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Main Title: How large are present-day heat flux variations across the surface of Mars?
Author(s): Plesa, A.-C.
Grott, M.
Tosi, Nicola
Breuer, M.
Spohn, T.
Wieczorek, M. A.
Type: Article
Language Code: en
Abstract: The first in situ Martian heat flux measurement to be carried out by the InSight Discovery‐class mission will provide an important baseline to constrain the present‐day heat budget of the planet and, in turn, the thermochemical evolution of its interior. In this study, we estimate the magnitude of surface heat flux heterogeneities in order to assess how the heat flux at the InSight landing site relates to the average heat flux of Mars. To this end, we model the thermal evolution of Mars in a 3‐D spherical geometry and investigate the resulting surface spatial variations of heat flux at the present day. Our models assume a fixed crust with a variable thickness as inferred from gravity and topography data and with radiogenic heat sources as obtained from gamma ray measurements of the surface. We test several mantle parameters and show that the present‐day surface heat flux pattern is dominated by the imposed crustal structure. The largest surface heat flux peak‐to peak variations lie between 17.2 and 49.9 mW m−2, with the highest values being associated with the occurrence of prominent mantle plumes. However, strong spatial variations introduced by such plumes remain narrowly confined to a few geographical regions and are unlikely to bias the InSight heat flux measurement. We estimated that the average surface heat flux varies between 23.2 and 27.3 mW m−2, while at the InSight location it lies between 18.8 and 24.2 mW m−2. In most models, elastic lithosphere thickness values exceed 250 km at the north pole, while the south pole values lie well above 110 km.
Issue Date: 21-Nov-2016
Date Available: 27-Jan-2020
DDC Class: 550 Geowissenschaften
Subject(s): heat flux
mantle convection
thermal evolution
elastic lithosphere thickness
Journal Title: Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Publisher: Wiley ; American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Publisher Place: Hoboken, NJ
Volume: 121
Issue: 12
Publisher DOI: 10.1002/2016JE005126
Page Start: 2386
Page End: 2403
EISSN: 2169-9100
ISSN: 2169-9097
Notes: ©2016. American Geophysical Union
Appears in Collections:Zentrum für Astronomie und Astrophysik » Publications

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