The Niobe Planitia quadrangle (V-23) encompasses approximately 8,000,000 km2 of the Venusian equatorial region extending from lat 0 deg to 25 deg N. and from long 90 deg to 120 deg E. (approximately 9,500 15-minute quadrangles on Earth). The map area lies along the north margin of the equatorial highland, Aphrodite Terra (V-35), and extends into the lowland region to the north, preserving a transition from southern highlands to northern lowlands (figs. 1, 2, map sheet). The northern parts of the crustal plateau, Ovda Regio and Haasttse-baad Tessera, mark the south margin of the map area; Niobe and Sogolon Planitiae make up the lowland region. The division between Niobe and Sogolon Planitiae is generally topographic, and Sogolon Planitia forms a relatively small elongate basin. Mesolands, the intermediate topographic level of Venus, are essentially absent or represented only by Gegute Tessera, which forms a slightly elevated region that separates Niobe Planitia from Llorona Planitia to the east (V-24). Lowlands within the map area host five features currently classified as coronae: Maya Corona (lat 23 deg N., long 97 deg E.) resides to the northwest and Dhisana, Allatu, Omeciuatl, and Bhumiya Coronae cluster loosely in the east-central area. Lowlands extend north, east, and west of the map area.
Mapping the Niobe Planitia quadrangle (V-23) provides an excellent opportunity to examine a large tract of lowlands and the adjacent highlands with the express goal of clarifying the processes responsible for resurfacing this part of Venus and the resulting implications for Venus evolution. Although Venus lowlands are widely considered to have a volcanic origin, lowlands in the map area lack adjacent coronae or other obvious volcanic sources.