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Mantle convection interacting with magma oceans

Abstract : The presence of a magma ocean may have characterized the beginning of terrestrial planets and, depending on how the solidification has proceeded, the solid mantle may have been in contact with a magma ocean at its upper boundary, its lower boundary, or both, for some period of time. At the interface where the solid is in contact with the liquid the matter can flow through by changing phase, and this affects convection in the solid during magma ocean crystallization. Linear and weakly non-linear analyses have shown that Rayleigh-Bénard flow subject to two liquid-solid phase change boundary conditions is characterized by a non-deforming translation or weakly deforming long wavelength mode at relatively low Rayleigh number. Both modes are expected to transfer heat very efficiently, at least in the range of applicability of weakly non-linear results for the deforming mode. When only one boundary is a phase change, the critical Rayleigh number is also reduced, by a factor of about 4, and the heat transfer is also greatly increased. In this study we use direct numerical simulations in 2-D Cartesian geometry to explore how the solid convection may be affected by these boundary conditions for values of the Rayleigh number extending beyond the range of validity of the weakly non-linear results, up to 103 times the critical value. Our results suggest that solid-state convection during magma ocean crystallization may have been characterized by a very efficient mass and heat transfer, with a heat flow and velocity at the least twice the value previously thought when only one magma ocean is present, above or below. In the situation with a magma ocean above and below, we show that the convective heat flow through the solid layer could reach values of the same order as that of the black-body radiation at the surface of the magma ocean.
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 30, 2022 - 2:29:51 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 4, 2022 - 3:33:57 AM

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R. Agrusta, A. Morison, S. Labrosse, R. Deguen, T. Alboussiére, et al.. Mantle convection interacting with magma oceans. Geophysical Journal International, 2020, 220, pp.1878-1892. ⟨10.1093/gji/ggz549⟩. ⟨insu-03710133⟩

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