Implications from Galileo Observations on the Interior Structure and Chemistry of the Galilean Satellites
Data from the recent gravity measurements by the Galileo mission are used to construct wide ranges of interior structure and composition models for the Galilean satellites of Jupiter. These models show that mantle densities of Io and Europa are consistent with an olivine-dominated mineralogy with the ratios of Mg to Fe components depending on mantle temperature for Io and on ice shell thickness for Europa. The mantle density and composition depend relatively little on core composition. The size of the core is largely determined by the core's composition with core radius increasing with the concentration of a light component such as sulfur. For Io, the range of possible core sizes is between 38 and 53% of the satellite's radius. For Europa, there is also a substantial effect of the thickness of the ice layer which is varied between 120 and 170 km on the core size. Core sizes are between 10 and 45% of Europa's radius. The core size of Ganymede ranges between one-quarter and one-third of the surface radius depending on its sulfur content and the thickness of the ice shell. A subset of the Ganymede models is consistent with an olivine-dominated mantle mineralogy. The thickness of the silicate mantle above the core varies between 900 and 1100 km. The outermost ice shell is about 900 km in thickness and is further subdivided by pressure-induced phase transitions into ice I, ice III, ice V, and ice VI layers. Callisto should be differentiated, albeit incompletely. It is proposed that this satellite was never molten at a large scale but differentiated through the convective gradual unmixing of the ice and the metal/rock component. Bulk iron-to-silicon ratios Fe/Si calculated for the inner pair of satellites, Io and Europa, are less than the CI carbonaceous chondrite value of 1.7±0.1, whereas ratios for the outer pair, Ganymede and Callisto, cover a broad range above the chondritic value. Although the ratios are uncertain, in particular for Ganymede and Callisto, the values are sufficiently distinct to suggest a difference in composition between these two pairs of satellites. This may indicate a difference in iron-silicon fractionation during the formation of both classes of satellites in the protojovian nebula.