Part 1 : Aspects of lithospheric evolution on Venus. Part 2: Thermal and collisional histories of chondrite parent bodies
- Grimm, Robert E.
- Oct 1, 1988.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available. and Free-to-read Unrestricted online access
- The geological evolution of distinctly different kinds of solar system objects is addressed. Venus has been observed over the past decade by orbital radars on both American and Soviet spacecraft. These surface measurements provide clues to the structure and evolution of the lithosphere. The parent bodies of chondritic meteorites, thought to resemble asteroids, represent the other end of the size spectrum of terrestrial objects. Their early thermal and collisional histories may be constrained by the chemical and textural record preserved in meteorite samples. Impact craters on Venus have been observed by the Soviet Venera 15/16 spacecraft. A formalism is presented by which the size-frequency distribution of impact craters may be used to estimate upper bounds on the mean global rates of volcanic resurfacing and lithospheric recycling on that planet over the past several hundred million years. The impact crater density reported from Venera observations, if valid for the entire Venus surface, indicates a mean volcanic flux no greater than 2 cu km/y, corresponding to a maximum average rate of resurfacing of about 4 km/b.y. For the lowest estimated mean crater retention age of the surface of Venus imaged by Venera 15/16, the rate of lithospheric recycling on Venus does not exceed 1.5 sq km/y. Ordinary chondrite meteorites show textural and chemical patterns indicative of varying intensities of thermal metamorphism. The conventional onion-shell model, which envisions highly metamorphosed material in the core and less intensely heated rocks near the surface, predicts an inverse relation between peak temperature and cooking rate, but none has been observed. A metamorphosed-planetesimal model is devised to explain this discrepancy, whereby heating occurs in planetesimals a few kilometers in radius which then accrete to form 100-km-radius parent bodies. Cooling rates are then randomly controlled by burial depth. Thermal and collisional constraints are examined, and the model is found to be applicable only to highly insulating Al-26-rich planetesimals that remain closely aggregated upon accretion. An alternative model is presented, in which onion-shell parent bodies are collisionally fragmented during metamorphism and then gravitationally reassembled. If reassembly times are short, then cooling rates would be determined by burial depth in the reaccreted parent body. This model, unlike previous ones, can explain both coherent and incoherent cooling of Breccia clasts by collisions during or after metamorphism, respectively.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19890006473., Accession ID: 89N15844., NAS 1.26:184588., and NASA-CR-184588.
- No Copyright.
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