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Crustal recycling, mantle dehydration, and the thermal evolution of Mars

Morschhauser, A and Grott, M. and Breuer, D. (2011) Crustal recycling, mantle dehydration, and the thermal evolution of Mars. Icarus: International Journal of Solar System Studies, 212 (2), pp. 541-558. DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2010.12.028.

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Abstract

We have reinvestigated the coupled thermal and crustal evolution of Mars taking new laboratory data concerning the flow behavior of iron-rich olivine into account. The low mantle viscosities associated with the relatively higher iron content of the martian mantle as well as the observed high concentrations of heat producing elements in a crust with a reduced thermal conductivity were found to promote phases of crustal recycling in many models. As crustal recycling is incompatible with an early separation of geochemical reservoirs, models were required to show no episodes of crustal recycling. Furthermore, admissible models were required to reproduce the martian crust formation history, to allow for the formation of partial melt under present day mantle conditions and to reproduce the measured concentrations of potassium and thorium on the martian surface. Taking dehydration stiffening of the mantle viscosity by the extraction of water from the mantle into account, we found that admissible models have low initial upper mantle temperatures around 1650 K, preferably a primordial crustal thickness of 30 km, and an initially wet mantle rheology. The crust formation process on Mars would then be driven by the extraction of a primordial crust after core formation, cooling the mantle to temperatures close to the peridotite solidus. According to this scenario, the second stage of global crust formation took place over a more extended period of time, waning at around 3500 Myr b.p., and was driven by heat produced by the decay of radioactive elements. Present-day volcanism would then be driven by mantle plumes originating at the core–mantle boundary under regions of locally thickened, thermally insulating crust. Water extraction from the mantle was found to be relatively efficient and close to 40% of the total inventory was lost from the mantle in most models. Assuming an initial mantle water content of 100 ppm and that 10% of the extracted water is supplied to the surface, this amount is equivalent to a 14 m thick global surface layer, suggesting that volcanic outgassing of H2O could have significantly influenced the early martian climate and increased the planet’s habitability. Research highlights: 1) We model the thermal and crustal evolution of Mars. 2) Crustal recycling is common due to low mantle viscosities and an insulating crust. 3) Observations suggest a primordial crust and low initial mantle temperatures. 4) Dehydration stiffening of the mantle favors recent volcanism. 5) Water extraction from the mantle is efficient and can exceed 40%.

Document Type:Article
Additional Information:Bisher nur online-Veröffentlichung.
Title:Crustal recycling, mantle dehydration, and the thermal evolution of Mars
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Morschhauser, Aachim.morschhauser@dlr.de
Grott, M.matthias.grott@dlr.de
Breuer, D.doris.breuer@dlr.de
Date:2011
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:212
DOI:10.1016/j.icarus.2010.12.028
Page Range:pp. 541-558
Status:Published
Keywords:Mars; Mars, interior; Thermal histories; Volcanism; 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:12 Jan 2011 11:45
Last Modified:26 Mar 2013 13:26

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