Europa's surface water ice crystallinity: Discrepancy between observations and thermophysical and particle flux modeling
Physical processing of Europan surface water ice by thermal relaxation, charged particle bombardment, and possible cryovolcanic activity can alter the percentage of the crystalline form of water ice compared to that of the amorphous form of water ice (the "crystallinity") on Europa's surface. The timescales over which amorphous water ice is thermally transformed to crystalline water ice at Europan surface temperatures (80-130 K) suggests that the water ice there should be primarily in the crystalline form, however, surface bombardment by charged particles induced by Jupiter's magnetic field, and vapor deposition of water ice from Europan plumes, can produce amorphous water ice surface deposits on short timescales. The purpose of this investigation is to determine whether the Europan surface water ice crystallinity derived from ground-based spectroscopic measurements is in agreement with the crystallinity expected based upon temperature and radiation modeling. Using a 1D thermophysical model of Europa's surface, we calculate an integrated full-disk crystallinity of Europa's leading hemisphere by incorporating the thermal relaxation of amorphous to crystalline water ice and the degradation of crystalline to amorphous water ice by irradiation. Concurrently, we derive the full-disk crystallinity of Europa's leading hemisphere using a comparison of near-infrared ground-based spectral observations from Grundy et al. (1999), Busarev et al. (2018), and the Apache Point Observatory in Sunspot, NM, with laboratory spectra from Mastrapa et al. (2008) and the Ice Spectroscopy Lab at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. We calculate a modeled crystallinity significantly higher than crystallinities derived from ground-based observations and laboratory spectra. This discrepancy may be a result of geophysical processes, such as by vapor-deposited plume material, or it may arise from assumptions and uncertainties in the crystallinity calculations.
- Pub Date:
- May 2020
- IR spectroscopy;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
- 27 pages, 6 figures, accepted for publication in Icarus