DPS Pasadena Meeting 2000, 23-27 October 2000
Session 38. Europa
Oral, Chairs: W. McKinnon, W. Moore, Thursday, 2000/10/26, 8:30-10:00am, C106

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[38.05] Comparative Tectonics of Europa and Ganymede

R. T. Pappalardo (Brown Univ.), G. C. Collins (Wheaton Coll.), L. M. Prockter (APL), J. W. Head (Brown Univ.)

Europa and Ganymede are sibling satellites with tectonic similarities and differences. Ganymede's ancient dark terrain is crossed by furrows, probably related to ancient large impacts, and has been normal faulted to various degrees. Bright grooved is pervasively deformed at multiple scales and is locally highly strained, consistent with normal faulting of an ice-rich lithosphere above a ductile asthenosphere, along with minor horizontal shear. Little evidence has been identified for compressional structures. The relative roles of tectonism and icy cryovolcanism in creating bright grooved terrain is an outstanding issue.

Some ridge and trough structures within Europa's bands show tectonic similarities to Ganymede's grooved terrain, specifically sawtooth structures resembling normal fault blocks. Small-scale troughs are consistent with widened tension fractures. Shearing has produced transtensional and transpressional structures in Europan bands. Large-scale folds are recognized on Europa, with synclinal small-scale ridges and scarps probably representing folds and/or thrust blocks. Europa's ubiquitous double ridges may have originated as warm ice upwelled along tidally heated fracture zones. The morphological variety of ridges and troughs on Europa imply that care must be taken in inferring their origin.

The relative youth of Europa's surface means that the satellite has preserved near-pristine morphologies of many structures, though sputter erosion could have altered the morphology of older topography. Moderate-resolution imaging has revealed lesser apparent diversity in Ganymede's ridge and trough types. Galileo's 28th orbit has brought new ~20 m/pixel imaging of Ganymede, allowing direct comparison to Europa's small-scale structures.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: pappalardo@brown.edu

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