Thus, the new data confirmed the supposition that the plateaus on the planet are the remnants of continents once surrounded by oceans and created by volcanic and tectonic activities. Spectral data collected during the night overflights of "Venus Express" indicated that the rocks are made of granite. This rock is formed by very slow solidification of magma in the depth and is brought to the surface by tectonic processes and volcanic activity. If there really is granite on Venus, there must also have been plate tectonics on the planet, explains Nils Müller of the University of Münster, one of the scientists involved in the mapping. The genesis of this rock also suggests that also oceans and volcanoes dominated the surface of Venus.
The water has now disappeared on the very hot planet with surface temperatures of over four hundred degrees Celsius. Whether there are remains of volcanoes on the celestial body is still open. So far, however, the infrared data from "Venus Express" have only revealed fluctuations in the surface temperature of three to twenty degrees Celsius, which does not suggest currently active volcanoes. But some regions of the planet seem to be covered by dark rocks, which could be the solidified remains of recent lava flows.Communication of the ESA ddp / science.de? Ulrich Dewald ad