Acidification of Europa's subsurface ocean as a consequence of oxidant delivery

Matthew A. Pasek, Richard J. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Oxidants are formed at the surface of Europa and may be delivered to the subsurface ocean, possibly in great quantities. Whether these substances would be available for biological metabolism is uncertain, because they may react with sulfides and other compounds to generate sulfuric and other acids. If this process has been active on Europa for much of its age, then not only would it rob the ocean of life-supporting oxidants but the subsurface ocean could have a pH of ∼2.6, which is so acidic as to present an environmental challenge for life, unless organisms consume or sequester the oxidants fast enough to ameliorate the acidification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-159
Number of pages9
JournalAstrobiology
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012

Fingerprint

Europa
Oxidants
oxidants
oxidant
Oceans and Seas
acidification
delivery
oceans
Sulfuric Acids
ocean
Sulfides
metabolism
sulfuric acid
sulfides
organisms
sulfide
acids
acid

Keywords

  • Europa
  • Ocean chemistry
  • Oxidants
  • Oxygen
  • Peroxide
  • Sulfate
  • Sulfuric acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Acidification of Europa's subsurface ocean as a consequence of oxidant delivery. / Pasek, Matthew A.; Greenberg, Richard J.

In: Astrobiology, Vol. 12, No. 2, 01.02.2012, p. 151-159.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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