Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of New Mexico

Nuclear, Particle, Astroparticle and Cosmology (NUPAC) Seminars

Nebular Atmosphere to Magma Ocean: A Model for Volatile Ingassing During Terrestrial Planet Accretion

Presented by Peter Olson (UNM)

The origin and abundance of volatiles present major questions for planetary evolution. To quantify
volatile acquisition from a dense nebular atmosphere captured from a stellar nebula during planetary accretion, we have developed a coupled nebular atmosphere-magma ocean model applicable
to terrestrial planets. Model elements include (i) a nebular atmosphere with winds based on scaling laws for deep rotating fluids; (ii) water production at the magma surface; and (iii) volatile transfer between magma and atmosphere based on the systematics of air-sea gas exchange. Provided it accreted to 40% or more of its final mass in the presence of the solar nebula, Earth would ingas
one or more ocean mass equivalents of water plus hydrogen, along with many petagrams of helium-3 and other light gases. Our model also predicts that thermal insulation by nebular atmospheres led to very hot conditions during terrestrial planet formation, with deep interior temperatures around 6000K at the end of Earth’s accretion.

2:00 pm, Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Room 190, Physics & Astronomy
Northeast corner of Lomas and Yale, Albuquerque, New Mexico

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