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A Subsurface Magma Ocean on Io: Exploring the Steady State of Partially Molten Planetary Bodies

Miyazaki, Yoshinori and Stevenson, David J. (2022) A Subsurface Magma Ocean on Io: Exploring the Steady State of Partially Molten Planetary Bodies. Planetary Science Journal, 3 (11). Art. No. 256. ISSN 2632-3338. doi:10.3847/psj/ac9cd1.

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Intense tidal heating within Io produces active volcanism on the surface, and its internal structure has long been a subject of debate. A recent reanalysis of the Galileo magnetometer data suggested the presence of a high-melt-fraction layer with >50 km thickness in the subsurface region of Io. Whether this layer is a “magmatic sponge” with interconnected solid or a rheologically liquid “magma ocean” would alter the distribution of tidal heating and would also influence the interpretation of various observations. To this end, we explore the steady state of a magmatic sponge and estimate the amount of internal heating necessary to sustain such a layer with a high degree of melting. Our results show that the rate of tidal dissipation within Io is insufficient to sustain a partial-melt layer of ϕ > 0.2 for a wide range of parameters, suggesting that such a layer would swiftly separate into two phases. Unless melt and/or solid viscosities are at the higher end of the estimated range, a magmatic sponge would be unstable, and thus a high-melt-fraction layer suggested in Khurana et al. is likely to be a subsurface magma ocean.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription InPopular Sience
Miyazaki, Yoshinori0000-0001-8325-8549
Stevenson, David J.0000-0001-9432-7159
Additional Information:This work was motivated by NASA’s Juno mission. Y.M. was supported by Stanback Postdoctoral Fellowship from Caltech Center for Comparative Planetary Evolution. The authors also thank two anonymous reviewers, whose comments were helpful to improve the clarity of the manuscript.
Group:Caltech Center for Comparative Planetary Evolution, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Foster and Coco Stanback Postdoctoral FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:11
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20230125-514393700.9
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:118932
Deposited By: Research Services Depository
Deposited On:08 Feb 2023 19:19
Last Modified:27 Feb 2023 16:23

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