Hydrothermal plume dynamics on Europa : implications for chaos formation
Goodman, Jason C.
Collins, Geoffrey C.
Marshall, John C.
Pierrehumbert, Raymond T.
MetadataShow full item record
Hydrothermal plumes may be responsible for transmitting radiogenic or tidally generated heat from Europa's rocky interior through a liquid ocean to the base of its ice shell. This process has been implicated in the formation of chaos regions and lenticulae by melting or exciting convection in the ice layer. In contrast to earlier work, we argue that Europa's ocean should be treated as an unstratified fluid. We have adapted and expanded upon existing work describing buoyant plumes in a rotating, unstratified environment. We discuss the scaling laws governing the flow and geometry of plumes on Europa and perform a laboratory experiment to obtain scaling constants and to visualize plume behavior in a Europa-like parameter regime. We predict that hydrothermal plumes on Europa are of a lateral scale (at least 25–50 km) comparable to large chaos regions; they are too broad to be responsible for the formation of individual lenticulae. Plume heat fluxes (0.1–10 W/m2) are too weak to allow complete melt-through of the ice layer. Current speeds in the plume (3–8 mm/s) are much slower than indicated by previous studies. The observed movement of ice blocks in the Conamara Chaos region is unlikely to be driven by such weak flow.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2004. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research 109 (2004): E03008, doi:10.1029/2003JE002073.
Suggested CitationArticle: Goodman, Jason C., Collins, Geoffrey C., Marshall, John C., Pierrehumbert, Raymond T., "Hydrothermal plume dynamics on Europa : implications for chaos formation", Journal of Geophysical Research 109 (2004): E03008, DOI:10.1029/2003JE002073, https://hdl.handle.net/1912/3570
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Scaling for turbulent viscosity of buoyant plumes in stratified fluids : PIV measurement with implications for submarine hydrothermal plume turbulence Zhang, Wei; He, Zhiguo; Jiang, Houshuo (2017-10-07)Time-resolved particle image velocimetry (PIV) has been used to measure instantaneous twodimensional velocity vector fields of laboratory-generated turbulent buoyant plumes in linearly stratified saltwater over extended ...
Walter, Maren; Mertens, Christian; Stober, Uwe; German, Christopher R.; Yoerger, Dana R.; Sultenfuß, Jurgen; Rhein, Monika; Melchert, Bernd; Baker, Edward T. (2010-08-23)The water column imprint of the hydrothermal plume observed at the Nibelungen field (8°18' S 13°30' W) is highly variable in space and time. The off-axis location of the site, along the southern boundary of a non-transform ...
Trophic regions of a hydrothermal plume dispersing away from an ultramafic-hosted vent-system : Von Damm vent-site, Mid-Cayman Rise Bennett, Sarah A.; Coleman, Max; Huber, Julie A.; Reddington, Emily; Kinsey, James C.; McIntyre, Cameron P.; Seewald, Jeffrey S.; German, Christopher R. (John Wiley & Sons, 2013-02-22)Deep-sea ultramafic-hosted vent systems have the potential to provide large amounts of metabolic energy to both autotrophic and heterotrophic microorganisms in their dispersing hydrothermal plumes. Such vent-systems release ...