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Core formation by giant impacts: Conditions for intact melt region formationAmong the many effects of high-speed, giant impacts is widescale melting that can potentially trigger catastrophic core formation. If the projectile is sufficiently large, the melt pools to form an intact melt region. The dense phase then segregates from the melt, forming a density anomoly at the melt region's base. If the anomoly produces a differential stress larger than a certain minimum, it overcomes the mantle's long-term elastic strength and rapidly forms a core. It was previously shown that giant impacts effectively trigger core formation in silicate bodies by the time they grow to the mass of Mercury and in icy bodies by the time they grow larger than Triton. In order for this process to be viable, an intact melt region must be formed. Conditions under which this occurs is examined in more detail than previously published.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Tonks, W. B. (Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Melosh, H. J. (Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-Fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 3: N-Z
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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