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Lada Terra

Terra on Venus

The smallest of the three major terrae or highland landmasses of Venus (the others being Ishtar Terra and Aphrodite Terra). Lada Terra is also the southernmost of the three; it lies at a latitude of about -60°, and so its diameter of some 8,600 km means that it extends into Venus' south polar regions. In common with the other terrae, Lada Terra is named for a female divinity, in this case a goddess of love from Slavic traditions.

The highest of Lada Terra's highlands lie in its western parts, especially in a mountainous near-circular area named the Lada Rise, in which the surface can extend for some 3 km above the mean planetary radius. The Rise is notable for an immense corona - a basin like structure caused by volcanic upwelling - the dominates its central regions. This is the Quetzalpetlatl Corona, nearly 800 km across, that is thought to be result of relatively recent volcanic activity. Within this corona is another, the Boala Corona, resulting from even more recent volcanic upheavals in the area.

To the north and west of Lada Terra, the highlands of the Rise fall in height to run into the wide flatlands of the neigbouring Lavinia Planitia, but the border between these two areas is starkly evident. The two areas lie above different zones of Venus' mantle, one welling upwards (under Lada Rise) and one downwards (under the lowlands to the north). The result is a long narrow rift, the Alpha-Lada Extensional Belt, that sharply divides the highlands from the plains beyond.


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