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Thermal-orbital evolution of Io and Europa

Hussmann, H. and Spohn, T. (2004) Thermal-orbital evolution of Io and Europa. Icarus: International Journal of Solar System Studies, 171 (2), pp. 391-410. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2004.05.020.

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Coupled thermal-orbital evolution models of Europa and Io are presented. It is assumed that Io, Europa, and Ganymede evolve in the Laplace resonance and that tidal dissipation of orbital energy is an internal heat source for both Io and Europa. While dissipation in Io occurs in the mantle as in the mantle dissipation model of Segatz et al. (1988, Icarus 75, 187), two models for Europa are considered. In the first model dissipation occurs in the silicate mantle while in the second model dissipation occurs in the ice shell. In the latter model, ice shell melting and variations of the shell thickness above an ocean are explicitly included. The rheology of both the ice and the rock is cast in terms of a viscoelastic Maxwell rheology with viscosity and shear modulus depending on the average temperature of the dissipating layer. Heat transfer by convection is calculated using a parameterization for strongly temperature-dependent viscosity convection. Both models are consistent with the present orbital elements of Io, Europa, and Ganymede. It is shown that there may be phases of quasi-steady evolution with large or small dissipation rates (in comparison with radiogenic heating), phases with runaway heating or cooling and oscillatory phases during which the eccentricity and the tidal heating rate will oscillate. Europa's ice thickness varies between roughly 3 and 70 km (dissipation in the silicate layer) or 10 and 60 km (dissipation in the ice layer), suggesting that Europa's ocean existed for geological timescales. The variation in ice thickness, including both convective and purely conductive phases, may be reflected in the formation of different geological surface features on Europa. Both models suggest that at present Europa's ice thickness is several tens of km thick and is increasing, while the eccentricity decreases, implying that the satellites evolve out of resonance. Including lithospheric growth in the models makes it impossible to match the high heat flux constraint for Io. Other heat transfer processes than conduction through the lithosphere must be important for the present Io.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/11165/
Document Type:Article
Additional Information: LIDO-Berichtsjahr=2005,
Title:Thermal-orbital evolution of Io and Europa
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Hussmann, H.Institut für Planetologie, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität MünsterUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Icarus: International Journal of Solar System Studies
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 391-410
Keywords:Io, Europa, Interiors, Tides, Thermal histories
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
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research
Deposited By: Pieth, Susanne
Deposited On:16 Sep 2005
Last Modified:14 Jan 2010 16:57

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