Abstract171 – University of Copenhagen

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Centre for Ice and Climate > Publications > Scientific papers > Abstracts > Abstract171

An ice crystal model for Jupiter's moon Europa 

Annals of Glaciology, Vol. 37, p. 129-133, 2003 

K.G. Schmidt and D. Dahl-Jensen
Geofysisk Afdeling, Niels Bohr Instituttet for Astronomi, Fysik og Geofysik, Københavns Universitet

A simple model for crystal growth in the ice shell of Europa has been made in order to estimate the size of ice crystals at Europa's surface. If mass is lost from the surface of Europa due to sputtering processes, and the ice thickness is constant in time, ice crystals will be transported upwards in the ice shell. The crystals will therefore grow under varying conditions through the shell. The model predicts that ice crystals are 4 cm - 80 m across at the surface. For the preferred parameter values, a crystal size of the order of 7 m is calculated.