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

Does Ganymede Have a Surface in Motion?

There has been no icy volcanism on Ganymede, nor continental drift, but it does seem that there have been movements of the surface.

Examination of the surface of Ganymede reveals many kinds of faulting. These provide evidence of the kind of pushing and stretching which the crust of Ganymede has undergone through time.

Examination of the surface of Ganymede shows:

  • rifting (like continental rifting of Earth)
  • faults which cut the surface into a leaning stack of "dominoes"
Examination of the surface also shows that the younger areas were "pushed and shoved" differently than the older areas.

This style of icy-crustal-movement proves to be different from either that of Callisto or Europa. (The other major moon of Jupiter, Io has a more Earth-like form of volcanism.) The difference has to do with heating in the interior of Ganymede


Last modified February 26, 2007 by Lisa Gardiner.

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