Institutional Research Information Service
UCL Logo
Please report any queries concerning the funding data grouped in the sections named "Externally Awarded" or "Internally Disbursed" (shown on the profile page) to your Research Finance Administrator. Your can find your Research Finance Administrator at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/finance/research/post_award/post_award_contacts.php by entering your department
Please report any queries concerning the student data shown on the profile page to:

Email: portico-services@ucl.ac.uk

Help Desk: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ras/portico/helpdesk
Publication Detail
Habitable planets: Interior dynamics and long-term evolution
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Conference Proceeding
  • Authors:
    Tackley PJ, Ammann MM, Brodholt JP, Dobson DP, Valencia D
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    339, 349
  • Journal:
    Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Status:
  • Print ISSN:
Here, the state of our knowledge regarding the interior dynamics and evolution of habitable terrestrial planets including Earth and super-Earths is reviewed, and illustrated using state-of-the-art numerical models. Convection of the rocky mantle is the key process that drives the evolution of the interior: it causes plate tectonics, controls heat loss from the metallic core (which generates the magnetic field) and drives long-term volatile cycling between the atmosphere/ocean and interior. Geoscientists have been studying the dynamics and evolution of Earth's interior since the discovery of plate tectonics in the late 1960s and on many topics our understanding is very good, yet many first-order questions remain. It is commonly thought that plate tectonics is necessary for planetary habitability because of its role in long-term volatile cycles that regulate the surface environment. Plate tectonics is the surface manifestation of convection in the 2900-km deep rocky mantle, yet exactly how plate tectonics arises is still quite uncertain; other terrestrial planets like Venus and Mars instead have a stagnant lithosphere- essentially a single plate covering the entire planet. Nevertheless, simple scalings as well as more complex models indicate that plate tectonics should be easier on larger planets (super-Earths), other things being equal. The dynamics of terrestrial planets, both their surface tectonics and deep mantle dynamics, change over billions of years as a planet cools. Partial melting is a key process influencing solid planet evolution. Due to the very high pressure inside super-Earths' mantles the viscosity would normally be expected to be very high, as is also indicated by our density function theory (DFT) calculations. Feedback between internal heating, temperature and viscosity leads to a superadiabatic temperature profile and self-regulation of the mantle viscosity such that sluggish convection still occurs. Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2014.
Publication data is maintained in RPS. Visit https://rps.ucl.ac.uk
 More search options
UCL Researchers
Dept of Earth Sciences
Dept of Earth Sciences
University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT Tel:+44 (0)20 7679 2000

© UCL 1999–2011

Search by