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2009 Annual Science Report

Arizona State University Reporting  |  JUL 2008 – AUG 2009

Habitability of Water-Rich Environments, Task 3: Evaluate the Habitability of Europa's Subsurface Ocean

Project Summary

We are assessing the habitability of Europa’s ocean by integrating geologic mapping of the Europa surface with geodynamic models of ice convection and geochemical models of ocean and ice composition.

4 Institutions
3 Teams
7 Publications
0 Field Sites
Field Sites

Project Progress

In Year 1, co-I Mikhail Zolotov finalized efforts to review the composition of Europa’s icy shell, ocean and underlying rocks on Europa as they are known today. The review covers the geochemical history of Europa and places constraints on elemental abundances and elemental exchange processes in potentially habitable parts of Europa. The corresponding chapter will appear in the Europa volume in the University of Arizona Space Science Series scheduled for publication in November 2009.

Collaborator Ronald Greeley participated in this activity through his joint leadership with Bob Pappalardo of the JPL Icy Worlds team of the study effort for NASA’s Europa Jupiter System Mission.