Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Geodynamics of Mars-sized Terrestrial Planets

The early geodynamic evolution of Mars-type planets


Zhang et al


It is not clear whether Mars once possessed active tectonics, yet the question is critical for understanding the thermal evolution of Mars, and the origin and longevity of its early dynamo. To address these issues, we have coupled mantle flow simulations, together with parameterized core evolution models, to simulate the early evolution of Mars-like planets, and constrain the influence of early mobile-lid tectonics on core evolution. We have explored a wide parameter suite, encapsulating a range of uncertainties in initial conditions, rheological parameters, and surface strength. We present successful models that experience early mobile-lid behaviour, with a later transition into a stagnant-lid mode, which reproduce core dynamo histories similar to the magnetic history of early Mars.

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