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Background heatflow on hotspot planets: Io and Venus

Stevenson, David J. and McNamara, S. C. (1988) Background heatflow on hotspot planets: Io and Venus. Geophysical Research Letters, 15 (13). pp. 1455-1458. ISSN 0094-8276.

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On planets where most of the heat is transported to the surface by igneous activity (extrusive volcanism or near-surface intrusions), the surface heatflow at localities well away from regions of current igneous activity need not be even approximately the conductive heatflow through the entire lithosphere but may instead be dominated by the residual heat leaking out from the last igneous event in that locality. On Io, it is likely that (κτ)^(1/2) « lithosphere thickness ( κ = thermal diffusivity, τ = typical time between “resurfacing” events) and the background heatflow may be very large, comparable or even larger than the current observational heatflow, which is associated with the hotspots alone. This upward revision of Io's heatflow is compatible with observations and with recent indications of a non-steady tidal and thermal evolution. On Venus, (κτ)^(1/2) is probably comparable to the lithosphere thickness and the resulting upward revision of heatflow may be only marginally significant, unless magmatic activity is enormously greater than on Earth.

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Stevenson, David J.0000-0001-9432-7159
Additional Information:© 1988 American Geophysical Union. Received June 20, 1988; revised October 24, 1988; accepted October 26, 1988. Discussions with T. V. Johnson and D. L. Matson, and comments from a reviewer were helpful. Contribution number 4657 from the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125. This work is supported by the NASA Planetary Geophysics program, grant NAGW-185.
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences4657
Issue or Number:13
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Official Citation:Background heatflow on hotspot planets: Io and Venus (pages 1455–1458) David J. Stevenson and Sean C. McNamara DOI: 10.1029/GL015i013p01455
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:44255
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:12 Mar 2014 14:30
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 06:15

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