Icy Worlds

Seismic Wave Propagation in Icy Ocean Worlds

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
May 10, 2017
Filed under
Seismic Wave Propagation in Icy Ocean Worlds
Antarctic Ice

To date, seismological efforts have been limited to terrestrial objects: Earth, the Moon, and soon Mars. All have in common a rigid lithosphere above a solid mantle. The coming years may see the development of seismological experiments for Europa, Titan and Enceladus, so it is necessary to adapt seismological concepts to the setting of worlds with global oceans covered in ice.

Here we use wave form analyses to identify and classify wave types, developing a lexicon for icy ocean world seismology intended to be useful to both seismologists and planetary scientists. We use results from spectral-element simulations of broadband seismic wavefields to adapt seismological concepts to icy ocean worlds. We present a concise naming scheme for seismic waves and an overview over the features of the seismic wavefield on Europa, Titan, Ganymede and Enceladus. In close connection with geophysical interior models, we analyze simulated seismic measurements of Europa and Titan that might be used to constrain geochemical parameters governing the habitability of a sub-ice ocean.

Simon C. Stähler, Mark P. Panning, Steve D. Vance, Ralph Lorenz, Martin van Driel, Tarje Nissen-Meyer, Sharon Kedar
(Submitted on 9 May 2017)

Comments: 26 pages, 10 figures, submitted to JGR Planets
Subjects: Geophysics (physics.geo-ph); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1705.03500 [physics.geo-ph] (or arXiv:1705.03500v1 [physics.geo-ph] for this version)
Submission history
From: Simon Stähler
[v1] Tue, 9 May 2017 19:27:23 GMT (5465kb,D)


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