Implications of shear heating and fracture zones for ridge formation on Europa

Lijie Han, Adam Showman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present 2D and 3D numerical simulations of convection to test the role of shear heating and fracture zones on Europan ridge formation. Our simulations show that a pre-existing fracture zone promotes upwelling and lithospheric thinning, leading to topographic uplift of 50 m. Shear heating also promotes lithospheric thinning and buoyant ascent, producing a ridge-like feature with topography up to 120 m. Topography remains linear along strike even under the influence of heterogeneous 3D convection within the ice shell. Although the central trough is not reproduced in the simulations, our results support the idea that shear heating can produce ridge-like structures on Europa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL03202
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 16 2008

Fingerprint

Europa
fracture zone
ridges
shear
heating
thinning
topography
convection
simulation
ascent
upwelling water
troughs
upwelling
trough
ice
uplift
shell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Implications of shear heating and fracture zones for ridge formation on Europa. / Han, Lijie; Showman, Adam.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 35, No. 3, L03202, 16.02.2008.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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