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cryovolcanic emplacement of domes on europaHere we explore the hypothesis that certain domes on Europa may have been produced by the extrusion of viscous cryolavas. A new mathematical method for the emplacement and relaxation of viscous lava domes is presented and applied to putative cryovolcanic domes on Europa. A similarity solution approach is applied to the governing equation for fluid flow in a cylindrical geometry, and dome relaxation is explored assuming a volume of cryolava has been rapidly emplaced onto the surface. Nonphysical sin- gularities inherent in previous models for dome relaxation have been eliminated, and cryolava cooling is represented by a time-variable viscosity. We find that at the onset of relaxation, bulk kinematic viscosities may lie in the range between 10(exp 3) and 10(exp 6) sq m/s, while the actual fluid lava viscosity may be much lower. Plausible relaxation times to form the domes, which are linked to bulk cryolava rheology, are found to range from 3.6 days to 7.5 years. We find that cooling of the cryolava, while dominated by conduction through an icy skin, should not prevent fluids from advancing and relaxing to form domes within the timescales considered. Determining the range of emplacement conditions for putative cryolava domes will shed light on Europa's resurfacing history. In addition, the rheologies and compositions of erupted cryolavas have implications for subsurface cryomagma ascent and local surface stress conditions on Europa.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Quick, Lynnae C.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Glaze, Lori S.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Baloga, Stephen M.
(Proxemy Research, Inc. Gaithersburg, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
December 6, 2016
Publication Date
July 21, 2016
Publication Information
Publication: ICARUS
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 811073.
Distribution Limits
Geological processes