Evidence of transpressional tectonics on the Uruk Sulcus region, Ganymede

Research areas:
Ganymede, Jupiter satellites, Tectonics, Transpression, Lineaments
  • Costanza Rossi
  • Paola Cianfarra
  • Francesco Salvini
  • Giuseppe Mitri
  • Marion Massé
72 - 87
The surface of Ganymede is characterized by intense tectonic deformation. The two terrains, light and dark, show morphotectonic features, namely, grooves and furrows. These represent kilometric systems at the regional scale, interpreted as extensional structures (e.g., horst and graben systems). Currently, evidence of significant compression has not yet been recognized, leaving open the opportunity to clarify the tectonic balance of Ganymede's surface. Debate still exists on the geodynamics responsible for surface deformation, and the investigation of these features contributes to understanding the internal processes. To understand the deformation that shapes the surface of the satellite, we explore the tectonic setting of the light terrain region of Uruk Sulcus. Using structural geology methodologies by remote sensing and systematic analysis of grooves, we recognize three groove systems within the sulcus and one furrow system in the neighboring dark terrain. Uruk Sulcus is also characterized by the presence of two domains of lineaments, subtle linear texture anisotropies related to the influence of tectonic processes on morphology. Comparison of the combined results from the analyses of the recognized groove systems with the lineament domains allowed us to infer the stress field responsible for their development in the studied area. According to these results, an evolutionary tectonic scenario for Uruk Sulcus is proposed: a tectonic corridor characterized by dextral transpression, with 58% of the internal compressional component approximately N-S oriented and responsible for localized, E-W extensional features among crustal blocks of the shear zone.