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Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Tidal Dissipation in Synchronous SatellitesTidal heating is an important energy source for several solar system bodies, and there is a wide-spread perception that the pattern of surface heat flow is diagnostic of internal structure. We wish to clarify that situation. Our analysis depends upon two important assumptions: First, that heat transport is dominated by conduction. Second, that the body can be modeled by a sequence of spherically symmetric layers, each with a linear visco-elastic rheology. Under these assumptions, surface heat flow patterns in tidally dominated satellites will reflect radially integrated dissipation patterns. For synchronously rotating satellites with zero obliquity, this pattern depends quite strongly on orbital eccentricity but relatively little on purely radial variations in internal structure. The total amount of heat generated within the body does depend sensitively on internal structure, but the spatial pattern is rather insensitive to structure, especially at low orbital eccentricities.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Conference Paper
Bills, Bruce G.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Aharonson, Oded
(California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Science XXXIV
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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