Modeling Tidal Stresses on Satellites Using an Enhanced SatStressGUI

Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
D Alex Patthoff1, Robert T Pappalardo1, Jessica Li2, Benjamin Ayton3, Jonathan Kay4 and Simon A Kattenhorn5, (1)Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States, (2)California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States, (3)Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States, (4)University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Earth an Environmental Sciences, Chicago, IL, United States, (5)ConocoPhillips Company Houston, Houston, TX, United States
Icy and rocky satellites of our solar system display a wide range of geological deformation on their surfaces. Some are old and heavily cratered while other are observed to be presently active. Many of the potential sources of stress which can deform satellites are tied to the tidal deformation the moons experience as they orbit their parent planets. Other plausible sources of global-scale stress include a change in orbital parameters, nonsynchronous rotation, or volume change induced by the melting or freezing of a subsurface layer. We turn to computer modeling to correlate observed geologic features to the possible stresses that created them. One model is the SatStress open-source program developed by Z. Selvans (Wahr et al.,2009) to compute viscoelastic diurnal and nonsynchronous rotation stresses using a four-layer viscoelastic satellite model. Kay and Katternhorn (2010) expanded on this work by developing SatStressGUI, which integrated SatStress’s original features into a graphical user interface. SatStressGUI computes stress vectors and Love numbers, and generates stress plots and lineaments. We have expanded on SatStressGUI by adding features such as the ability to generate cycloid-style lineaments, calculate stresses resulting from obliquity, and more efficient batch the processing of data. Users may also define their own Love numbers to propagate through further calculations. Here we demonstrate our recent enhancements to SatStressGUI and its abilities, by comparing observed features on Enceladus and Europa to modeled diurnal, nonsynchronous, and obliquity stresses.