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Estimates of Europa's ice shell thickness from elastically-supported topography

Nimmo, F. and Giese, B. and Pappalardo, R. T. (2003) Estimates of Europa's ice shell thickness from elastically-supported topography. Geophysical Research Letters, 30 (5), 37-1-.

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Abstract

The thickness of Europa's solid ice shell is uncertain, and has important implications for Europa's habitability and thermal history, and the design of future spacecraft missions. Here we obtain an estimate of the ice shell thickness from observations of a plateau SW of Cilix impact crater. Stereo topographic profiles suggest that the plateau is flexurally supported, with an effective elastic thickness te of 6+5-2 km. For a conductive temperature profile this te value implies a solid ice shell thickness of 15+20-9 km; if the shell is convecting, this estimate is lower bound. Combined with independent estimates, we infer a probable shell thickness of ~ 25 km. The shell thickness is likely to be uniform over the entire satellite.

Document Type:Article
Additional Information: LIDO-Berichtsjahr=2003,
Title:Estimates of Europa's ice shell thickness from elastically-supported topography
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Nimmo, F.Department of Earth Sciences, University College of London, England, UK
Giese, B.UNSPECIFIED
Pappalardo, R. T.Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
Date:2003
Journal or Publication Title:Geophysical Research Letters
Refereed publication:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:30
Page Range:37-1-
Status:Published
Keywords:satellites of Jupiter, Europa
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):W -- no assignement (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institut für Weltraumsensorik und Planetenerkundung
Deposited By: Susanne Pieth
Deposited On:16 Sep 2005
Last Modified:14 Jan 2010 19:14

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