There is evidence of a global resurface event on Venus: the craters are young and evenly distributed.

Is it possible that there is another reason: Venus had a very deep ocean in the past, and that hindered formation of craters on the young planet

Venus is believed to have had a large amount of water when it formed, but the water molecule has been broken down due to lacking magnetic field for protection, and the hydrogen released has escaped from the planet.

My hypothesis is:

  1. In ancient times, Venus had a very deep ocean

  2. The very deep ocean prevents formation of impact craters on the ancient planet, so no old impact craters are found on the surface of Venus

  3. Later, the water in the ocean was broken down into hydrogen and oxygen by solar activity, so the water level decreased.

  4. When most water had escaped from planet, asteroids can strike the crust directly and form impact craters.

  5. As most impact craters can only be formed after the water escaped, so we can only find young craters at the surface of Venus.

Is my hypothesis possible?

  • $\begingroup$ The Soviet Union landed a vehicle on the surface of Venus in 1967. There was no ocean then, and there can't be an ocean. The surface of Venus is too hot. $\endgroup$ Commented May 19, 2016 at 4:32
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because of insufficient research. $\endgroup$ Commented May 19, 2016 at 4:33
  • $\begingroup$ Lots of reasons why this is no. Oceans and liquid on the surface leaves very clear visible clues, like on Mars for example, and a planet covered in ocean, you'd have to explain where the ocean went (it wouldn't just go and evaporate all at once). $\endgroup$
    – userLTK
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 5:47
  • $\begingroup$ There is radar evidence of lava flows on Venus, your hypothesis does not explain them. Also the Oceans would have evaporated a very long time ago, the lava flows are much more recent. $\endgroup$ Commented May 20, 2016 at 13:50
  • $\begingroup$ I don't see why this question was put on hold. It's not broad; it is very specific. It can be answered to the best of our knowledge of Venus. Let's reopen this one. $\endgroup$
    – RichS
    Commented May 21, 2016 at 10:52

1 Answer 1


Our best guess is that if Venus had an ocean, it did 4 billion years ago. Then it had the runaway greenhouse effect due to its thick atmosphere. The runaway greenhouse effect would have boiled away the oceans if the planet ever had oceans.

There are several guesses about why its surface is so young (300 million to 600 million years old). One is that the planet get so hot the entire surface melts. It has no plate tectonics and it has a super thick atmosphere to trap the heat. All that heat melts the surface every half billion years or so. Another reason is that it has many very large volcanoes. (167 volcanoes over 100 km across.) That's far more very large volcanoes than Earth has. Those volcanoes resurface the planet and keep it young.


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