Schedule Feb 04, 2022
Geologic Mapping of Resurfacing Features on Europa
Kierra Wilk (Brown University)
Cite as: doi:10.26081/K6792W

There is ample evidence to suggest that Jupiter’s moon Europa is geologically active, with previous investigations suggesting that a subset of domical features on the icy moon may be cryovolcanic in origin. Cryovolcanism, the eruption of water phases or other aqueous solutions that would otherwise be frozen solid at the normal temperature of an icy satellite’s surface, has likely played a role in the resurfacing of Europa in recent geologic time. Although several of these domes have been classified as extrusive cryovolcanic domes, they have not been extensively investigated, warranting a re-examination of cryolava domes on Europa. Here we mapped domical features characterized by their lobate shape and relatively smooth surfaces. These domes are distinct from the surrounding terrain and have been interpreted to have formed via the axisymmetric flow of viscous fluids onto Europa’s surface. Pinpointing the spatial distribution of these domes and their geologic context will provide insights into regions of recent geological activity on Europa and into Europa’s cryovolcanic evolution.

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