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Figure 4
Origin of Europan surface morphologies III: near-surface melt water during chaos terrain formation. (a) Ascending thermal plume in the subsurface approaches the pressure-melting eutectic point of the overlying impure brittle ice; (b) melting causes surface subsidence that hydraulically confines water and produces tensile cracks; (c) hydro-fracture from the melt lens calves ice blocks, while fracture and brine infiltration form a granular matrix; (d) refreezing of the melt lens and freezing of the now brine-rich matrix raises the chaos feature above the surrounding terrain, and can cause domes to form between blocks and at the margins. Figures after Schmidt et al. (2011BB153).

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