The Unsurprising Secret of Enceladus’s Plume

Thursday, November 18 at 11:00AM (MDT): Dr. Emily Martin


Pit chain formation on Enceladus is consistent with extension fracturing or dilational faulting and Enceladus is the only body in the outer solar system where pit chain has been positively identified. Forming by extension fracturing or dilational faulting, Enceladus’s pit chains develop their distinct pitted or scalloped appearance when a layer of loose, unconsolidated near-surface material (regolith) overlies an opening fracture. Pit chains that form by the draining of regolith into subsurface voids provide a tool for quantifying regolith thickness and deposition rates. We test three techniques to use pit chains on Enceladus to infer the spatial distribution of regolith depths across the surface of Enceladus, and assess the deposition rates across the surface to better constrain the geological history of Enceladus’s enigmatic plume.

Watch the zoom recording here. Password: +p2@$sny

2021 – Dr. Emily Martin