Landform degradation and slope processes on Io

The Galileo view

Jeffrey M. Moore, Robert J. Sullivan, Frank C. Chuang, James W. Head, Alfred S. McEwen, Moses P. Milazzo, Brian E. Nixon, Robert T. Pappalardo, Paul M. Schenk, Elizabeth P. Turtle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Galileo mission has revealed remarkable evidence of mass movement and landform degradation on Io. We recognize four major slope types observed on a number of intermediate resolution (∼250 m pixel-1) images and several additional textures on very high resolution (∼10 m pixel-1) images. Slopes and scarps on Io often show evidence of erosion, seen in the simplest form as alcove-carving slumps and slides at all scales. Many of the mass movement deposits on Io are probably mostly the consequence of block release and brittle slope failure. Sputtering plays no significant role. Sapping as envisioned by McCauley et al. [1979] remains viable. We speculate that alcove-lined canyons seen in one observation and lobed deposits seen along the bases of scarps in several locations may reflect the plastic deformation and "glacial" flow of interstitial volatiles (e.g., SO2) heated by locally high geothermal energy to mobilize the volatile. The appearance of some slopes and near-slope surface textures seen in very high resolution images is consistent with erosion from sublimation-degradation. However, a suitable volatile (e.g., H2S) that can sublimate fast enough to alter Io's youthful surface has not been identified. Disaggregation from chemical decomposition of solid S2O and other polysulfur oxides may conceivably operate on Io. This mechanism could degrade landforms in a manner that resembles degradation from sublimation, and at a rate that can compete with resurfacing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33223-33240
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume106
Issue numberE12
StatePublished - Dec 25 2001

Fingerprint

Landforms
landforms
Io
landform
Sublimation
degradation
slopes
Degradation
Erosion
sublimation
mass movement
Deposits
Textures
escarpments
Pixels
Mercuric Chloride
Geothermal energy
pixel
texture
erosion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Moore, J. M., Sullivan, R. J., Chuang, F. C., Head, J. W., McEwen, A. S., Milazzo, M. P., ... Turtle, E. P. (2001). Landform degradation and slope processes on Io: The Galileo view. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 106(E12), 33223-33240.

Landform degradation and slope processes on Io : The Galileo view. / Moore, Jeffrey M.; Sullivan, Robert J.; Chuang, Frank C.; Head, James W.; McEwen, Alfred S.; Milazzo, Moses P.; Nixon, Brian E.; Pappalardo, Robert T.; Schenk, Paul M.; Turtle, Elizabeth P.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 106, No. E12, 25.12.2001, p. 33223-33240.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Moore, JM, Sullivan, RJ, Chuang, FC, Head, JW, McEwen, AS, Milazzo, MP, Nixon, BE, Pappalardo, RT, Schenk, PM & Turtle, EP 2001, 'Landform degradation and slope processes on Io: The Galileo view', Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, vol. 106, no. E12, pp. 33223-33240.
Moore JM, Sullivan RJ, Chuang FC, Head JW, McEwen AS, Milazzo MP et al. Landform degradation and slope processes on Io: The Galileo view. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics. 2001 Dec 25;106(E12):33223-33240.
Moore, Jeffrey M. ; Sullivan, Robert J. ; Chuang, Frank C. ; Head, James W. ; McEwen, Alfred S. ; Milazzo, Moses P. ; Nixon, Brian E. ; Pappalardo, Robert T. ; Schenk, Paul M. ; Turtle, Elizabeth P. / Landform degradation and slope processes on Io : The Galileo view. In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics. 2001 ; Vol. 106, No. E12. pp. 33223-33240.
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