Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Plate Tectonics on Europa

Scientists have found evidence of plate tectonics on Jupiter's moon Europa. This conceptual illustration of the subduction process (where one plate is forced under another) shows how a cold, brittle, outer portion of Europa's 20-30 kilometer-thick (roughly 10-20 mile) ice shell moved into the warmer shell interior and was ultimately subsumed. A low-relief subsumption band was created at the surface in the overriding plate, alongside which cryolavas may have erupted.

Illustration credit: NASA/Noah Kroese, I.NK

Note: For more information, see Scientists Find Evidence of 'Diving' Tectonic Plates on Europa.

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