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On the current thermal state of Mars

Grott, M. and Breuer, D. (2008) On the current thermal state of Mars. In: EPSC Abstracts, 3, p. 337. 3rd European Planetary Science Congress, 2008-09-21 - 2008-09-26, Münster, Westfalen (Germany).

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Abstract

<p>The current thermal state of Mars is a fundamental unknown in Mars science. Although is has a huge influence on the planet’s current geodynamic activity and controls the possibility for basal melting at the polar caps [1], constraints on this quantities are very scarce. This situation has lately been improved by the study of lithospheric deformation at the north polar cap [2] which constrained the current Martian elastic lithosphere thickness T<sub>e</sub>, an indirect measure of the temperatures in the planetary interior.</p><p> Using radar sounding data obtained bySHARAD, the shallow radar onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, [2] found that the current Martian lithosphere is extremely stiff and T<sub>e</sub> is larger than 300 km today. This is surprising as this value is almost twice as large as previously estimated from theoretical considerations and flexure studies [3][1].</p><p> In order to be consistent with the planets thermal evolution, [2] argue that the amount of radioactive elements in the Martian interior needs to be subchondritic. This appears to be problematic as geochemical analysis of the SNC meteorites implies higher concentrations of radioactive elements [4]. Furthermore, if the concentration of heat producing elements is indeed reduced, the resulting low interior temperatures will inhibit partial mantle melting and magmatism. However, geological evidence suggests that Mars has been volcanically active in the recent past [5]. In order to address these inconsistencies, we reinvestigate the thermal evolution of Mars and examine its current thermal state for a wide range of initial condition using the current elastic thickness T<sub>e</sub> and the potential for partial mantle melting to constrain our models.</p> [1] M.A.Wieczorek, Icarus, 10.1016/ j.icarus. 2007.10.026 (2008).<br /> [2] R.J. Phillips et al., Science 320, 5880, 1182 (2008) <br /> [3] M. Grott, D. Breuer, Icarus 193, 503 (2008). <br /> [4] H. W¨anke and G. Dreibus, Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London Ser. A 349, 285 (1994).<br /> [5] G. Neukum et al., Nature 432, 971 (2004).<br />

Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:On the current thermal state of Mars
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Grott, M.UNSPECIFIED
Breuer, D.UNSPECIFIED
Date:24 September 2008
Journal or Publication Title:EPSC Abstracts
Refereed publication:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Volume:3
Page Range:p. 337
Status:Published
Keywords:thermal state, thermal evolution, Mars, polar caps, lithospheric deformation, elastic thickness, interior structure, SHARAD, MRO, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, SNC meteorites, magmatism, mantle melting, Martian volcanoes
Event Title:3rd European Planetary Science Congress
Event Location:Münster, Westfalen (Germany)
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:2008-09-21 - 2008-09-26
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Vergleichende Planetologie (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Physics
Deposited By: Stefanie Hempel
Deposited On:17 Oct 2008
Last Modified:27 Apr 2009 15:15

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