Tectonic Processes on Europa: Tidal Stresses, Mechanical Response, and Visible Features

  title={Tectonic Processes on Europa: Tidal Stresses, Mechanical Response, and Visible Features},
  author={Richard Greenberg and Paul E. Geissler and Gregory V. Hoppa and B. Randall Tufts and Daniel D. Durda and Robert T. Pappalardo and James W. Head and Ronald Greeley and Robert Sullivan and Michael H. Carr},
Abstract Europa's orbital eccentricity, driven by the resonance with Io and Ganymede, results in “diurnal” tides (3.5-day period) and possibly in nonsynchronous rotation. Both diurnal variation and nonsynchronous rotation can create significant stress fields on Europa's surface, and both effects may produce cracking. Patterns and time sequences of apparent tectonic features on Europa include lineaments that correlate with both sources of stress, if we take into account nonsynchronous rotation… Expand

Figures from this paper

Constraints on Europa's rotational dynamics from modeling of tidally-driven fractures
Abstract Cycloids, arcuate features observed on Europa’s surface, have been interpreted as tensile cracks that form in response to diurnal tidal stress caused by Europa’s orbital eccentricity. StressExpand
Lineament azimuths on Europa: Implications for obliquity and non-synchronous rotation
Abstract Lineaments are thought to form as tensile cracks due to tidal stress, which is driven mainly by Europa’s eccentric orbit. However, this model would not produce the wide range of lineamentExpand
The influence of obliquity on europan cycloid formation
Tectonic patterns on Europa are influenced by tidal stress. An important well-recognized component is associated with the orbital eccentricity, which produces a diurnally varying stress as Jupiter'sExpand
Tidal Stress Patterns on Europa's Crust
The ice crust of Europa probably floats over a deep liquid-water ocean, and has been continually resurfaced by tectonic and thermal processes driven by tides. Tidal working causes rotational torque,Expand
[1] Jupiter's satellite Europa is covered by an icy crust, likely overlying a deep, global liquid water ocean. The mutually dependent relationship between the orbit and tidal processes controlsExpand
Contents — F through K Geological Constraints on Tidal and Rotational Deformation On
1. Introduction: Orbital resonances with Io and Ganymede maintain a permanent eccentricity in Europa's orbit around Jupiter [1]. This situation produces a) 'diurnal' variations in the tidal figure ofExpand
Cycloidal cracks on Europa: Improved modeling and non-synchronous rotation implications
Abstract Cycloidal crack patterns on Europa are influenced by tides induced by orbital eccentricity, which in turn is driven by the Laplace orbital resonance. Their shapes potentially record theExpand
Europa's dynamic icy crust
Abstract— Europa's icy crust records active resurfacing by tectonic and thermal processes over tens of millions of years, as rapidity demonstrated by a paucity of craters. Tidal working causesExpand
Multistage evolution and variable motion history of Agenor Linea, Europa
Abstract Europa, the second Galilean moon of Jupiter, is composed of a silicate mantle and an ice shell which overlies a supposed subsurface ocean. The surface of Europa is scarred with fracturesExpand
Habitability of Europa's crust: The role of tidal‐tectonic processes
Jupiter's satellite Europa has been identified as one of the most likely sites for life in the solar system. The tidal-tectonic processes that appear to have governed Europa's geology seem to requireExpand


Tidal reorientation and the fracturing of Jupiter's moon Europa
The most striking characteristic of Europa is the network of long linear albedo markings over the surface, suggestive of global-scale tectonic processes. Various explanations for the fractures haveExpand
Patterns of fracture and tidal stresses on Europa
Abstract the hypothesis that lineaments on Europa are fractures produced by tidal distortion and planetary volume change is examined by comparing the orientations of dark bands, triple bands, andExpand
Europa: Initial Galileo Geological Observations
Abstract Images of Europa from the Galileo spacecraft show a surface with a complex history involving tectonic deformation, impact cratering, and possible emplacement of ice-rich materials andExpand
Photogeological analysis of Europan tectonic features
Preliminary photogeological analyses of the Pelorus Linea and Sidon Flexus regions of Europa were conducted to explore the proposal by Schenk that lateral motion of crustal blocks has occurred in aExpand
Evidence for non-synchronous rotation of Europa
Non-synchronous rotation of Europa was predicted on theoretical grounds, by considering the orbitally averaged torque exerted by Jupiter on the satellite's tidal bulges. If Europa's orbit wereExpand
Patterns of Fracture and Tidal Stresses Due to Nonsynchronous Rotation: Implications for Fracturing on Europa
This study considers the global patterns of fracture that would result from nonsynchronous rotation of a tidally distorted planetary body. The incremental horizontal stresses in a thin elastic orExpand
Fault offsets and lateral crustal movement on Europa - Evidence for a mobile ice shell
Abstract Right-lateral structural offsets of ∼25 km have been identified on the icy Galilean satellite Europa. These occur along dark lineaments oriented orthogonally to wedge-shaped bands, which areExpand
Liquid water and active resurfacing on Europa
Voyager images of the jovian moon Europa show a bright icy surface transected by a complex pattern of long, linear fracture-like markings with a slightly lower albedo1. Very few impact craters areExpand
Tectonic patterns on a tidally distorted planet
Abstract Tidal deformation of the lithosphere of a synchronously rotating planet or satellite produces stresses that may result in a distinctive tectonic pattern. The lithosphereis treated as a thinExpand
Tidal heating in an internal ocean model of Europa
Considerable evidence suggests that Europe's internal structure might consist of a liquid water layer that decouples a thin (<30 km) overlying ice lithosphere from an underlying silicate core1,2. AExpand