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Implications of large elastic thicknesses for the composition and current thermal state of Mars

Grott, Matthias and Breuer, Doris (2009) Implications of large elastic thicknesses for the composition and current thermal state of Mars. Icarus: International Journal of Solar System Studies, 201 (2), pp. 540-548. DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2009.01.020.

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Abstract

The martian elastic lithosphere thickness T<sub>e</sub> has recently been constrained by modeling the geodynamical response to loading at the martian polar caps and T<sub>e</sub> was found to exceed 300 km at the north pole today. Geological evidence suggests that Mars has been volcanically active in the recent past and we have reinvestigated the martian thermal evolution, identifying models which are consistent with T<sub>e</sub>>300 km and the observed recent magmatic activity. We find that although models satisfying both constraints can be constructed, special assumptions regarding the concentration and distribution of radioactive elements, the style of mantle convection and/or the mantle's volatile content need to be made. If a dry mantle rheology is assumed, strong plumes caused by, e.g., a strongly pressure dependent mantle viscosity or endothermic phase transitions near the core–mantle boundary are required to allow for decompression melting in the heads of mantle plumes. For a wet mantle, large mantle water contents of the order of 1000 ppm are required to allow for partial mantle melting. Also, for a moderate crustal enrichment of heat producing, elements the planet's bulk composition needs to be 25 and 50% sub-chondritic for dry and wet mantle rheologies, respectively. Even then, models resulting in a globally averaged elastic thicknesses of T<sub>e</sub>>300 km are difficult to reconcile with most elastic thickness estimates available for the Hesperian and Amazonian periods. It therefore seems likely that large elastic thicknesses in excess of 300 km are not representative for the bulk of the planet and that T<sub>e</sub> possibly shows a large degree of spatial heterogeneity.

Document Type:Article
Title:Implications of large elastic thicknesses for the composition and current thermal state of Mars
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Grott, Matthiasmatthias.grott@dlr.de
Breuer, Dorisdoris.breuer@dlr.de
Date:2009
Journal or Publication Title:Icarus: International Journal of Solar System Studies
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:201
DOI:10.1016/j.icarus.2009.01.020
Page Range:pp. 540-548
Status:Published
Keywords:Mars; Mars, interior; Thermal histories; Geophysics
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
Institute of Planetary Research
Deposited By: Lena Noack
Deposited On:26 Aug 2009 11:56
Last Modified:26 Mar 2013 13:11

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