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Revised thermal evolution models of the Moon: Influence of the crustal thermal conductivity

Breuer, D. and Gottschaldt, K. and Schumacher, S. (2005) Revised thermal evolution models of the Moon: Influence of the crustal thermal conductivity. In: Geophysical Research Abstracts, 7, EGU05-A-07722. 2nd General Assembly of the EGU, 2005-04-25 - 2005-04-29, Vienna (Austria). ISSN 1607-7962.

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Early thermal evolution models of the Moon have usually used an average thermal conductivity of 4 W/mK for both the mantle and the crust. However, as the conductivity decreases strongly with increasing porosity for atmosphere less bodies like the Moon, much lower values are expected in the upper regolith-megaregolith layer. Here, the thermal conductivity is about 0.005 W/mK at the surface and increases due to compaction to about 2 W/mK at the bottom of the megaregolith layer. This layer is estimated to extend to a depth of about 20 km. The solid anorthositic crust has a thermal conductivity of only about 2 W/mK. In the present study, we examine the influence of a low crustal thermal conductivity on the Moon’s thermal evolution. We use numerical models of mantle convection, parameterized and 3-d spherical. The influence of the crustal thickness, the depletion of radioactive elements in the mantle, the mantle rheology and possibly a stratification of the mantle due to freezing of an early magma ocean will be considered. In general, the results show that the cooling history differs significantly from the results of earlier evolution models and higher temperatures of the lunar interior can be expected. Depending on the depletion of the mantle in radioactive elements, a partial melt zone could have been present in the deep mantle for most of the Moon’s evolution due to the thermal blanketing of the crust.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/20006/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Revised thermal evolution models of the Moon: Influence of the crustal thermal conductivity
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Gottschaldt, K.Earth Systems Science, Computational Centre, University of Queensland, AustraliaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Schumacher, S.Institute of Planetology, University of Münster, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Geophysical Research Abstracts
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Page Range:EGU05-A-07722
Keywords:Moon, thermal evolution, thermal conductivity, crust
Event Title:2nd General Assembly of the EGU
Event Location:Vienna (Austria)
Event Type:international Conference
Event Start Date:25 April 2005
Event End Date:29 April 2005
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: Müller, Nils
Deposited On:08 Dec 2005
Last Modified:24 Apr 2024 19:01

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