Liquid Water Near Europa's Surface A Rarity
Euro Planet said:
Europa is mainly made from rock and iron, with a water shell around 100km deep beneath a crust of solid ice. The ocean is warmed sufficiently to maintain its liquid state by heat produced as a by-product of gravitational pulling to-and-fro from Jupiter.
Pockets of liquid water could be tantalisingly close to the surface. However, Kalousová, from the University of Nantes and Charles University in Prague, believes these would be short-lived. She explains, “A global water ocean may be present, but relatively deep below the surface – around 25 to 50km. There could be areas of liquid water at much shallower depths, say around 5km, but these would only exist for a few tens of thousands of years before migrating downwards.”