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Main Title: Mercury's low‐degree geoid and topography controlled by insolation‐driven elastic deformation
Author(s): Tosi, Nicola
Čadek, A.
Běhounková, M.
Káňová, M.
Plesa, A.-C.
Grott, M.
Breuer, D.
Padovan, S.
Wieczorek, M. A.
Type: Article
Language Code: en
Abstract: Mercury experiences an uneven insolation that leads to significant latitudinal and longitudinal variations of its surface temperature. These variations, which are predominantly of spherical harmonic degrees 2 and 4, propagate to depth, imposing a long‐wavelength thermal perturbation throughout the mantle. We computed the accompanying density distribution and used it to calculate the mechanical and gravitational response of a spherical elastic shell overlying a quasi‐hydrostatic mantle. We then compared the resulting geoid and surface deformation at degrees 2 and 4 with Mercury's geoid and topography derived from the MErcury, Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging spacecraft. More than 95% of the data can be accounted for if the thickness of the elastic lithosphere were between 110 and 180 km when the thermal anomaly was imposed. The obtained elastic thickness implies that Mercury became locked into its present 3:2 spin orbit resonance later than about 1 Gyr after planetary formation.
Issue Date: 1-Sep-2015
Date Available: 27-Jan-2020
DDC Class: 550 Geowissenschaften
Subject(s): Mercury
mantle convection
Journal Title: Geophysical Research Letters
Publisher: Wiley ; American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Publisher Place: Hoboken, NJ
Volume: 42
Issue: 18
Publisher DOI: 10.1002/2015GL065314
Page Start: 7327
Page End: 7335
EISSN: 1944-8007
ISSN: 0094-8276
Notes: ©2015. American Geophysical Union
Appears in Collections:Zentrum für Astronomie und Astrophysik » Publications

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