Skip to main content

Advertisement

Density distribution in medium-sized icy satellites of giant planets

Article metrics

  • 239 Accesses

Abstract

We discuss processes that determine the distribution of density in the medium-sized icy satellites (MIS). Gravitational differentiation, porosity and phase transitions lead to a spherical distribution, while thermal convection, large impacts and tidal deformation can result in a non-spherical distribution. According to our previous research, convective patterns in MIS can consist of one or two convective cells for radiogenic and tidal heating. The shift of the center of mass ΔrCM and the ratio of moments of inertia IZ/IXY are calculated using a numerical model of convection. A new dimensionless number C is introduced to describe the deformation of the surface. We found that ΔrCM can reach ≈0.5% of the satellite radius for the one-cell pattern. With the two-cell pattern the moment of inertia, IZ, can be reduced by ≈0.4%. The impact cratering could be one cause of significant changes in ΔrCM and IZ /IXY but only for the smallest of the MIS. Tidal deformation could result in the enhancement of mass redistribution caused by other mechanisms.

References

  1. Czechowski, L., Simulation of a continent-continent collision using the mantle convection theory, Geophysica, 28, 41–51, 1992.

  2. Czechowski, L., Theoretical approach to mantle convection, in Dynamics of the Earth’s Evolution, edited by R. Teisseyre, L. Czechowski, and J. Leliwa-Kopystynski, pp. 161–271, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1993.

  3. Czechowski, L. and J. Leliwa-Kopystynski, Tidal heating and convection in the medium sized icy satellites, Celestial Mechanics Dynamical Astron., 87, 157–169, 2003.

  4. Czechowski, L. and J. Leliwa-Kopystynski, Convection driven by tidal and radiogenic heating in medium size icy satellites, Planet. Space Sci., 53, 749–769, 2005.

  5. Dermott, S. F. and P. C. Thomas, The shape and internal structure of Mimas, Icarus, 73, 25–65, 1988.

  6. Ellsworth, K. and G. Schubert, Saturn icy satellites: thermal and structural models, Icarus, 54, 490–510, 1983.

  7. Eluszkiewicz, J. and J. Leliwa-Kopystynski, Compression effects in rockice mixtures: an application to the study of satellites, Phys. Earth Planet. Inter., 55, 387–398, 1989.

  8. Kossacki, K. J. and J. Leliwa-Kopystynski, Medium-size icy satellites: thermal and structural evolution during accretion, Planet. Space Sci., 41, 729–741, 1993.

  9. Leliwa-Kopystynski, J. and K. J. Kossacki, Evolution of porosity in small icy bodies, Planet. Space Sci., 48, 727–745, 2000.

  10. Leliwa-Kopystynski, J., L. Makkonen, O. Erikoinen, and K. J. Kossacki, Kinetics of pressure induced effects in water ice/rock granular mixtures and application to the physics of icy satellites, Planet. Space Sci, 42, 545–555, 1994.

  11. Leliwa-Kopystynski, J., M. Maruyama, and T. Nakajima, The waterammonia phase diagram up to 300 MPa: application to icy satellites, Icarus, 159, 518–528, 2002.

  12. McKinnon, W. B., Geodynamics of Icy Satellites, in Solar System Ices, edited by B. Schmitt et al., pp. 525–550, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1998.

  13. Peale, S. J., P. Cassen, and R. T. Reynolds, Melting of Io by tidal dissipation, Science, 203, 892–894, 1979.

  14. Poirier, J. P., L. Boloh, and P. Chambon, Tidal dissipation in small viscoelastic ice moons: the case of Enceladus, Icarus, 55, 218–230, 1983.

  15. Prialnik, D., A. Bar-Nun, and M. Podolak, Radiogenic heating of comets by Al26 and implications for their time of formation, Astrophys. J., 319, 993–1002, 1987.

  16. Schubert, G., T. Spohn, and R. T. Reynolds, Thermal histories, compositions and internal structures of the moons of the Solar System, in Satellites, edited by J. A. Burns and M. S. Matthews, pp. 224–292, University Arizona Press, Tucson, 1986.

  17. Schubert, G., D. L. Turcotte, and P. Olson, Mantle convection in the Earth and planets, Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, UK, 2001.

  18. Sotin, C., O. Grasset, and S. Beauchesne, Thermodynamical properties of high pressure ices. Implications for dynamic and internal structure of large icy satellites, in Solar System Ices, edited by B. Schmitt et al., pp. 79–96, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1998.

  19. Stacey, F. D., Physics of the Earth, Brookfield Press, Brisbane, Australia, 1992.

  20. Zharkov, V. N., V. V. Leontiev, and A. V. Kozenko, Models, figures, and gravitational moments of the Galilean satellites of Jupiter and icy satellites of Saturn, Icarus, 62, 92–100, 1985.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Leszek Czechowski.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Czechowski, L., Leliwa-Kopystynski, J. Density distribution in medium-sized icy satellites of giant planets. Earth Planet Sp 59, 1047–1054 (2007) doi:10.1186/BF03352045

Download citation

Key words

  • Icy satellites
  • density distribution
  • convection
  • tidal heating
  • moments of inertia