Europlanet Science Congress 2022
Palacio de Congresos de Granada, Spain
18 – 23 September 2022
Europlanet Science Congress 2022
Palacio de Congresos de Granada, Spain
18 September – 23 September 2022
EPSC Abstracts
Vol. 16, EPSC2022-150, 2022
Europlanet Science Congress 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Mapping the composition of Europa’s young terrain features with SUDA

William Goode1, Sascha Kempf1, and Juergen Schmidt2
William Goode et al.
  • 1University of Colorado, Boulder, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, Aerospace Engineering, Westminster, United States of America (
  • 2Institute of Geological Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

To assess the potential habitability of Europa, it is important to understand its chemical composition (Hand et al., 2007). Young terrain features on Europa’s surface likely consist of material up-welled from the liquid water source below (Wilson et al., 1997; Pappalardo et al., 1998; McCord et al., 1999; Figueredo and Greeley, 2004; Mével and Mercier, 2007), encoding relevant compositional information. A major science objective of NASA’s Europa Clipper mission is to characterize the composition of young terrain features using data acquired on close flybys. The Surface Dust Analyzer (SUDA) is an in situ instrument that collects and analyzes the composition of individual grains (Kempf et al., 2012), which are ejected from Europa’s surface by a continuous bombardment of interplanetary impactors (Krüger et al., 1999, 2003; Goode et al., 2021). By applying a dynamical model to these particles, we compute the probability of SUDA’s detections originating from a given feature along the flyby trajectory based on Monte Carlo (MC) simulations. The time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectra that characterizes the chemical composition of individual grains results in a time series of various compositional types along the flyby. We present here a method to analyze a time series of compositional spectra recorded by SUDA that provides a robust estimate for the abundance of different compositional types on the surface, resolved for features along the ground track of the flyby. By demonstrating the association of compositional detections with geological sites of origin, data collected by SUDA is used to infer the compositional ground truth for young terrain features on Europa.

How to cite: Goode, W., Kempf, S., and Schmidt, J.: Mapping the composition of Europa’s young terrain features with SUDA, Europlanet Science Congress 2022, Granada, Spain, 18–23 Sep 2022, EPSC2022-150,, 2022.


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