Tidal dissipation in the oceans of icy satellites

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Dissipation of tidal energy is an important mechanism for the evolution of outer Solar System satellites, several of which are likely to contain subsurface oceans. We extend previous theoretical treatments for ocean tidal dissipation by taking into account the effects of ocean loading, self-attraction, and deformation of the solid regions. These effects modify both the forcing potential and the ocean thicknesses for which energy dissipation is resonantly enhanced, potentially resulting in orders of magnitude changes in the dissipated energy flux. Assuming a Cassini state obliquity, Enceladus' dissipated energy flux due to the obliquity tide is smaller than the observed value by many orders of magnitude. On the other hand, the dissipated energy flux due to the resonant response to the eccentricity tide can be large enough to explain Enceladus' observed heat flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Enceladus
  • Rotational dynamics
  • Satellites, dynamics
  • Tides, solid body

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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