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Lineaments investigations on Europa’s icy surface

Presentation #315.03 in the session Icy Satellites: Surfaces, Ice Shell, and Interior (Poster)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Lineaments investigations on Europa’s icy surface

The already known peculiar and complex fracture patterns observed on Europa’s surface, like cycloids, strike-slip faults, lineaments have been at first explained by tidal stress models. However, the mismatch between predictions and observations led to consider other physical phenomena to explain lineaments’ formation, like stresses from non-synchronous rotation, force obliquity and physical librations. Generally, Europa lineaments are thought to form as tensile cracks in response to tidal stress and non-synchronous rotation (Greenberg et al., 1998; Geissler, P.E., et al., 1998), while cycloidal lineaments are interpreted to be tensile cracks that form due to diurnal stresses from Europa’s orbital eccentricity. In this work, we resume our previous global mapping of Europa’s lineaments, which includes about 5500 lineaments located everywhere on the surface of the icy satellite, to investigate their timing of formation and orientation. In particular, we analyzed the lineaments orientation using both rose diagrams and stereo plots. Moreover, to better explain lineaments behaviour, we will correlate stress pattern models with their locations.


The Italian participation in the JUICE mission is funded by the Italian Space Agency (ASI). In particular, this work has been developed under the ASI-INAF agreement n. 2023-6-HH.0.

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