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  Thermal fracturing on comets : Applications to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Attree, N., Groussin, O., Jorda, L., Rodionov, S., Auger, A.-T., Thomas, N., et al. (2018). Thermal fracturing on comets: Applications to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 610: A76. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201731937.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-1BCB-D Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-0B66-B
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Attree, N., Author
Groussin, O., Author
Jorda, L., Author
Rodionov, S., Author
Auger, A.-T., Author
Thomas, N., Author
Brouet, Y., Author
Poch, O., Author
Kührt, E., Author
Knapmeyer, M., Author
Preusker, F., Author
Scholten, F., Author
Knollenberg, J., Author
Hviid, S., Author
Hartogh, Paul1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Planets and Comets, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society, ou_1832288              

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Free keywords: comets: general / comets: individual: 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko / planets and satellites: physical evolution
 MPIS_PROJECTS: ROSETTA: MIRO
 Abstract: We simulate the stresses induced by temperature changes in a putative hard layer near the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko with a thermo-viscoelastic model. Such a layer could be formed by the recondensation or sintering of water ice (and dust grains), as suggested by laboratory experiments and computer simulations, and would explain the high compressive strength encountered by experiments on board the Philae lander. Changes in temperature from seasonal insolation variation penetrate into the comet’s surface to depths controlled by the thermal inertia, causing the material to expand and contract. Modelling this with a Maxwellian viscoelastic response on a spherical nucleus, we show that a hard, icy layer with similar properties to Martian permafrost will experience high stresses: up to tens of MPa, which exceed its material strength (a few MPa), down to depths of centimetres to a metre. The stress distribution with latitude is confirmed qualitatively when taking into account the comet’s complex shape but neglecting thermal inertia. Stress is found to be comparable to the material strength everywhere for sufficient thermal inertia (≳50 J m−2 K−1 s−1∕2) and ice content (≳45% at the equator). In this case, stresses penetrate to a typical depth of ~0.25 m, consistent with the detection of metre-scale thermal contraction crack polygons all over the comet. Thermal fracturing may be an important erosion process on cometary surfaces which breaks down material and weakens cliffs.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2018-04-102018
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201731937
 Degree: -

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Title: Astronomy and Astrophysics
  Other : Astron. Astrophys.
Source Genre: Journal
 Creator(s):
Affiliations:
Publ. Info: Berlin : Springer-Verlag
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 610 Sequence Number: A76 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 0004-6361
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922828219_1