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Domes on Europa: The Role of Thermally Induced Compositional DiapirismThe surface of Europa is peppered by topographic domes, interpreted as sites of intrusion and extrusion. Diapirism is consistent with dome morphology, but thermal buoyancy alone cannot produce sufficient driving pressures to create the observed dome elevations. Instead, we suggest that diapirs may initiate by thermal convection that induces compositional segregation within Europa's ice shell. This double-diffusive convection scenario allows sufficient buoyancy for icy plumes to create the observed surface topography, if the ice shell has a very small effective elastic thickness (approximately 0.1 to 0.5 km) and contains low-eutectic-point impurities at the percent level. Thermal buoyancy, compositional buoyancy and double-diffusive convection are discussed.
Document ID
20040055341
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Pappalardo, R. T. (Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
Barr, A.C. (Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, 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)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NGT5-50337
CONTRACT_GRANT: NCC2-1340
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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