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Multi-phase volcanic resurfacing at Loki Patera on Io

de Kleer, K. and Skrutskie, M. and Leisenring, J. and Davies, A. G. and Conrad, A. and de Pater, I. and Resnick, A. and Bailey, V. and Defrère, D. and Hinz, P. and Skemer, A. and Spalding, E. and Vaz, A. and Veillet, C. and Woodward, C. E. (2017) Multi-phase volcanic resurfacing at Loki Patera on Io. Nature, 545 (7653). pp. 199-202. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/nature22339.

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The Jovian moon Io hosts the most powerful persistently active volcano in the Solar System, Loki Patera. The interior of this volcanic, caldera-like feature is composed of a warm, dark floor covering 21,500 square kilometres surrounding a much cooler central ‘island’. The temperature gradient seen across areas of the patera indicates a systematic resurfacing process, which has been seen to occur typically every one to three years since the 1980s. Analysis of past data has indicated that the resurfacing progressed around the patera in an anti-clockwise direction at a rate of one to two kilometres per day, and that it is caused either by episodic eruptions that emplace voluminous lava flows or by a cyclically overturning lava lake contained within the patera. However, spacecraft and telescope observations have been unable to map the emission from the entire patera floor at sufficient spatial resolution to establish the physical processes at play. Here we report temperature and lava cooling age maps of the entire patera floor at a spatial sampling of about two kilometres, derived from ground-based interferometric imaging of thermal emission from Loki Patera obtained on 8 March 2015 UT as the limb of Europa occulted Io. Our results indicate that Loki Patera is resurfaced by a multi-phase process in which two waves propagate and converge around the central island. The different velocities and start times of the waves indicate a non-uniformity in the lava gas content and/or crust bulk density across the patera.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
de Kleer, K.0000-0002-9068-3428
Leisenring, J.0000-0002-0834-6140
Davies, A. G.0000-0003-1747-8142
Conrad, A.0000-0003-2872-0061
de Pater, I.0000-0002-4278-3168
Bailey, V.0000-0002-5407-2806
Defrère, D.0000-0003-3499-2506
Hinz, P.0000-0002-1954-4564
Skemer, A.0000-0001-6098-3924
Spalding, E.0000-0003-3819-0076
Additional Information:© 2017 Nature Publishing Group. Received 31 October 2016. Accepted 29 March 2017. Published 10 May 2017. The Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) is an international collaboration among institutions in the United States, Italy and Germany. The LBT Corporation partners are: the University of Arizona on behalf of the Arizona university system; Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Italy; LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Germany, representing the Max Planck Society, the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, and Heidelberg University; The Ohio State University; and The Research Corporation, on behalf of The University of Notre Dame, University of Minnesota and University of Virginia. The LBT Interferometer is funded by NASA as part of its Exoplanet Exploration program. The LMIRcam instrument is funded by the US NSF through grant NSF AST-0705296. A.G.D., K.d.K. and I.d.P. are partially supported by the NSF grant AST-1313485 to UC Berkeley and by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to K.d.K. under grant DGE-1106400. A.G.D. thanks the NASA Outer Planets Research Program for support under grant OPR NNN13D466T. Author Contributions: A.C., A.S., D.D., J.L., M.S., P.H., C.V. and C.E.W. developed and operated the instrumentation used to obtain these observations. A.C., A.S., A.V., D.D., E.S., K.d.K., P.H. and V.B. took the data. A.R., J.L. and M.S. performed the data reduction and calibration. K.d.K. and M.S. analysed the data. A.G.D., I.d.P., J.L., K.d.K. and M.S. wrote the main text and the Methods section. Code availability: We have opted not to make the code available because the technique described is non-standard and custom routines were developed for the analysis. Data availability: The datasets generated and analysed during this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request. The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
LBT Corporation PartnersUNSPECIFIED
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipDGE-1106400
Issue or Number:7653
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190424-141802511
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:94936
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:24 Apr 2019 22:49
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:08

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