IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Earth-like tectonic plates on ancient Venus

31st October, 2023 Geography

Disclaimer: Copyright infringement not intended.


  • According to a new study, Venus, often known as Earth's sister planet, may have experienced tectonic activity between 4.5 billion and 3.5 billion years ago.


Key Facts About Venus Planet

  • Venus and Earth have similar sizes, masses, densities, and volumes.
  • Nonetheless, Venus remains the least understood terrestrial planet.
  • It can be seen in the Earth's sky as either a "morning star" or an "evening star" because it is always close to the Sun.
  • After the Moon and the Sun, it is the third brightest object in the Earth's sky.
  • It has a weak induced magnetosphere and a very thick carbon dioxide atmosphere, which, combined with its worldwide sulfuric acid cloud layer, generates a strong greenhouse effect.
  • This results in a mean surface temperature of 737 K (464 °C; 867 °F) and a crushing pressure 92 times that of Earth's at sea level, converting air into a supercritical fluid.

Findings in Venus Planet

  • The atmosphere of the planet is mostly made up of carbon dioxide (96.5%) and nitrogen (less than 3.5%).
  • Plate tectonics may have played a role in the formation of Venus's carbon dioxide- and nitrogen-rich atmosphere.
  • The latest discoveries imply that ancient Venus may have supported microbial life.
  • That indicates Earth and Venus may have been more similar than previously assumed.

New Findings

  • We most likely had two planets in the same solar system operating in a plate tectonic regime at the same time.
  • Plate tectonics would most likely have ended on Venus once it lost water and its atmosphere became too hot and dense.
  • This process could have dried up the required elements for tectonic movement.
  • The current atmosphere and surface pressure of Venus can only be explained by early plate tectonics.
  • This early tectonic action would have occurred on both Earth and Venus at the same time.
  • Venus may have changed from limited tectonic action to the static lid model that exists today early in its history. A stationary lid has a single plate on its surface with no movement to release gasses into the atmosphere.
  • Instead of being consistently habitable, planets may shift in and out of habitability.
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) future mission to Venus is called
  • India's mission to Venus will be called Shukrayaan-1.

PTT (plate tectonics theory)

  • McKenzie and Parker proposed it in 1957, and Morgan proposed it in 1967.
  • Both conventional current theory and seafloor spreading theory laid the groundwork for plate tectonics theory.
  • It explains how the Earth's lithospheric plates, which make up the planet's outermost shell, move.
  • It depicts how the Earth's thin outer shell is broken up into large chunks known as tectonic plates, which float on the planet's mantle.
  • Plate tectonics created seas, continents, and mountains, as well as played an important part in sustaining life on Earth.

PTT is founded on four broad geomorphological assumptions

  • The lithosphere is separated into multiple vertical columns known geomorphologically as plates sliding kinematically across a semi-molten asthenosphere known as a tectonic.
  • The surface area of a continental plate extends over the oceanic lithosphere as well.
  • As a result, there is no full separation of the continental and oceanic lithospheres.
  • The direction and impulse action of the thermal Convection currents determine the movement or tectonics of the corresponding plates.
  • As a result, the plates are converging and diverging away from each other.
  • The process of convergence and divergence builds a new crust over the Earth's surface while also disintegrating it.
  • The pace of crust development and disintegration has developed an equilibrium profile in which the earth's surface area remains constant.


"Venus, often referred to as Earth's 'sister planet,' has long fascinated scientists and space explorers. Discuss the key features and challenges associated with the study of Venus.