Formation of early water oceans on rocky planets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Terrestrial planets, with silicate mantles and metallic cores, are likely to obtain water and carbon compounds during accretion. Here I examine the conditions that allow early formation of a surface water ocean (simultaneous with cooling to clement surface conditions), and the timeline of degassing the planetary interior into the atmosphere. The greatest fraction of a planet's initial volatile budget is degassed into the atmosphere during the end of magma ocean solidification, leaving only a small fraction of the original volatiles to be released into the atmosphere through later volcanism. Rocky planets that accrete with water in their bulk mantle have two mechanisms for producing an early water ocean: First, if they accrete with at least 1 to 3 mass% of water in their bulk composition, liquid water may be extruded onto the planetary surface at the end of magma ocean solidification. Second, at initial water contents as low as 0. 01 mass% or lower, during solidification a massive supercritical fluid and steam atmosphere is produced that collapses into a water ocean upon cooling. The low water contents required for this process indicate that rocky super-Earth exoplanets may be expected to commonly produce water oceans within tens to hundreds of millions of years of their last major accretionary impact, through collapse of their atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-364
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysics and Space Science
Volume332
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

planets
oceans
planet
ocean
water
atmospheres
solidification
atmosphere
magma
moisture content
Earth mantle
water content
carbon compounds
mantle
cooling
planetary surfaces
planetary surface
terrestrial planets
supercritical fluids
degassing

Keywords

  • Atmosphere
  • Magma ocean
  • Ocean
  • Planet
  • Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Formation of early water oceans on rocky planets. / Elkins-Tanton, Linda.

In: Astrophysics and Space Science, Vol. 332, No. 2, 04.2011, p. 359-364.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{6cc6de88775f4e2ab8ef8917ed527514,
title = "Formation of early water oceans on rocky planets",
abstract = "Terrestrial planets, with silicate mantles and metallic cores, are likely to obtain water and carbon compounds during accretion. Here I examine the conditions that allow early formation of a surface water ocean (simultaneous with cooling to clement surface conditions), and the timeline of degassing the planetary interior into the atmosphere. The greatest fraction of a planet's initial volatile budget is degassed into the atmosphere during the end of magma ocean solidification, leaving only a small fraction of the original volatiles to be released into the atmosphere through later volcanism. Rocky planets that accrete with water in their bulk mantle have two mechanisms for producing an early water ocean: First, if they accrete with at least 1 to 3 mass{\%} of water in their bulk composition, liquid water may be extruded onto the planetary surface at the end of magma ocean solidification. Second, at initial water contents as low as 0. 01 mass{\%} or lower, during solidification a massive supercritical fluid and steam atmosphere is produced that collapses into a water ocean upon cooling. The low water contents required for this process indicate that rocky super-Earth exoplanets may be expected to commonly produce water oceans within tens to hundreds of millions of years of their last major accretionary impact, through collapse of their atmosphere.",
keywords = "Atmosphere, Magma ocean, Ocean, Planet, Water",
author = "Linda Elkins-Tanton",
year = "2011",
month = "4",
doi = "10.1007/s10509-010-0535-3",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "332",
pages = "359--364",
journal = "Astrophysics and Space Science",
issn = "0004-640X",
publisher = "Springer Netherlands",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Formation of early water oceans on rocky planets

AU - Elkins-Tanton, Linda

PY - 2011/4

Y1 - 2011/4

N2 - Terrestrial planets, with silicate mantles and metallic cores, are likely to obtain water and carbon compounds during accretion. Here I examine the conditions that allow early formation of a surface water ocean (simultaneous with cooling to clement surface conditions), and the timeline of degassing the planetary interior into the atmosphere. The greatest fraction of a planet's initial volatile budget is degassed into the atmosphere during the end of magma ocean solidification, leaving only a small fraction of the original volatiles to be released into the atmosphere through later volcanism. Rocky planets that accrete with water in their bulk mantle have two mechanisms for producing an early water ocean: First, if they accrete with at least 1 to 3 mass% of water in their bulk composition, liquid water may be extruded onto the planetary surface at the end of magma ocean solidification. Second, at initial water contents as low as 0. 01 mass% or lower, during solidification a massive supercritical fluid and steam atmosphere is produced that collapses into a water ocean upon cooling. The low water contents required for this process indicate that rocky super-Earth exoplanets may be expected to commonly produce water oceans within tens to hundreds of millions of years of their last major accretionary impact, through collapse of their atmosphere.

AB - Terrestrial planets, with silicate mantles and metallic cores, are likely to obtain water and carbon compounds during accretion. Here I examine the conditions that allow early formation of a surface water ocean (simultaneous with cooling to clement surface conditions), and the timeline of degassing the planetary interior into the atmosphere. The greatest fraction of a planet's initial volatile budget is degassed into the atmosphere during the end of magma ocean solidification, leaving only a small fraction of the original volatiles to be released into the atmosphere through later volcanism. Rocky planets that accrete with water in their bulk mantle have two mechanisms for producing an early water ocean: First, if they accrete with at least 1 to 3 mass% of water in their bulk composition, liquid water may be extruded onto the planetary surface at the end of magma ocean solidification. Second, at initial water contents as low as 0. 01 mass% or lower, during solidification a massive supercritical fluid and steam atmosphere is produced that collapses into a water ocean upon cooling. The low water contents required for this process indicate that rocky super-Earth exoplanets may be expected to commonly produce water oceans within tens to hundreds of millions of years of their last major accretionary impact, through collapse of their atmosphere.

KW - Atmosphere

KW - Magma ocean

KW - Ocean

KW - Planet

KW - Water

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=79952440921&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=79952440921&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s10509-010-0535-3

DO - 10.1007/s10509-010-0535-3

M3 - Article

VL - 332

SP - 359

EP - 364

JO - Astrophysics and Space Science

JF - Astrophysics and Space Science

SN - 0004-640X

IS - 2

ER -