Thermodynamic Equations of State for Aqueous Solutions Applied to Deep Icy Satellite and Exoplanet Oceans

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 9:30 AM
Steve Vance1, J Michael Brown2, Olivier Bollengier2, Baptiste Journaux3, Christophe Sotin1, Mathieu Choukroun1 and Rory Barnes2, (1)NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States, (2)University of Washington Seattle Campus, Seattle, WA, United States, (3)Université Joseph Fourier, Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l’Environnement, Grenoble, France
Supporting life in icy world or exoplanet oceans may require global seafloor chemical reactions between water and rock. Such interactions have been regarded as limited in larger icy worlds such as Ganymede and Titan, where ocean depths approach 800 km and GPa pressures (>10katm). If the oceans are composed of pure water, such conditions are consistent with the presence of dense ice phases V and VI that cover the rocky seafloor. Exoplanets with oceans can obtain pressures sufficient to generate ices VII and VIII. We have previously demonstrated temperature gradients in such oceans on the order of 20 K or more, resulting from fluid compressibility in a deep adiabatic ocean based on our experimental work. Accounting for increases in density for highly saline oceans leads to the possibility of oceans perched under and between high pressure ices. Ammonia has the opposite effect, instead decreasing ocean density, as reported by others and confirmed by our laboratory measurements in the ammonia water system.

Here we report on the completed equation of state for aqueous ammonia derived from our prior measurements and optimized global b-spline fitting methods We use recent diamond anvil cell measurements for water and ammonia to extend the equation of state to 400°C and beyond 2 GPa, temperatures and pressures applicable to icy worlds and exoplanets. Densities show much less temperature dependence but comparabe high-pressure derivatives to previously published ammonia-water properties derived for application to Titan (Croft et al. 1988). Thermal expansion is in better agreement with the more self-consistent equation of state of Tillner-Roth and Friend (1998).

We also describe development of a planetary NaCl equation of state using recent measurements of phase boundaries and sound speeds.

We examine implications of realistic ocean-ice thermodynamics for Titan and exoplanet interiors using the methodology recently applied to Ganymede for oceans dominated by MgSO4. High pressure ices should not be present on Titan if its ocean composition is Dead-Sea like, as recently inferred from tidal dissipation and topography, and if Titan’s moment of inertia has the published value of C/MR2 = 0.3414.