Ridge belts, first identified in the Venera 15/16 images are distinguished as linear regions of concentrated, parallel to anastomosing, ridges. They are tens to several hundreds of km wide, hundreds to over one thousand km long, and composed of individual ridges 5 to 20 km wide and up to 200 km long. The ridges appear symmetrical in the radar images and are either directly adjacent to each other or separated by mottled plains. Cross-strike lineaments, visible as dark or bright lines, are common within the ridge belts, and some truncate individual ridges. In places the ridge belt may be offset by these lineaments, but such offset is rarely consistent across the ridge belt. Once the mode of formation of these ridge belts is understood, their distribution and orientation will help to constrain the homogeneity and orientation of the stresses over the period of ridge belt formation. The look direction for the Venera system was to the west, so ridges appear as pairs of bright and dark lineaments, with the bright line to the east of the dark. The term ridge was used in a general sense to refer to a linear rise. The use of this term is restricted to rises which have a sharp transition from bright to dark at the crest, and are 5 to 15 km wide. These ridges are either continuous or discontinuous. The continuous ridges are over 30 km long and form coherent ridge belts, while the discontinuous ridges are less than 30 km long and do not form a coherent ridge belt. The continuous ridges were divided into 3 components: (1) Anastomosing ridges, in which the individual ridges are sinuous and often meet and cross at small angles, are the most common component; (2) The parallel ridge component also consists of well defined ridges, often with plains separating the individual ridges, but the ridges are more linear and rarely intersect one another; and (3) Parallel ridged plains are composed of indistinct ridges, some of which do not have a distinctive bright-dark pattern. The nature of deformation within the ridge belts is complex and not fully understood at present. Some belts show distinct signs of compression, while others have symmetrical patterns expected in extensional environments. Thus the ridge belts may have formed by more than one style of deformation; some may be extensional, while others are compressional. All the ridge belts are being systematically mapped, especially for symmetrical relationships.
LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Lunar and Planetary Inst., Abstracts for the Venus Geoscience Tutorial and Venus Geologic Mapping and Workshop; p 13-14