Europa's South Pole Region

A sequential reconstruction of surface modification processes

Jeannie Riley, Richard Greenberg, Alyssa Sarid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

High-resolution images of a region near the south pole of Europa allow reconstruction of a series of events, tectonic and thermal, that displaced and modified the surface. This approach is complementary to regional geological mapping, which is based on less detailed images, but covers a broader sample of the surface. The events reconstructed in this locale resurfaced about half the area or more, so they probably ranged over a substantial fraction of the age of Europa's surface, which in itself is quite young (<50 Myr) due to the cumulative effects of such local (or regional) reprocessing events acting over the entire globe. Chaotic terrain was formed (probably by thermal processes) both early and late in the sequence. Trends in changing geological processes that had been inferred from lower-resolution images in regional geological mapping efforts, especially an increase in formation of chaotic terrain with time, which had been widely interpreted as implying a thickening of the ice crust, are not evident in this area. The impression that chaotic terrain is a relatively recent phenomenon may come from the fact that older chaotic terrain can be more difficult to identify, especially in the lower-resolution images used for geological mapping. This study reinforces the conclusion that both chaotic terrain and tectonic features have been formed by competing processes that have resurfaced Europa through much of its geologic history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)808-821
Number of pages14
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume248
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 30 2006
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Europa
Image resolution
Surface treatment
Poles
poles
Tectonics
geological mapping
image resolution
Ice
tectonics
globes
tectonic feature
crusts
ice
histories
crust
trends
high resolution
history
Hot Temperature

Keywords

  • Chaos
  • Europa
  • Geological processes
  • Ice
  • Planetary geology
  • Tectonics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Europa's South Pole Region : A sequential reconstruction of surface modification processes. / Riley, Jeannie; Greenberg, Richard; Sarid, Alyssa.

In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 248, No. 3-4, 30.08.2006, p. 808-821.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Riley, Jeannie ; Greenberg, Richard ; Sarid, Alyssa. / Europa's South Pole Region : A sequential reconstruction of surface modification processes. In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 2006 ; Vol. 248, No. 3-4. pp. 808-821.
@article{e0f77c1eddf94ad9931793d00ebfd863,
title = "Europa's South Pole Region: A sequential reconstruction of surface modification processes",
abstract = "High-resolution images of a region near the south pole of Europa allow reconstruction of a series of events, tectonic and thermal, that displaced and modified the surface. This approach is complementary to regional geological mapping, which is based on less detailed images, but covers a broader sample of the surface. The events reconstructed in this locale resurfaced about half the area or more, so they probably ranged over a substantial fraction of the age of Europa's surface, which in itself is quite young (<50 Myr) due to the cumulative effects of such local (or regional) reprocessing events acting over the entire globe. Chaotic terrain was formed (probably by thermal processes) both early and late in the sequence. Trends in changing geological processes that had been inferred from lower-resolution images in regional geological mapping efforts, especially an increase in formation of chaotic terrain with time, which had been widely interpreted as implying a thickening of the ice crust, are not evident in this area. The impression that chaotic terrain is a relatively recent phenomenon may come from the fact that older chaotic terrain can be more difficult to identify, especially in the lower-resolution images used for geological mapping. This study reinforces the conclusion that both chaotic terrain and tectonic features have been formed by competing processes that have resurfaced Europa through much of its geologic history.",
keywords = "Chaos, Europa, Geological processes, Ice, Planetary geology, Tectonics",
author = "Jeannie Riley and Richard Greenberg and Alyssa Sarid",
year = "2006",
month = "8",
day = "30",
doi = "10.1016/j.epsl.2006.06.032",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "248",
pages = "808--821",
journal = "Earth and Planetary Sciences Letters",
issn = "0012-821X",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "3-4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Europa's South Pole Region

T2 - A sequential reconstruction of surface modification processes

AU - Riley, Jeannie

AU - Greenberg, Richard

AU - Sarid, Alyssa

PY - 2006/8/30

Y1 - 2006/8/30

N2 - High-resolution images of a region near the south pole of Europa allow reconstruction of a series of events, tectonic and thermal, that displaced and modified the surface. This approach is complementary to regional geological mapping, which is based on less detailed images, but covers a broader sample of the surface. The events reconstructed in this locale resurfaced about half the area or more, so they probably ranged over a substantial fraction of the age of Europa's surface, which in itself is quite young (<50 Myr) due to the cumulative effects of such local (or regional) reprocessing events acting over the entire globe. Chaotic terrain was formed (probably by thermal processes) both early and late in the sequence. Trends in changing geological processes that had been inferred from lower-resolution images in regional geological mapping efforts, especially an increase in formation of chaotic terrain with time, which had been widely interpreted as implying a thickening of the ice crust, are not evident in this area. The impression that chaotic terrain is a relatively recent phenomenon may come from the fact that older chaotic terrain can be more difficult to identify, especially in the lower-resolution images used for geological mapping. This study reinforces the conclusion that both chaotic terrain and tectonic features have been formed by competing processes that have resurfaced Europa through much of its geologic history.

AB - High-resolution images of a region near the south pole of Europa allow reconstruction of a series of events, tectonic and thermal, that displaced and modified the surface. This approach is complementary to regional geological mapping, which is based on less detailed images, but covers a broader sample of the surface. The events reconstructed in this locale resurfaced about half the area or more, so they probably ranged over a substantial fraction of the age of Europa's surface, which in itself is quite young (<50 Myr) due to the cumulative effects of such local (or regional) reprocessing events acting over the entire globe. Chaotic terrain was formed (probably by thermal processes) both early and late in the sequence. Trends in changing geological processes that had been inferred from lower-resolution images in regional geological mapping efforts, especially an increase in formation of chaotic terrain with time, which had been widely interpreted as implying a thickening of the ice crust, are not evident in this area. The impression that chaotic terrain is a relatively recent phenomenon may come from the fact that older chaotic terrain can be more difficult to identify, especially in the lower-resolution images used for geological mapping. This study reinforces the conclusion that both chaotic terrain and tectonic features have been formed by competing processes that have resurfaced Europa through much of its geologic history.

KW - Chaos

KW - Europa

KW - Geological processes

KW - Ice

KW - Planetary geology

KW - Tectonics

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33747048168&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33747048168&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.epsl.2006.06.032

DO - 10.1016/j.epsl.2006.06.032

M3 - Article

VL - 248

SP - 808

EP - 821

JO - Earth and Planetary Sciences Letters

JF - Earth and Planetary Sciences Letters

SN - 0012-821X

IS - 3-4

ER -