Early Thermal History of Rhea: The Role of Serpentinization and Liquid State Convection

Czechowski, L., Łosiak, A.

Acta Geophysica

64 (6), 2016, 2677–2716, 10.1515/acgeo-2016-0064

Early thermal history of Rhea is investigated. The role of the following parameters of the model is investigated: time of beginning of accretion, tini, duration of accretion, tac, viscosity of ice close to the melting point, η0, activation energy in the formula for viscosity, E, thermal conductivity of silicate component, ksil, ammonia content, XNH3, and energy of serpentinization, cserp. We found that tini and tac are crucial for evolution. All other parameters are also important, but no dramatic differences are found for realistic values. The process of differentiation is also investigated. It is found that liquid state convection could delay the differentiation for hundreds of My. The results are confronted with observational data from Cassini spacecraft. It is possible that differentiation is fully completed but the density of formed core is close to the mean density. If this interpretation is correct, then Rhea could have accreted any time before 3–4 My after formation of CAI.