A Geophysical Perspective on the Bulk Composition of Mars

A Geophysical Perspective on the Bulk Composition of Mars We invert the Martian tidal response and mean mass and moment of inertia for chemical composition, thermal state, and interior structure. The inversion combines phase equilibrium computations with a laboratory‐based viscoelastic dissipation model. The rheological model, which is based on measurements of anhydrous and melt‐free olivine, is both temperature and grain size sensitive and imposes strong constraints on interior structure. The bottom of the lithosphere, defined as the location where the conductive geotherm meets the mantle adiabat, occurs deep within the upper mantle (∼200–400 km depth) resulting in apparent upper mantle low‐velocity zones. Assuming an Fe‐FeS core, our results indicate (1) a mantle with a Mg# (molar Mg/Mg+Fe) of ∼0.75 in agreement with earlier geochemical estimates based on analysis of Martian meteorites; (2) absence of bridgmanite‐ and ferropericlase‐dominated basal layer; (3) core compositions (15–18.5 wt% S), core radii (1,730–1,840 km), and core‐mantle boundary temperatures (1620–1690°C) that, together with the eutectic‐like core compositions, suggest that the core is liquid; and (4) bulk Martian compositions with a Fe/Si (weight ratio) of 1.66–1.81. We show that the inversion results can be used in tandem with geodynamic simulations to identify plausible geodynamic scenarios and parameters. Specifically, we find that the inversion results are largely reproducible by stagnant lid convection models for a range of initial viscosities (∼1018–1020 Pa s) and radioactive element partitioning between crust and mantle around 0.01–0.1. The geodynamic models predict a mean surface heat flow between 15 and 25 mW/m2. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets Wiley

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Publisher
Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
Copyright
©2018. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
2169-9097
eISSN
2169-9100
D.O.I.
10.1002/2017JE005371
Publisher site
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Abstract

We invert the Martian tidal response and mean mass and moment of inertia for chemical composition, thermal state, and interior structure. The inversion combines phase equilibrium computations with a laboratory‐based viscoelastic dissipation model. The rheological model, which is based on measurements of anhydrous and melt‐free olivine, is both temperature and grain size sensitive and imposes strong constraints on interior structure. The bottom of the lithosphere, defined as the location where the conductive geotherm meets the mantle adiabat, occurs deep within the upper mantle (∼200–400 km depth) resulting in apparent upper mantle low‐velocity zones. Assuming an Fe‐FeS core, our results indicate (1) a mantle with a Mg# (molar Mg/Mg+Fe) of ∼0.75 in agreement with earlier geochemical estimates based on analysis of Martian meteorites; (2) absence of bridgmanite‐ and ferropericlase‐dominated basal layer; (3) core compositions (15–18.5 wt% S), core radii (1,730–1,840 km), and core‐mantle boundary temperatures (1620–1690°C) that, together with the eutectic‐like core compositions, suggest that the core is liquid; and (4) bulk Martian compositions with a Fe/Si (weight ratio) of 1.66–1.81. We show that the inversion results can be used in tandem with geodynamic simulations to identify plausible geodynamic scenarios and parameters. Specifically, we find that the inversion results are largely reproducible by stagnant lid convection models for a range of initial viscosities (∼1018–1020 Pa s) and radioactive element partitioning between crust and mantle around 0.01–0.1. The geodynamic models predict a mean surface heat flow between 15 and 25 mW/m2.

Journal

Journal of Geophysical Research: PlanetsWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

Keywords: ; ; ; ; ;

References

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