Presentation #112.04 in the session Io.
Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io is unique to our Solar System, specifically because it is in what is known as a heat-piping tectonic state. This is caused by its very high, and sustained, tidal heating, which allows Io’s interior to remain sufficiently warm enough to have continuous volcanism over geological timescales. Over the past several decades there has been much discussion about Io in the academic literature, with various modelling being proposed to explain the many known features of Io. We have developed self-consistent parameterized convection steady-state and thermal evolution models, in part building off of the framework of previous stagnant-lid and heat-piping models. The models take into account the tidal heating of Io, the coupled mantle temperature and lid thickness, the growth of Io’s crust, melt transport from Io’s mantle to its surface, the recycling of crust material back into Io’s mantle, and, some other relevant geophysical processes. Our goal is to benchmark our heat-piping models to Io, and, to explore the limitations, as well as, the capabilities of our model. We find that using an advective-conductive lid temperature profile, which is commonly used in Io-centric models due to their high resurfacing rates, produces an extremely thick lid. However, we do find that by changing the treatment of the system, our model results in surface heat fluxes, resurfacing rates, mantle temperatures, and, lid thicknesses, which are consistent with Io’s observed and inferred physical constraints for each of these physical parameters. These results help us better understand the range of plausible interior properties of Io, for other parameters of the moon which have not been directly or indirectly measured yet. Our exploration of the model also shows that physical properties relating to the mantle viscosity, the volumetric tidal heating, the volcanic transport efficiency, among a few other properties, most strongly controls the system. Whereas the volumetric radiogenic heating, the surface temperature, the latent heat of melting, and, a few other mantle properties, have a lesser impact on Io’s resulting heat-piping thermal equilibrium. Our model is sufficiently generalized such that it will be applicable for future studies on larger terrestrial bodies.