22-EPN3-087: Evolution and Icy Satellite Deformation through the Investigation of Glacial Environments and the Characterisation of Earth Analogues
June 3, 2023

22-EPN3-087: EVIDENCE – EVolution and Icy satellite Deformation through the investigation of glacial ENvironments and the Characterisation of Earth Analogues

Visit by Costanza Rossi (INAF-Astronomical Observatory of Padova, Italy) and Riccardo Pozzobon (University of Padova) to TA1.6 Argentinian Andes (Argentina).
Dates of visit: 20 February – 01 March 2024

Report Summary: The Tierra del Fuego glaciers in Patagonia (Argentina) represent optimal analogues for the study of the deformation of icy planetary surfaces, and in particular those of Jupiter and Saturn icy satellites. The multi-scalar approach of the EVIDENCE project addresses to the relation of the glacier’s deformation structures from local-scale to regional-scale. Such investigation provides pivotal support for planetary analysis, to better understand the expected local-scale structural pattern. Through the fieldwork in the Tierra del Fuego glaciers, scaling laws of deformation in icy surfaces have been identified from the tectonic setting at local-scale at both surface and depth.

The fieldwork in the Ushuaia area has allowed the identification of structures (fractures/faults) in Vinciguerra, Martial, Ojo del Albino and Alvear glaciers and in the Cueva del Jimbo. Field data have been acquired by UAV detection and structural geology survey and integrated in virtual outcrop models. Both high-angle extensional and strike structures and low-angle thrusts have been recognised at local-scale. Such data will be then compared with the structures visible on regional-scale satellite images of the investigated glaciers. This comparison will allow to understand analogies and differences of the structural pattern between the investigation scales and to gain knowledge that will be in turn applied to the regional-scale data of analogue areas in the surfaces of the icy satellites. In addition, structural measurements in bedrock outcrops surrounding the glaciers have been performed to understand the relationship between the underlying bedrock tectonics and glacial deformation.