Interior structure models and tidal Love numbers of Titan

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Abstract

[1] Interior models of a differentiated Titan with an internal ammonia-water ocean and chondritic radiogenic heat production in an undifferentiated rock + iron core have been calculated. We assume thermal and mechanical equilibrium and calculate the structure of the interior as a function of the thickness of an ice I layer on top of the ocean as well as the moment of inertia factor and the tidal Love numbers for comparison with Cassini gravity data. The Love numbers are linearly dependent on the thickness of the ice I shell at constant rheology parameters but decrease by one order of magnitude in the absence of an internal ocean. Ice shell thicknesses are between 90 and 105 km for models with 5 wt.% ammonia and for core densities between 3500 and 4500 kg m−3. For 15 wt.% ammonia, the shell is 65 to 70 km thick. We use a strongly temperature-dependent viscosity parameterization of convective heat transport and find that the stagnant lid comprises most of the ice I shell. Tidal heating in the warm convective sublayer is of minor importance. The internal ocean is several hundred kilometers thick, and its thickness decreases with increasing thickness of the ice shell. Core sizes vary from 1500 to 1800 km radius with associated moment of inertia factors of 0.30 ± 0.01.

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