Rheology of solid methane and nitrogen: applications to TRITON
Article first published online: 7 DEC 2012
Copyright 1990 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 17, Issue 10, pages 1753–1756, September 1990
How to Cite
- Issue published online: 7 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 7 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 JUN 1990
- Manuscript Received: 29 MAR 1990
The existing information about the rheological properties of solid methane and nitrogen is reviewed. The main limitation is the absence of creep data for solid nitrogen, but estimated properties are derived on the basis of simple scaling arguments for van der Waals bonded materials. On Triton solid methane and most likely nitrogen are too soft to support any topography over billions of years. Topographic support by water ice-rich materials seems almost certain. Nitrogen and methane do not intermix by solid-state diffusion. The weakness (absence?) of the opposition effect on Triton can be explained by annealing of nitrogen grains, provided the latter have sizes characteristic of freshly deposited frost.