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This image shows the grooved terrain of Ganymede.
Click on image for full size
NASA

Grooves of Ganymede

Instead of icy-volcanism, the surface of Ganymede reveals a gradual surface stretching which is similar to the crustal stretching of the Earth. In this case, the folding and stretching of the crust of Ganymede resulted in big blocks of the crust being pulled apart, as shown in this image. When blocks of crust of crust are pulled apart it is called "rifting".

The lack of icy-volcanism, such as that found on Europa, probably stems from a lack of the kind of heating undergone by Europa. The existence of surface stretching suggests that there has been some heating of Ganymede, nonetheless.


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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA