DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 2. Io I
Oral, Chair: R. W. Carlson and R. Lopes, Tuesday, September 2, 2003, 10:30am-12:00noon, DeAnza III

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[2.04] Possible Surface Effects of Tidal Stress on Io

G.D. Bart, E.P. Turtle, W.L. Jaeger (U. of Arizona), L.P. Keszthelyi (USGS), R. Greenberg (U. of Arizona)

Sets of dune-like ridges appear in twenty-two high resolution Galileo images, which sample seven locales on Io. These ridges are on the order of several kilometers in length with a spacing of about a kilometer. Within each locale, the ridges have similar orientations, but the orientations vary from place to place. We investigate whether these ridges could be a result of tidal flexing of Io by comparing their orientations with the orientations of tidal stress at the same locations. We find that ridges grouped near the equator are aligned either north-south or east-west, as are the predicted principal stress orientations there. However, it is not clear why particular groups run north-south and others east-west. The one set of ridges observed far from the equator (at 50 degrees S latitude) has an oblique azimuth, as do the tidal stresses near that latitude. Although the mechanism of ridge formation is unknown, this correlation between the ridge azimuths and principal stress orientations suggests that tidal flexing of Io may have contributed to ridge formation.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.