Japan Geoscience Union Meeting 2015

Presentation information


Symbol P (Space and Planetary Sciences) » P-PS Planetary Sciences

[P-PS21] Planetary Sciences

Mon. May 25, 2015 11:00 AM - 12:45 PM A02 (APA HOTEL&RESORT TOKYO BAY MAKUHARI)

Convener:*Kosuke Kurosawa(Planetary Exploration Research Center, Chiba Institute of Technology), Keiko Hamano(Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo), Chair:Shunichi Kamata(Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo), Shintaro Azuma(Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences System,Hiroshima university)

11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

[PPS21-33] The vigor and the regime diagram of thermal convection in the mantle of massive super-Earths

*Takehiro MIYAGOSHI1, Masanori KAMEYAMA2, Masaki OGAWA3 (1.Jamstec, 2.Ehime University, 3.University of Tokyo)

Understanding thermal convection in the mantle of super-Earths is a key to clarifying their thermal history and habitability. In massive super-Earths, the strong adiabatic compression influences thermal convection in the mantle in contrast to the Earth's one. In this paper, we present numerical models of thermal convection in massive (ten times the Earth's mass) super-Earths calculated at the relevant adiabatic compression effect and various values of Rayleigh number Ra and temperature-dependent viscosity contrast r.
Strong effects of adiabatic compression reduce hot plume activity significantly, while keeping cold plume activity high. The effects on hot plumes become more prominent as r increases, because the lithosphere becomes thicker as r increases and the potential temperature of the isothermal core increases. This results in decreasing difference of potential temperature between hot plumes and surround material, thus in decreasing buoyancy force of hot plumes.
We also studied the convective regime diagram on the plane of Ra and r. The threshold value of r for transition to the stagnant lid regime from small viscosity contrast regime increases as Ra increases in super-Earths in contrast to the diagram of the earlier Boussinesq model [Kameyama and Ogawa, 2000]. At high Ra relevant to massive super-Earths, the threshold value is larger than that expected in the Earth. To understand the reason why the threshold value of r increases as Ra increases, we present the viscosity contrast between the surface of the planet and the bottom of the lithosphere reff. In contrast to the increasing the threshold value of r, the reff is constant even the Rayleigh number increases. Thus, the reff is more relevant to transition to the stagnant lid regime rather than the viscosity contrast r in the whole mantle.
We also found that the Nusselt number Nu, which is the efficiency of heat transport by thermal convection, is considerably reduced compared with the earlier Boussinesq model. At Ra=1010 and r=107, the Nu is only 2.7 and 14% of the value expected from the earlier Boussinesq model. The thickness of the lithosphere is about 30% of the depth of the whole mantle. From systematic numerical simulation, Nu is fitted as a function of Ra and r. The power index on Ra is 0.27. This value is somewhat smaller than that in the earlier Boussinesq model (0.31) [Christensen, 1984].
The thick lithosphere shown in our model implies that plate tectonics is difficult to operate in super-Earths. However, the high threshold value in r for regime change suggests that the lithosphere moves in a way different from plate tectonics. Thermal convection may be in the small viscosity contrast regime in super-Earths and the surface may be fully involved in the convective current.