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Investigation of Venus’ thermal history, crustal evolution, and core dynamics with a coupled interior-surface model

Presentation #507.09 in the session Venus II (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Investigation of Venus’ thermal history, crustal evolution, and core dynamics with a coupled interior-surface model

The interior of Venus remains largely a mystery. Its hot and cloud covered surface makes in-situ investigation challenging, and its apparent lack of Earth-like surface tectonics obscures its interior dynamics. To investigate Venus’ possible evolution, we simulate the interior and atmospheric evolution of Venus for a variety of initial conditions using a fully coupled one-dimensional solar-atmosphere-mantle-core model. Using the observable constraints on Venus of the atmospheric abundances of water and carbon dioxide, and the lack of a magnetic field, we identify a range of plausible evolutionary paths that we then categorize into three typologically distinct histories. In all of these histories, Venus retains at least an ocean’s worth of water in its mantle and remains volcanically active. One category of history is characterized by strong dehydration stiffening in the mantle and a cessation of melt formation in Venus’ mantle within a few million years. A different history is distinguished by Venus’ core ending up partially liquid, as opposed to fully solidified, with a high lower mantle viscosity preventing dynamo formation. Our third history is characterized by a high ratio of intrusive to extrusive volcanism and long-lived volcanism. This third history appears to be most consistent with the currently accepted range of values for Venus’ global surface heat flux and crustal thickness, and showcases the plausibility of the intrusive volcanism-defined plutonic-squishy lid model for Venus.

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