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Dix Planetary Science Seminar

Tuesday, October 2, 2018
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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South Mudd 365
Europa's Geology: Insights from Mapping at the Global to Local Scale
Erin Leonard, Ph.D. Candidate, Planetary Geology, UCLA,

Understanding the age relations and distribution of the geologic terrains on Europa is paramount to gaining insight into the potential habitability of this icy world.  To this end, we have generated: (1) a geologic map at the scale of 1:15 million that incorporates data at all resolutions collected by the Voyager and Galileo missions, and (2) a geologic map of nine high-resolution frames obtained by the Galileo Solid State Imager (SSI) during the E12 flyby of Europa in Dec. 1997. The completed maps constrain the distribution of the different Europa terrains and provide a general stratigraphic framework to assess the geologic history of Europa from the local to the global scale. Initial analyses of these two maps reveal several insights including: the non-uniform distribution of microchaos across the surface, the potential of secondary craters to contribute to resurfacing, and the evidence for surface deformation mechanisms to have transitioned from distributed to discrete. In this talk I will discuss Europa's geologic terrains at global and high-resolution, as well as many of the preliminary findings of these two maps and their associated implications.