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Rheology of solid methane and nitrogen: applications to Triton

Eluszkiewicz, Janusz and Stevenson, David J. (1990) Rheology of solid methane and nitrogen: applications to Triton. Geophysical Research Letters, 17 (10). pp. 1753-1756. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/GL017i010p01753.

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The existing information about the rheological properties of solid methane and nitrogen is reviewed. The main limitation is the absence of creep data for solid nitrogen, but estimated properties are derived on the basis of simple scaling arguments for van der Waals bonded materials. On Triton solid methane and most likely nitrogen are too soft to support any topography over billions of years. Topographic support by water ice-rich materials seems almost certain. Nitrogen and methane do not intermix by solid-state diffusion. The weakness (absence?) of the opposition effect on Triton can be explained by annealing of nitrogen grains, provided the latter have sizes characteristic of freshly deposited frost.

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Stevenson, David J.0000-0001-9432-7159
Additional Information:© 1990 by the American Geophysical Union. Received March 29, 1990; revised June 18, 1990; accepted June 20, 1990. Thanks are due to Bill McKinnon and two anonymous referees for their careful reading of the manuscript and helpful comments. This work has been supported by the NASA Planetary Geophysics Grant NAGW-185. Contribution number 4881 from the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125.
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences4881
Issue or Number:10
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ID Code:39068
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:25 Jun 2013 16:29
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:42

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