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The behavior of methane plumes on Titan
2006 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The largest moon in the Saturn system, Titan, has a dense atmosphere comparable to that of the Earth. Clouds ranging the atmosphere have been detected, and it has been suggested that there is a meteorological cycle with methane instead of water as the condensible. The major constituent of the atmosphere is nitrogen, but the abundance of methane, the second most important constituent, is a mystery, as it is expected to have a short geological lifetime of approximately 10 million years because of photodissociation in the upper atmosphere. No evidence for oceans or even lakes that could act as sources for the atmospheric methane have been detected. Suggestions concerning the solution have been made. Geological features on the surface have been suggested to be cryovolcanoes, whether active or not is still to be confirmed. Clustering of mid-latitude clouds have also been suggested to be an effect of cryovolcanoes. One way or another all existing models include outgassing of methane into the atmosphere. Following a model for volcanic eruption plume rise, simulations of methane outgassing on Titan have been made for vents situated on the ground. Different parameters, including the initial velocity, temperature and the radius of the vent, are simulated and lead to plumes rising a few kilometers into the atmosphere. At these altitudes condensation can occur and form the clouds we see.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Physics Chemistry Maths, Titan, atmosphere, plume rise, cryovolcano, planetary physics, Cassini, numerical modelling
Keyword [sv]
Fysik, Kemi, Matematik
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-54873ISRN: LTU-EX--06/195--SELocal ID: bce683a4-3bdd-4e1b-a29b-cdb26e7a930bOAI: diva2:1028254
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Space Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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