Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Christopher Barton (Advisor), David Dominic (Committee Member), Christopher Scholz (Committee Member), Doyle Watts (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


In this study, fault trace-lengths of normal faults are measured in southern Sedna Planitia, Venus between 27° to 32° latitude and 336° to 343° longitude where smooth, lowland plains transition into highland regions which are broken by basin and range style tectonics. The fault trace-lengths are plotted on a cumulative number verses length plot (CNL) and fit with a power function, exponential function, and logarithmic function to determine which function best describes the trace-length distribution. A power function is the best fit with a scaling exponent of 1.73. This result is compared to previous studies of fault trace-lengths on Venus, Mars, and Earth where fault trace-lengths have been fit by power functions on CNL plots. The scaling exponent found in this study is closest to the scaling exponent found in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece. Fault density is the same across the study area. The normal faults in the study area show a small amount of strain and interaction within the fault system as part of a growth regime. This helps to separate it from previous studies on Venus and explain the tectonic transition across the study area.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Year Degree Awarded