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Estimates of Europa’s ice shell thickness and strain rate from flanking cracks and bulge along Ridge R

Zhan, Zhongwen and Chen, Chuxin (2006) Estimates of Europa’s ice shell thickness and strain rate from flanking cracks and bulge along Ridge R. Science in China Series G, 49 (6). pp. 748-756. ISSN 1672-1799.

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Europa, the second Galilean satellite outward from Jupiter, has an outer layer of water of about 100 km thick and an outmost ice shell. The thickness of the ice shell is very important in understanding Europa’s habitability and thermal history, but estimates from different studies are very inconsistent, ranging from 0.2 to 30 km. Here we obtain an estimate of the ice shell thickness from locations of flanking crack and forebulge along Ridge R. Considering the water’s heating process to nearby ice shell in the crack, a flexure model is applied and it suggests the thickness of an ice shell to be 500–1500 m without a convective layer. Compared with previous studies using the same method but ignoring the water’s heating process, the rationality and accuracy have been improved dramatically in our results. We also get some constraints on the strain rate ε and the characteristic temperature T_c, which defines the base of the elastic layer.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Zhan, Zhongwen0000-0002-5586-2607
Additional Information:© 2006 Springer Science+Business Media. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. NSFC40474063).
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Natural Science Foundation of ChinaNSFC40474063
Subject Keywords:Europa, ice shell thickness, strain rate, temperature distribution, flexure
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150610-084023253
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:58148
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:10 Jun 2015 15:52
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 08:32

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