Pappalardo, R. T. and Belton, M. J. S. and Breneman, H. H. and Carr, M. H. and Chapman, C. R. and Collins, G. C. and Denk, T. and Fagents, S. and Geissler, P. E. and Giese, B. and Greeley, R. and Greenberg, R. and Head, J. W. and Helfenstein, P. and Hoppa, G. and Kadel, S. D. and Klaasen, K. P. and Klemaszewski, J. E. and Magee, K. (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, USA), and McEwen, A. S. and Moore, J. M. and Moore, W. B. and Neukum, G. and Phillips, C. B. and Prockter, L. M. and Schubert, G. and Senske, D. A. (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, USA), and Sullivan, R. J. and Tufts, B. R. and Turtle, E. P. and Wagner, R. and Williams, K. K. (1999) Does Europa have a subsurface ocean? Evaluation of the geological evidence. Journal of Geophysical Research, 104 (E10), 24,015-24,055.
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It has been proposed that Jupiter's satellite Europa currently posesses a global subsurface ocean of liquid water. Galileo gravity data verify that the satellite is differentiated into an outer H2O layer about 100 km thick but cannot determine the current physical state of this layer (liquid or solid). Here we summarize the geological evidence regarding an extant subsurface ocean, concentrating on Galileo imaging data. We describe and assess nine pertinent lines of geological evidence: impact morphologies, lenticulae, cryovolcanic features, pull-apart bands, chaos, ridges, survace frosts, topography, and global tectonics. An internal ocean would be a simple and comprehensive explanation for a broad range of obserations; however, we cannot rule out the possibility that all of the surface morphologies could be due to prozesses in warm, soft ice with only localized or partial melting. Two different models of impact flux imly very different surface ages for Europa; the model favored here indicate an average age of ~ 50 Myr. Searches for evidence of current geological activity on Europa, such as plumes or surface changes, have yielded negative results to date. The current existence of global subsurface ocean, while attractive in explaining the observations, remains inconclusive. Future geophysical measurements are essential to determine conclusively whether or not there is a liquid water ocean whithin Europa today.
|Title:||Does Europa have a subsurface ocean? Evaluation of the geological evidence|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Journal of Geophysical Research|
|In ISI Web of Science:||Yes|
|Keywords:||Europa, Satellites of Jupiter, Galileo|
|HGF - Research field:||Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)|
|HGF - Program:||Space (old)|
|HGF - Program Themes:||W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums|
|DLR - Research area:||Space|
|DLR - Program:||W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums|
|DLR - Research theme (Project):||UNSPECIFIED|
|Institutes and Institutions:||Institut für Weltraumsensorik und Planetenerkundung|
|Deposited By:||Susanne Pieth|
|Deposited On:||08 Dec 2005|
|Last Modified:||14 Jan 2010 17:36|
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