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Modelling of possible mud volcanism on Titan

Fortes, AD; Grindrod, PM; (2006) Modelling of possible mud volcanism on Titan. ICARUS , 182 (2) 550 - 558. 10.1016/j.icarus.2005.11.013.

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Abstract

Possible sedimentary basins on Titan are potential sites for the formation of mud volcanoes. In order to constrain the appearance of such features in remotely sensed imagery being acquired by the Cassini spacecraft, we have modelled the formation of mud volcanoes on Titan for a series of plausible mud compositions, climatic conditions and geological settings, as well as addressing the full range of eruption variables; mud viscosity, conduit diameter and eruption duration. We find that for an acetylene mud source containing 20 wt% liquid methane in pore spaces, overlain by a sheet of water ice 500-m thick, a mud volcano can grow as high as 140 m. Assuming reasonable eruption parameters, such an edifice may develop into a pancake-like dome several kilometres in diameter. If observed and properly characterised, mud volcanoes would provide an important window on the subsurface distribution and dynamics of solids and liquids in sedimentary basins on Titan. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Type:Article
Title:Modelling of possible mud volcanism on Titan
DOI:10.1016/j.icarus.2005.11.013
Keywords:Titan, volcanism, ices, regoliths, geological processes, LATTICE-CONSTANTS, SOLID ACETYLENE, LIQUID METHANE, SURFACE, POLYMERIZATION, PRESSURE, SIMULATION, OCEAN, RAY
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Earth Sciences

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