Record number :
2371996
Title of article :
Sulfuric Acid Production on Europa: The Radiolysis of Sulfur in Water Ice
Author/Authors :
Carlson، نويسنده , , R.W. and Anderson، نويسنده , , M.S. and Johnson، نويسنده , , R.E. and Schulman، نويسنده , , M.B. and Yavrouian، نويسنده , , A.H.، نويسنده ,
Issue Information :
روزنامه با شماره پیاپی سال 2002
Pages :
8
From page :
456
To page :
463
Abstract :
Europaʹs surface is chemically altered by radiolysis from energetic charged particle bombardment. It has been suggested that hydrated sulfuric acid (H2SO4·nH2O) is a major surface species and is part of a radiolytic sulfur cycle, where a dynamic equilibrium exists between continuous production and destruction of sulfur polymers Sx, sulfur dioxide SO2, hydrogen sulfide H2S, and H2SO4·nH2O. We measured the rate of sulfate anion production for cyclo-octal sulfur grains in frozen water at temperatures, energies, and dose rates appropriate for Europa using energetic electrons. The measured rate is GMixture(SO42−)=fSulfur (r0/r)βG1 molecules (100 eV)−1, where fSulfur is the sulfur weight fraction, r is the grain radius, r0=50 μm, β≈1.9, and G1=0.4±0.1. Equilibrium column densities N are derived for Europaʹs surface and follow the ordering N(H2SO4) » N(S)>N(SO2)>N(H2S). The lifetime of a sulfur atom on Europaʹs surface for radiolysis to H2SO4 is τ(−S)=120(r/r0)β years. Rapid radiolytic processing hides the identity of the original source of the sulfurous material, but Iogenic plasma ion implantation and an acidic or salty ocean are candidate sources. Sulfate salts, if present, would be decomposed in <3800 years and be rapidly assimilated into the sulfur cycle.
Keywords :
Radiation chemistry , surfaces—satellite , Europa , magnetospheres
Journal title :
Icarus
Serial Year :
2002
Link To Document :
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