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Title: THE INTERIOR DYNAMICS OF WATER PLANETS

Abstract

The ever-expanding catalog of detected super-Earths calls for theoretical studies of their properties in the case of a substantial water layer. This work considers such water planets with a range of masses and water mass fractions (2-5 M{sub Earth}, 0.02%-50% H{sub 2}O). First, we model the thermal and dynamical structure of the near-surface for icy and oceanic surfaces, finding separate regimes where the planet is expected to maintain a subsurface liquid ocean and where it is expected to exhibit ice tectonics. Newly discovered exoplanets may be placed into one of these regimes given estimates of surface temperature, heat flux, and gravity. Second, we construct a parameterized convection model for the underlying ice mantle of higher ice phases, finding that materials released from the silicate-iron core should traverse the ice mantle on the timescale of 0.1 to 100 megayears. We present the dependence of the overturn times of the ice mantle and the planetary radius on total mass and water mass fraction. Finally, we discuss the implications of these internal processes on atmospheric observables.

Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Earth and Planetary Sciences Department, Harvard University, 20 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21392370
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Astrophysical Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 708; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/708/2/1326; Journal ID: ISSN 0004-637X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; CONVECTION; GRAVITATION; HEAT FLUX; ICE; IRON; MASS; PLANETS; SILICATES; TECTONICS; WATER; ELEMENTS; ENERGY TRANSFER; HEAT TRANSFER; HYDROGEN COMPOUNDS; MASS TRANSFER; METALS; OXYGEN COMPOUNDS; SILICON COMPOUNDS; TRANSITION ELEMENTS

Citation Formats

Fu, Roger, O'Connell, Richard J, and Sasselov, Dimitar D., E-mail: rogerfu12@gmail.co, E-mail: richard_oconnell@harvard.ed, E-mail: sasselov@cfa.harvard.ed. THE INTERIOR DYNAMICS OF WATER PLANETS. United States: N. p., 2010. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/708/2/1326.
Fu, Roger, O'Connell, Richard J, & Sasselov, Dimitar D., E-mail: rogerfu12@gmail.co, E-mail: richard_oconnell@harvard.ed, E-mail: sasselov@cfa.harvard.ed. THE INTERIOR DYNAMICS OF WATER PLANETS. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/708/2/1326.
Fu, Roger, O'Connell, Richard J, and Sasselov, Dimitar D., E-mail: rogerfu12@gmail.co, E-mail: richard_oconnell@harvard.ed, E-mail: sasselov@cfa.harvard.ed. Sun . "THE INTERIOR DYNAMICS OF WATER PLANETS". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/708/2/1326.
@article{osti_21392370,
title = {THE INTERIOR DYNAMICS OF WATER PLANETS},
author = {Fu, Roger and O'Connell, Richard J and Sasselov, Dimitar D., E-mail: rogerfu12@gmail.co, E-mail: richard_oconnell@harvard.ed, E-mail: sasselov@cfa.harvard.ed},
abstractNote = {The ever-expanding catalog of detected super-Earths calls for theoretical studies of their properties in the case of a substantial water layer. This work considers such water planets with a range of masses and water mass fractions (2-5 M{sub Earth}, 0.02%-50% H{sub 2}O). First, we model the thermal and dynamical structure of the near-surface for icy and oceanic surfaces, finding separate regimes where the planet is expected to maintain a subsurface liquid ocean and where it is expected to exhibit ice tectonics. Newly discovered exoplanets may be placed into one of these regimes given estimates of surface temperature, heat flux, and gravity. Second, we construct a parameterized convection model for the underlying ice mantle of higher ice phases, finding that materials released from the silicate-iron core should traverse the ice mantle on the timescale of 0.1 to 100 megayears. We present the dependence of the overturn times of the ice mantle and the planetary radius on total mass and water mass fraction. Finally, we discuss the implications of these internal processes on atmospheric observables.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/708/2/1326},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
issn = {0004-637X},
number = 2,
volume = 708,
place = {United States},
year = {2010},
month = {1}
}