Author's School

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program

Earth and Planetary Sciences


English (en)

Date of Award

Spring 4-25-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

William B McKinnon


Empirical data collected from mapping campaigns combined with modeling of geologic processes improves our understanding of planetary geology. Many planet- or satellite-scale processes cannot be reproduced in labs, thus analyzing surface features provides insights to confirm, discount, or improve models. I present the methods used to map and characterize the morphometry of several types of geologic features found on three icy satellites of Jupiter and Saturn, and the resulting data. Trends in the data provide insight into feature formation, and to both surface and interior processes occurring in icy satellites. Topics include: i) linear features and despinning stresses on Iapetus, ii) long-runout landslides and friction reduction on Iapetus, iii) pits, uplifts, and small chaos regions on Europa and what they reveal about ice shell thickness, iv) relaxed impact craters and the thermal history of Ganymede, and v) the size-velocity distribution of ejecta fragments from large cratering events on Europa and Ganymede.


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