Astronomy quiz question: Venus' recent crust resurfacing

Astronomy 210 Quiz 7, fall semester 2012
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

__________ on Venus' surface may be evidence that its crust was replaced within the last half-billion years.
(A) Widespread faults and folded mountain ranges.
(B) Lack of sedimentary rocks.
(C) Long curving ridges that cut through craters.
(D) The small number of craters.

Correct answer: (D)

The density of impact craters on the surface of a terrestrial planet is correlated with the solidification age of the crust: fewer craters corresponds to more recent solidification of the crust. The lack of plate tectonics on Venus along with its small number of craters indicates that the crust may have been replaced by widespread volcanism relatively recently.

Section 70160
Exam code: quiz07n0iC
(A) : 3 students
(B) : 0 students
(C) : 2 students
(D) : 22 students

Success level: 82% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.43

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