Thesis defence H. Hu: planetary bodies

02 May 2018 12:30 - Location: Aula, TU Delft - By: webredactie

Rotational dynamics of viscoelastic planetary bodies. Promotor 1: Prof.dr. L.L.A. Vermeersen (LR); Promotor 2: P.N.A.M. Visser (LR).

Many icy satellites or planets contain features whose locations are the result of a reorientation of the body, such as the tiger stripes on Enceladus and the heart-shaped Sputnik Planum on Pluto. Most of these icy bodies are tidally locked and this creates a large tidal bulge which is about three times that of its centrifugal (equatorial) bulge. To study the reorientation of such rotating tidally deformed body is complicated and most previous studies apply the so-called uid limit method which does not give a time-dependent solution. We established a new method which can give an accurate time-dependent solution for reorientation of rotating tidally deformed bodies. Our method can be applied both semi-analytically or numerically (with _nite element method) to include features such as lateral heterogeneity or non-linear material in the interior of the planet. We also present an extension of our method to simulate the e_ect of a fossil bulge (elastic litho-sphere). With our method, we show that reorientation of a tidally deformed body driven by a positive mass anomaly near the poles has a preference for rotating around the tidal axis instead of towards it, contrary to predictions in previous studies.

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