Aqueous Chemical Processes in Enceladus History

Project: Research project

Description

Enceladus is the most geologically active icy moon in the solar system. Recent detection of NaCl- and NaHCO3-bearing particles in the Saturn E ring indicates past and/or present aqueous processes in Enceladus interior. However, the presence of typical cometary volatiles in Enceladus emissions may indicate selective alteration of accreted materials. We will evaluate chemical pathways of water-rock, water-volatile and water-organic interactions to constrain past and present aqueous environments. The processes in water-rock-gas-organic systems will be explored with use of chemical kinetic and equilibrium thermodynamic assessments, and will be constrained by Cassini observations (E ring, plume and surface compositions). The results will include estimates of solution salinity, pH, redox state, speciation and activity of aqueous species, as well as predictions for altered rocks, oceanic chemical sediments, organic deposits and gases. We will estimate temperature, rock composition, water/rock ratio, volatile content, and degree and duration of aqueous alteration that are consistent with observations..m
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date11/1/1010/31/14

Funding

  • NASA: Goddard Space Flight Center: $198,213.00

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chemical process
history
rock
water
Saturn
gas
solar system
Moon
plume
thermodynamics
Enceladus
salinity
kinetics
prediction
sediment
chemical
temperature