Geological implications of a physical libration on Enceladus

T. A. Hurford, B. G. Bills, P. Helfenstein, Richard J. Greenberg, G. V. Hoppa, D. P. Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Given the non-spherical shape of Enceladus [Thomas et al., 2007], the satellite will experience gravitational torques that will cause it to physically librate as it orbits Saturn. Physical libration would produce a diurnal oscillation in the longitude of Enceladus' tidal bulge, which could have a profound effect on the diurnal tidal stresses experienced by the surface of the satellite. Although Cassini ISS has placed an observational upper limit on the amplitude of Enceladus' libration, smaller amplitudes can still have geologically significant consequences. Here we present the first detailed description of how physical libration affects tidal stresses and how those stresses might then affect geological processes including crack formation and propagation, south polar eruption activity, and tidal heating. Our goal is to provide a framework for testing the hypothesis that geologic features on Enceladus are produced by tidal stresses from diurnal librations of the satellite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-552
Number of pages12
JournalIcarus
Volume203
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2009

Fingerprint

Enceladus
libration
crack initiation
Saturn
International Space Station
crack propagation
longitude
torque
volcanic eruptions
crack
volcanic eruption
oscillation
heating
orbits
oscillations
causes

Keywords

  • Enceladus
  • Tectonics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Hurford, T. A., Bills, B. G., Helfenstein, P., Greenberg, R. J., Hoppa, G. V., & Hamilton, D. P. (2009). Geological implications of a physical libration on Enceladus. Icarus, 203(2), 541-552. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2009.04.025

Geological implications of a physical libration on Enceladus. / Hurford, T. A.; Bills, B. G.; Helfenstein, P.; Greenberg, Richard J.; Hoppa, G. V.; Hamilton, D. P.

In: Icarus, Vol. 203, No. 2, 10.2009, p. 541-552.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hurford, TA, Bills, BG, Helfenstein, P, Greenberg, RJ, Hoppa, GV & Hamilton, DP 2009, 'Geological implications of a physical libration on Enceladus', Icarus, vol. 203, no. 2, pp. 541-552. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2009.04.025
Hurford TA, Bills BG, Helfenstein P, Greenberg RJ, Hoppa GV, Hamilton DP. Geological implications of a physical libration on Enceladus. Icarus. 2009 Oct;203(2):541-552. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2009.04.025
Hurford, T. A. ; Bills, B. G. ; Helfenstein, P. ; Greenberg, Richard J. ; Hoppa, G. V. ; Hamilton, D. P. / Geological implications of a physical libration on Enceladus. In: Icarus. 2009 ; Vol. 203, No. 2. pp. 541-552.
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