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Variability in Io's Volcanism on Timescales of Periodic Orbital Changes

de Kleer, Katherine and Nimmo, Francis and Kite, Edwin (2019) Variability in Io's Volcanism on Timescales of Periodic Orbital Changes. Geophysical Research Letters, 46 (12). pp. 6327-6332. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/2019GL082691.

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The widespread volcanism on the Jovian moon Io is powered by tidal heating, yet we lack a deep understanding of how this distinctive heating process affects the locations, timing, or intensities of Io's eruptions. We show that the quasiperiodic behavior of the volcano Loki Patera in 1987–2018 matches the timescales for the evolution of Io's eccentricity and semimajor axis (~480 and ~460 days). If this orbital forcing is driving Loki Patera's variability, a low‐pass geophysical filter such as poroelastic flow, or a resonant amplification of Io's wobble, could account for the importance of these long‐period orbital variations despite their small amplitudes. The peak volcanic response is predicted to roughly coincide with Io's maximum eccentricity, consistent with the observations. High‐cadence observations over the next several years have the potential to conclusively discriminate between orbital versus geophysical control of Loki Patera's variability.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
de Kleer, Katherine0000-0002-9068-3428
Nimmo, Francis0000-0003-3573-5915
Kite, Edwin0000-0002-1426-1186
Additional Information:© 2019 American Geophysical Union. Received 6 MAR 2019; Accepted 5 MAY 2019; Accepted article online 8 MAY 2019; Published online 24 JUN 2019. The authors are grateful to Ryan Park for providing Horizons data products, Michael E. Brown for statistics feedback, and Emily Brodsky for advice on poroelastic flow. K. d. K. is supported by the Heising‐Simons Foundation through a 51 Pegasi b postdoctoral fellowship. The authors declare no financial conflicts of interest. The data supporting the conclusions can be found in the following locations: (a) for observations prior to 2001: Rathbun et al. (2002, Figure 1), Rathbun and Spencer (2006, Figure 1), Rathbun and Spencer (2010, Figure 2); (b) for Galileo NIMS observations: Davies et al. (2012); and (c) for adaptive optics observations from 2001 to 2018: Data Set S1, which compiles data from de Pater et al. (2017), de Kleer and de Pater (2016), and de Kleer et al. (2019).
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Heising-Simons Foundation51 Pegasi b Fellowship
Issue or Number:12
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190815-091534549
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Kleer, K., Nimmo, F., & Kite, E. (2019). Variability in Io's volcanism on timescales of periodic orbital changes. Geophysical Research Letters, 46, 6327–6332.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:97912
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:15 Aug 2019 16:51
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:35

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