April 12, 2018,
noon - 1 p.m.
The young (<100 Ma) surface of Jupiter’s icy satellite Europa raises the key questions: What are the resurfacing mechanisms causing Europa to have a young surface, and how have these processes evolved through time? To address these questions we map and analyze (1) the USGS global image mosaic of Europa and (2) nine high-resolution frames obtained by the Galileo Solid State Imager (SSI) during the E12 flyby of Europa in Dec. 1997. From this analysis we find that local-scale resurfacing mechanisms have transitioned from distributed to discrete deformation, expressed by the transition in the formation of the ridged plains to the formation of chaos and isolated fractures. This finding is consistent with simultaneous ice-shell thickening and cooling occurring as the ice-shell deformed. In this talk, I will discuss the analysis and mapping of the global and high-resolution images and propose a synthesized hypothesis for the cyclic deformation that shapes Europa’s icy surface.