Estimates on the possible annual seismicity of Venus

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. This is version 3 of this Preprint.


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Iris van Zelst , Julia Maia, Ana-Catalina Plesa, Richard Ghail, Moritz Spühler


There is a growing consensus that Venus is seismically active, although its level of seismicity could be very different from that of Earth due to the lack of plate tectonics. Here, we estimate upper and lower bounds on the expected annual seismicity of Venus by scaling the seismicity of the Earth. We consider different scaling factors for different tectonic settings and account for the lower seismogenic zone thickness of Venus. We find that 95 - 296 venusquakes >=Mw4 per year are expected for an inactive Venus, where the global seismicity rate is assumed to be similar to that of continental intraplate seismicity on Earth. For the active Venus scenarios, we assume that the coronae, ridges, and rifts of Venus are currently seismically active. This results in 1,161 - 3,609 venusquakes >=Mw4 annually as a realistic lower bound and 5,715 - 17,773 venusquakes >=Mw4 per year as a maximum upper bound for an active Venus.



Planetary Geophysics and Seismology


Venus, Seismicity, Earthquakes, planets


Published: 2023-03-31 03:45

Last Updated: 2023-08-08 10:16

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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Data Availability (Reason not available):
The Jupyter Notebooks used to make the results and plot the figures as well as the CMT database and geospatial vector data (shapefiles) of the tectonic setting areas on Earth can be found in a zenodo link to be finalised upon acceptance. Explanation of individual files in this repository and additional figures and tables are provided in the Supplementary Material. Figures were made with Python and Adobe Illustrator. We used the colorblind friendly color map from the IBM Design Library.

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