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Abstract

In the outer solar system, a growing number of giant planet satellites are now known to be abodes for global oceans hidden below an outer layer of ice. These planetary oceans are a natural laboratory for studying physical oceanographic processes in settings that challenge traditional assumptions made for Earth's oceans. While some driving mechanisms are common to both systems, such as buoyancy-driven flows and tides, others, such as libration, precession, and electromagnetic pumping, are likely more significant for moons in orbit around a host planet. Here, we review these mechanisms and how they may operate across the solar system, including their implications for ice–ocean interactions. Future studies should continue to advance our understanding of each of these processes as well as how they may act together in concert. This interplay also has strong implications for habitability as well as testing oceanic hypotheses with future missions.

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2024-01-17
2024-04-13
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