Tidal Heating and Melt Segregation and Migration within Io

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Carol S Paty1, Ashok Rajendar2, Josef Dufek2 and James H Roberts3, (1)Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA, United States, (2)Georgia Institute of Technology Main Campus, Atlanta, GA, United States, (3)Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD, United States
Io's volcanic activity is driven by the dissipation of energy in its interior due to tidal forces exerted by Jupiter, maintained by its orbital resonances with Europa and Ganymede. The 2011 discovery of a global partial melt layer beneath Io's surface has raised further questions about the structure of the Galilean moon and the processes that shape it. In this study we use two coupled simulations, the MFIX multiphase dynamics and the TiRADE tidal heating models, to investigate the location and extent, thermal state, melt fraction, stability, and migration of melt Io's viscous asthenosphere.

We explore the feedback between melt migration and production, taking into account the rate of tidal heating and melt migration through the magma ocean layer. We begin with an assumed 1D layered internal structure based on previous investigations. This structure is input into TiRADE, which solves the equations of motion for forced oscillations in a layered spherical body using the propagator matrix method to obtain the displacements and strains due to tidal forcing. From this, we obtain the radial distribution of tidal heat generation within Io. This heating profile is then used as input for the MFIX multiphase fluid model in order to obtain the vertical flow of partially molten material, as well as the radial temperature distribution and thus the material properties and melt fractions. In the multiphase model, individual phases (melt and solid residue) separately conserve mass, momentum and enthalpy allowing us to explore melt segregation phenomena. Enthalpy closure is provided by the MELTS thermodynamics algorithm, which is called at each point in space, accounting for the partitioning between latent and sensible heat, and updating the physical properties of the melt and solid phases. This approach allows us to explore the sensitivity of melt generation to internal structure, as well as the time scales that govern melt production and eruption (i.e.: the residence and migration time scales).