Mount Etna as a terrestrial laboratory to investigate recent volcanic activity on Venus by future missions: A comparison with Idunn Mons, Venus

P. D’Incecco, J. Filiberto, J.B. Garvin, G.N. Arney, S.A. Getty, R. Ghail, L.M. Zelenyi, L.V. Zasova, M.A. Ivanov, D.A. Gorinov, S. Bhattacharya, S.S. Bhiravarasu, D. Putrevu, C. Monaco, S. Branca, S. Aveni, I. López, G.L. Eggers, N. Mari, Matthew BlackettG. Komatsu, A. Kosenkova, M. Cardinale, M. El Yazidi, G. Di Achille

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The recently selected missions to Venus have opened a new era for the exploration of this planet. These missions will provide information about the chemistry of the atmosphere, the geomorphology, local-to-regional surface composition, and the rheology of the interior. One key scientific question to be addressed by these future missions is whether Venus remains volcanically active, and if so, how its volcanism is currently evolving. Hence, it is fundamental to analyze appropriate terrestrial analog sites for the study of possibly active volcanism on Venus. To this regard, we propose Mount Etna - one of the most active and monitored volcanoes on Earth - as a suitable terrestrial laboratory for remote and in-situ investigations to be performed by future missions to Venus. Being characterized by both effusive and explosive volcanic products, Mount Etna offers the opportunity to analyze multiple eruptive styles, both monitoring active volcanism and identifying the possible occurrence of pyroclastic activity on Venus. We directly compare Mount Etna with Idunn Mons, one of the most promising potentially active volcanoes of Venus. Despite the two structures show a different topography, they also show some interesting points of comparison, and in particular: a) comparable morpho-structural setting, since both volcanoes interact with a rift zone, and b) morphologically similar volcanic fields around both Mount Etna and Idunn Mons. Given its ease of access, we also propose Mount Etna as an analog site for laboratory spectroscopic studies to identify the signatures of unaltered volcanic deposits on Venus.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115959
Number of pages11
Early online date12 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article under the CC BY license (


This research was supported by the ASI/INAF grants 2022-15-HH.0. Partial support for this research was provided by NASA's Planetary Science Division Research Program, through ISFM and DAVINCI. Lev Zelenyi, Ludmila Zasova and Dmitry Gorinov acknowledge Ministry of Science and Higher Education grant 122042500018-9.


  • Venus
  • Volcanism
  • Radar interpretation
  • Spectroscopy
  • Planetary geology


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