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Seas under ice: stability of liquid-water oceans within icy worlds


Ruiz Pérez, Javier y Fairén, Alberto G. (2005) Seas under ice: stability of liquid-water oceans within icy worlds. Earth, Moon and Planets , 97 . pp. 79-90. ISSN 0167-9295

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The present-day existence of internal oceans under the outer ice shell of several icy satellites of
the Solar System has been recently proposed. The presence of antifreeze substances decreasing ice’s
melting point (and tidal heating in Europa’s case) has been generally believed to allow the stability of such
oceans; limited cooling of the water (ice plus liquid) layer, due to stability against convection or to
stagnant lid convection in the icy shell, have been also considered. Here we propose that even pure liquidwater
oceans could survive today within several icy worlds, and we consider some factors affecting thermal
modeling in these bodies. So, the existence of such oceans would be a natural consequence of the physical
properties of water ice, independently from the addition of antifreeze substances or any other special
conditions. The inclusion of these substances would contribute to expand the conditions for water to stay
liquid and to increase ocean’s volume.

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Palabras clave:Icy bodies, Internal oceans, Solid-state convection, Water Ice thermal conductivity, water ice viscosity
Materias:Ciencias > Geología > Geodinámica
Código ID:10495
Depositado:22 Abr 2010 12:03
Última Modificación:06 Feb 2014 08:44

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