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Volcanism and igneous processes in small icy satellites

Stevenson, D. J. (1982) Volcanism and igneous processes in small icy satellites. Nature, 298 (5870). pp. 142-144. ISSN 0028-0836. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20140311-105706287

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Abstract

The small saturnian satellites exhibit a remarkable diversity of surficial features including many which appear to be a consequence of internal activity: 'wispy' terrain, linear troughs, and terrains displaying large gradations in crater density. I argue here that the most likely cause of endogenic processes in these bodies is the igneous activity associated with a low melting point NH_3–H_2O magma, a possibility first pointed out by Lewis. Radiogenic heating probably suffices to provide the necessary melting in Tethys, Dione, Rhea and lapetus whereas tidal heating is needed for Enceladus and possibly Mimas. Migration of large fluid-filled cracks is likely (as in Weertman's theory for water-filled crevasses in glaciers), leading to surface flooding. If clathrates are present, as first suggested by Miller, then pyroclast-forming explosive events can occur at a near-surface intrusive contact between magma and one or more of the methane, nitrogen and argon clathrates.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v298/n5870/abs/298142a0.htmlPublisherArticle
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/298142a0DOIArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Stevenson, D. J.0000-0001-9432-7159
Additional Information:© 1982 Macmillan Journals Ltd. Received 1 March; accepted 10 May 1982. I thank A. Anderson for collaboration in the early phases of this work, J. I. Lunine, Q. Passey for comments, and S. L. Miller for useful conversations. This work is supported by NASA grant NAGW-185.
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NASANAGW-185
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140311-105706287
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ID Code:44243
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Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:11 Mar 2014 21:21
Last Modified:24 Nov 2015 20:38

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