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Modeling Internal Dynamics of Ceres

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Numerical modeling of dynamics in Ceres can provide constraints on its past and present internal states.  Previous modeling studies of Ceres emphasize its thermal evolution.  Ceres appears to have considerable H2O content.  This raises the possibility of aqueous activity in its interior at some point in its history.  Recent MAGHNUM model simulations over Ceres’ history indicate a role for hydrothermal circulation that may persist even to the present time.  Hydrothermal activity can change the internal state significantly, for example, by reducing peak temperature, and producing pressure differentials.  The MAGHNUM model solves coupled mass and energy conservation equations and has been used to study hydrothermal and hydrochemical activity in a variety of situations, from possible brine circulation in Mars, to fluid flow in water-bearing moons, such as Enceladus.  A challenge for such models is to relate internal dynamics to surface features and remote observations.

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