We present a new model for the thermal emissions from active basaltic eruptions on Io. While our methodology shares many similarities with previous work, it is significantly different in that (1) it uses a field tested cooling model and (2) the model is more applicable to pahoehoe flows and lava lakes than fountain-fed, channelized, 'a'a flows. This model demonstrates the large effect lava porosity has on the surface cooling rate (with denser flows cooling more slowly) and provides a preliminary tool for examining some of the hot spots on Io. The model infrared signature of a basaltic eruption is largely controlled by a single parameter, τ, the average survival time for a lava surface. During an active eruption surfaces are quickly covered or otherwise destroyed and typical values of τ for a basaltic eruption are expected to be on the order of 10 seconds to 10 minutes. Our model suggests that the Galileo SSI eclipse data are consistent with moderately active to quiescent basaltic lava lakes but are not diagnostic of such activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)