A Caltech Library Service

Exploration of Icy Ocean Worlds Using Geophysical Approaches

Marusiak, Angela G. and Vance, Steven and Panning, Mark P. and Běhounková, Marie and Byrne, Paul K. and Choblet, Gaël and Melwani Daswani, Mohit and Hughson, Kynan and Journaux, Baptiste and Lobo, Ana H. and Schmidt, Britney E. and Pleiner Sládková, Kateřina and Soderlund, Krista M. and Song, WenZhan and Souček, Ondřej and Steinbrügge, Gregor and Thompson, Andrew F. and Wang, Sili (2021) Exploration of Icy Ocean Worlds Using Geophysical Approaches. Planetary Science Journal, 2 (4). Art. No. 150. ISSN 2632-3338. doi:10.3847/PSJ/ac1272.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Geophysics-focused missions and improved geophysical data sets are critical for the future exploration of icy ocean worlds. Of particular interest is the exploration of the Galilean moon, Europa, and the Saturnian moons, Titan and Enceladus. These bodies likely have geologically active surfaces and may harbor habitable subsurface environments. Placing any candidate signatures for life in context requires further knowledge of the interior of these worlds. While the surfaces of these bodies have been mapped, their interiors remain poorly understood. Geophysical approaches such as geodesy, seismology, ice-penetrating radar and altimetry measurements, and electromagnetometry would provide critical information regarding the interior of these icy ocean worlds. The approaches described below would answer key science questions regarding ice shell and ocean dynamics, internal structure and interior layer thicknesses, near-surface structure, and how material from the deep interior might be exchanged with the surface. Here we outline the geophysical environments of Enceladus, Europa, and Titan; some outstanding science questions that remain to be addressed; and examples of the geophysical approaches that can provide the context to better understand icy ocean worlds.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Marusiak, Angela G.0000-0001-6925-1383
Vance, Steven0000-0002-4242-3293
Panning, Mark P.0000-0002-2041-3190
Běhounková, Marie0000-0001-8227-0685
Byrne, Paul K.0000-0002-5644-7069
Choblet, Gaël0000-0002-0220-9233
Melwani Daswani, Mohit0000-0002-4611-3209
Hughson, Kynan0000-0002-5714-3526
Journaux, Baptiste0000-0002-0957-3177
Lobo, Ana H.0000-0003-3862-1817
Schmidt, Britney E.0000-0001-7376-8510
Pleiner Sládková, Kateřina0000-0001-6486-1692
Soderlund, Krista M.0000-0002-7901-3239
Song, WenZhan0000-0001-8174-1772
Souček, Ondřej0000-0002-6515-5420
Steinbrügge, Gregor0000-0002-1050-7759
Thompson, Andrew F.0000-0003-0322-4811
Wang, Sili0000-0002-3672-1243
Additional Information:© 2021. The Author(s). Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Received 2021 February 9; revised 2021 May 20; accepted 2021 June 28; published 2021 August 5. Ocean Worlds: Motivations for a Multi-Decadal Exploration Program. A portion of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Habitable Worlds Grant: 16-HW16_2-0065) and JPL's Strategic Research and Technology Development program. We thank Natalie Wolfenbarger and Edwin Kite for helpful discussions, as well as the suggestions of two anonymous reviewers.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
JPL Research and Technology Development FundUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Geodesics; Magnetohydrodynamics; Lunar seismology; Galilean satellites; Saturnian satellites; Ocean planets
Issue or Number:4
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Geodesics (645); Magnetohydrodynamics (1964); Lunar seismology (973); Galilean satellites (627); Saturnian satellites (1427); Ocean planets (1151)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210813-181202939
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Angela G Marusiak et al 2021 Planet. Sci. J. 2 150
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:110254
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:16 Aug 2021 14:31
Last Modified:16 Aug 2021 14:31

Repository Staff Only: item control page