from radar imagery and topography from the Magellan mission (NASA 1989-1994; Saunders and Pettengill, 1991).  These data were archived at the Planetary Data System (PDS) and are easily and freely available.   Unfortunately, the Magellan Venus data are far less accessible to the non-specialist than those of the Earth, Mars, and the Moon. Data for these latter bodies are available via the Google Earth geobrowser, allowing anyone to easily explore the latest imagery and surface information. In an effort to promote public interest in Venus, we have created content for Google Earth that displays three types of information from the Magellan-era.  First the FMAP compilation of the Magellan SAR imagery at 100 m resolution has been assembled into a global overlay image (see Figure) for rapid panning and zooming over 95% of the planet [Pettengill et al., 1991].  Second, the reprocessed altimetry data [Ford and Pettingell, 1992; Rappaport et al. 1999] have been edited and merged with a global spherical harmonic model for topography [Wieczorek, 2007] to form a 10-km resolution global DEM of the planet.  Finally the IAU feature names along with the content from “The Face of Venus” [Roth and Wall, 1995] have been assembled as an overlay to provide basic naming and geology information. 


References:

Ford, P. G., and G. H. Pettengill, (1992). Venus topography and kilometer-scale slopes, J. Geophys. Res., v. 97., 13103-13114.
Pettengill, Gordon H.; Peter G. Ford, William T. K. Johnson, R. Keith Raney, Laurence A. Soderblom (1991). Magellan: Radar Performance and Data Products. Science, v.252 (5003): p. 260–5.
Rappaport, N. J., A. S. Konopliv, and A. B. Kucinskas (1999), An improved 360 degree and order model of Venus topography, Icarus, 139, 19–31.
Roth, Ladislav E; Stephen D Wall (1995). The Face of Venus : The Magellan Radar Mapping Mission. Washington, D.C.: National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Sandwell, D. and G. Schubert (1992), Evidence for Retrograde Lithospheric Subduction on Venus, Science, v. 257, p. 766-770.
Saunders, S., and G. H. Pettengill (1991).  Magellan: Mission Summary, Science, v. 252. (5003), p.247-249.
Stofan, E. R., Sharpton, V. L., Schubert, G., Baer, G., Bindschadler, D. L., Janes, D. M., and Squyres, S. W., 1992, Global distribution and characterisitics of coronae and related features on Venus: Implications for origin and relation to mantle processes: Journal of Geophyscial Research, v. 97, p. 13347-13378.
Wieczorek, M. A. (2007), Gravity and topography of the terrestrial planets, Treatise on Geophysics, 10, 165-205, doi:10.1016/B978-044452748-6/00156-5.



Explore Venus on Google Earth
Composite SAR Imagery (netcdf files and geotiff)
Global topography (netcdf files)


Subduction Zones on Earth and Venus?

   
Presentation at The National Academy of Sciences, May 1, 2016: pdf or power point
   
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