Comparison Between Terrestrial Explosion Crater Morphology in Floating Ice and Europan ChaosCraters created by explosives have been found to serve as valuable analogs to impact craters, within limits. Explosion craters have been created in floating terrestrial ice in experiments related to clearing ice from waterways. Features called chaos occur on the surface of Europa s floating ice shell. Chaos is defined as a region in which the background plains have been disrupted. Common features of chaos include rafted blocks of pre-existing terrain suspended in a matrix of smooth or hummocky material; low surface albedo; and structural control on chaos outline shape by pre-existing lineaments. All published models of chaos formation call on endogenic processes whereby chaos forms through thermal processes. Nonetheless, we note morphological similarities between terrestrial explosion craters and Europan chaos at a range of scales and consider whether some chaos may have formed by impact. We explore these similarities through geologic and morphologic mapping.
Billings, S. E. (Idaho Univ. Moscow, ID, United States)
Kattenhorn, S. A. (Idaho Univ. Moscow, ID, United States)