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A long-lived lunar magma ocean

Maurice, Maxime and Tosi, Nicola and Schwinger, Sabrina and Breuer, Doris and Kleine, Thorsten (2018) A long-lived lunar magma ocean. AGU fall meeting 2018, 10-14 Dec 2018, Washington D.C., USA.

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Abstract

Soon after its formation, the Moon underwent an episode of large-scale mantle melting, referred to as the lunar magma ocean (LMO). The LMO extended from the surface down to a depth between a few hundred and about one thousand kilometers [1]. The first 80% of the volume of the LMO likely solidified very rapidly through radiative cooling to cold space at the liquid surface, or efficient conductive cooling through a very thin quenched crust. Afterwards, buoyant plagioclase crystals started to solidify and accumulate at the LMO’s surface, building an insulating flotation crust sampled in today’s anorthositic highlands. According to thermal models, the complete crystallization of the LMO beneath a growing plagioclase crust can take up to ten million years [1]. This protracted timescale is compatible with onset of solid-state convection in the cumulates [2]. Secondary melts due to convection in the cumulates will then be extracted into the overlying LMO, where their higher temperature acts as an additional heat flux in the thermal balance of the LMO, referred to as “heat piping”. In this work we coupled a thermal model of the LMO solidifying beneath a growing flotation crust and a dynamic model of convection in the solid cumulates underlying the LMO. The latter allows us to account for the heat piping effect, which has been neglected in previous studies. By varying the reference viscosity of the solid cumulates, which has a first order influence on the intensity of the convection and in turn on the quantity of secondary melts produced, we show that the lifetime of the LMO can be extended by a few hundreds of millions of years in comparison with cases where heat piping is ignored. To reconcile the extended lifetime of the LMO with the 4.37 Ga model age for the final LMO crystallisation product (termed urKREEP) [3], the Moon must have formed earlier than currently thought. [1] Elkins-Tanton L. et al., EPSL, 2011 [2] Maurice M. et al., JGR: Planets, 2017 [3] Gaffney A. and Borg L., Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 2014

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/131865/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:A long-lived lunar magma ocean
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Maurice, MaximeMaxime.Maurice (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-8804-120X
Tosi, Nicolanicola.tosi (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Schwinger, SabrinaSabrina.Schwinger (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Breuer, DorisDoris.Breuer (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-9019-5304
Kleine, ThorstenUniversity of Münster, Institute of Planetology, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Date:2018
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:Lunar magma ocean
Event Title:AGU fall meeting 2018
Event Location:Washington D.C., USA
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:10-14 Dec 2018
Organizer:AGU
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Science and Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Exploration des Sonnensystems
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Physics
Deposited By: Maurice, Maxime
Deposited On:02 Dec 2019 12:06
Last Modified:26 Mar 2020 12:29

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