The formation of Ganymede’s sulci is likely related to extensional tectonics that affected this largest icy satellite of Jupiter. Through geometric and structural analyses we reconstructed the pre-deformed terrains and we recognized two different modes of extension associated with sulci. In the first mode, smooth sulci constitute spreading centers between two dark terrain plates, similar to the fast oceanic spreading cen- ters on Earth. Here extension is primarily accommodated by crustal accretion of newly formed icy crust. In the second mode, dark terrain extension is mainly accommodated by swaths of normal fault systems analogous to Earth’s continental crustal rifts. A comparison with terrestrial extensional analogues, based on the fault displacement/length (D max /L) ratio, spacing and morphology, showed that magmato-tectonic spreading centers and continental crustal rifts on Earth follow the same relative patterns observed on Ganymede. Our results suggest that the amount of extensional strain may have previously been underes- timated since the occurrence of spreading centers may have played a major role in the tectonic evolution of the globally expanded Ganymede. We also discuss a possible model for the origin of the different modes of extension in the context of the global expansion of the satellite.

Spreading vs. Rifting as modes of extensional tectonics on the globally expanded Ganymede

PIZZI, Alberto
;
DI DOMENICA, ALESSANDRA;KOMATSU, Goro;COFANO, ALESSANDRA;Mitri, Giuseppe;
2017-01-01

Abstract

The formation of Ganymede’s sulci is likely related to extensional tectonics that affected this largest icy satellite of Jupiter. Through geometric and structural analyses we reconstructed the pre-deformed terrains and we recognized two different modes of extension associated with sulci. In the first mode, smooth sulci constitute spreading centers between two dark terrain plates, similar to the fast oceanic spreading cen- ters on Earth. Here extension is primarily accommodated by crustal accretion of newly formed icy crust. In the second mode, dark terrain extension is mainly accommodated by swaths of normal fault systems analogous to Earth’s continental crustal rifts. A comparison with terrestrial extensional analogues, based on the fault displacement/length (D max /L) ratio, spacing and morphology, showed that magmato-tectonic spreading centers and continental crustal rifts on Earth follow the same relative patterns observed on Ganymede. Our results suggest that the amount of extensional strain may have previously been underes- timated since the occurrence of spreading centers may have played a major role in the tectonic evolution of the globally expanded Ganymede. We also discuss a possible model for the origin of the different modes of extension in the context of the global expansion of the satellite.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/667558
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