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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3MD77

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The effects of core-mantle gravitational coupling on the rotational dynamics of Mercury Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
rotation
Mercury
couping
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Veasey, Martin James
Supervisor and department
Dumberry, Mathieu (Physics)
Examining committee member and department
Heimpel, Moritz (Physics)
Sutherland, Bruce (Physics and Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Kavanaugh, Jeffrey (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Department
Department of Physics
Specialization

Date accepted
2010-09-29T22:40:29Z
Graduation date
2010-11
Degree
Master of Science
Degree level
Master's
Abstract
As Mercury orbits the Sun, solar induced gravitational torques give rise to a planetary libration. While undergoing this 88 day period libration, the axes of minimum moment of inertia of the mantle and solid core, if present, become misaligned, leading to a gravitational torque which initiates a free-mode of axial oscillation between the inner core and mantle. For a large gravitational torque, the free-mode period approaches the period of the libration forcing, and should participate in the planet’s libration response. The goal of this work is to determine whether Mercury’s observed librations can be used to place constraints on the inner core structure. Perturbations in Mercury’s rotation rate are simulated for a range of interior structures. For models where the free-mode interferes with the libration signature, a marginally better fit between model response and observations is obtained, compared to models which exhibit the libration signature alone.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3MD77
Rights
License granted by Martin Veasey (veasey@ualberta.ca) on 2010-09-29T18:13:54Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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