Paper No. 43-6
Presentation Time: 2:50 PM
EUROPA’S GLOBAL GEOLOGY: INSIGHT INTO SURFACE PROCESSES FROM GEOLOGIC MAPPING AT THE GLOBAL SCALE
Evaluating the potential habitability of Europa requires an understanding of the geology that drives the interaction between the surface and the deeper interior of the body. To this end, we have constructed a global geologic map at the scale of 1:15M which establishes four areally extensive primary material unit types, Regional Plains Material, Band Material, Chaos Material, and Crater Material which are in turn divided into geologic subunits: (1) Regional Plains Material (no subunits), a high relative brightness material that is seemingly smooth at global resolution (>1 km/pixel); (2) Band Material (no subunits), linear to curvilinear zones with a distinct, abrupt change in relative brightness from the surrounding region that are also greater than 15 km in width; (3) various morphological types of chaos materials identified as High Relative Brightness Chaos Material, Mottled Chaos Material, Low Relative Brightness Chaos Material, and Moytura Chaos Material; and (4) materials associated with impact craters, its local deposits, farther ranging ejecta material and central structure—Crater Material, Continuous Crater Ejecta Material, Pwyll Radial Crater Ejecta Material, and Pwyll Crater Ray Material. We also identify structures which we map as linear features: Ridge, Undifferentiated Linea, Band Linea, High Relative Brightness Band Linea, Cycloid, Multi-ring Structure, Trough, and Depression Margin. Additionally, microchaos are chaos terrains that are too small (5-25 km in diameter) to be mapped as a unit at the 1:15M scale but whose presence is ubiquitous and significant enough to be identified on the map as a point. The global distribution of microchaos is of interest as concentrations of microchaos could correspond with areas of crustal weakness or thinning. Performing a clustering analysis, we find that microchaos are statistically clustered and show a general association with band forming materials. Additionally, we will present on the distribution and global trends of bands, ridges, and cycloids, which could have implications for ice shell evolution through time. In this presentation we will further discuss the implications for microchaos distribution as well as evaluate global trends of different linea types.