Dr. Matt Walker

Associate Research Scientist

Currently resides in ME

Targets of Interest: Charon, Enceladus, Europa, Exoplanets, Ganymede, Icy satellites, Io, Phobos, Titan

Disciplines/Techniques: Celestial Mechanics, Education/Public Outreach (EPO), Geology, Geomorphology, Gravity, Numerical modeling, Planetary Interiors, Shape modeling, Tectonics, Thermal modeling

I study tidal heat in Ocean Worlds, like Europa. Tides force the ice shells at very many frequencies. The ice response to that forcing is frequency dependent based on temperature. With such a large temperature gradient across the ice, different parts of the tide ring loudest at various radial positions in the ice. We find that where this heat gets deposited is just as important, if not more, than how much heat is deposited. As a result, the shells evolve toward steady state in a bunch of ways which depend on the specific tidal configuration. This research predicts shell thickness, heat flux, and Love numbers to aid in mission data interpretation.