The influence of bulk composition on the long-term interior-atmosphere evolution of terrestrial exoplanets

Spaargaren, Rob J.; Ballmer, Maxim D.; Bower, Daniel J.; Dorn, Caroline; Tackley, Paul J. (2020). The influence of bulk composition on the long-term interior-atmosphere evolution of terrestrial exoplanets. Astronomy and astrophysics, 643(A44), A44. EDP Sciences 10.1051/0004-6361/202037632

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Aims. The secondary atmospheres of terrestrial planets form and evolve as a consequence of interaction with the interior over geological time. We aim to quantify the influence of planetary bulk composition on the interior–atmosphere evolution for Earth-sized terrestrial planets to aid in the interpretation of future observations of terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres.

Methods. We used a geochemical model to determine the major-element composition of planetary interiors (MgO, FeO, and SiO2) following the crystallization of a magma ocean after planet formation, predicting a compositional profile of the interior as an initial condition for our long-term thermal evolution model. Our 1D evolution model predicts the pressure–temperature structure of the interior, which we used to evaluate near-surface melt production and subsequent volatile outgassing. Volatiles are exchanged between the interior and atmosphere according to mass conservation.

Results. Based on stellar compositions reported in the Hypatia catalog, we predict that about half of rocky exoplanets have a mantle that convects as a single layer (whole-mantle convection), and the other half exhibit double-layered convection due to the presence of a mid-mantle compositional boundary. Double-layered convection is more likely for planets with high bulk planetary Fe-content and low Mg/Si-ratio. We find that planets with low Mg/Si-ratio tend to cool slowly because their mantle viscosity is high. Accordingly, low-Mg/Si planets also tend to lose volatiles swiftly through extensive melting. Moreover, the dynamic regime of the lithosphere (plate tectonics vs. stagnant lid) has a first-order influence on the thermal evolution and volatile cycling. These results suggest that the composition of terrestrial exoplanetary atmospheres can provide information on the dynamic regime of the lithosphere and the thermo-chemical evolution of the interior.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Space and Habitability (CSH)
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > NCCR PlanetS

UniBE Contributor:

Bower, Daniel James

Subjects:

500 Science
500 Science > 520 Astronomy
500 Science > 530 Physics
600 Technology > 620 Engineering

ISSN:

0004-6361

Publisher:

EDP Sciences

Language:

English

Submitter:

Danielle Zemp

Date Deposited:

19 Apr 2021 14:26

Last Modified:

25 Apr 2021 03:06

Publisher DOI:

10.1051/0004-6361/202037632

ArXiv ID:

2007.09021v2

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/154818

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/154818

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