NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Analysis of Europan Cycloid Morphology and Implications for Formation MechanismsEuropa's highly fractured crust has been shown to contain features with a range of differing morphologies. Most lineaments on Europa are believed to have initiated as cracks, although the type of cracking (e.g. tensile vs. shear) remains unclear and may vary for different morphologies. Arcuate lineaments, called cycloids or flexi, have been observed in nearly all imaged regions of Europa and have been modeled as tensile fractures that were initiated in response to diurnal variations in tides. Despite this hypothesis about the formation mechanism, there have been no detailed analyses of the variable morphologies of cycloids. We have examined Galileo images of numerous locations on Europa to develop a catalog of the different morphologies of cycloids. This study focuses on variations in morphology along individual cycloid segments and differences in cusp styles between segments, while illustrating how morphologic evidence can help unravel formation mechanisms. In so doing, we present evidence for cycloid cusps forming due to secondary fracturing during strike-slip sliding on pre-existing cycloid segments.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Marshall, S. T. (Idaho Univ. Moscow, ID, United States)
Kattenhorn, S. A. (Idaho Univ. Moscow, ID, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Publication Information
Publication: Workshop on Europa's Icy Shell: Past, Present, and Future
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

Related Records

IDRelationTitle20040055312Analytic PrimaryWorkshop on Europa's Icy Shell: Past, Present, and Future
Document Inquiry