Monday, November 15, 2010

More bad news for UK Met Office-BBC reports Earth heat affected especially at poles by 'tidal heating' from moon, other planets

"Professor Ian Garrick-Bethell of the University of California in Santa Cruz, who led the study, believes tidal processes can explain between 25% and 40% of the Moon's topography.
  • But while the evidence for this remains in the elevated surfaces of the far side, the evidence on the near side has been obliterated by subsequent volcanic activity.
Since the Apollo missions... people have known that the topography on the far side of the Moon is much more elevated than anywhere else on the moon," said Professor Garrick-Bethell.
  • "Our study is the first to quantify the structure and shape on the far side and in doing that, we were able to demonstrate that this topography
  • bears the signature of a tidal process."

The process by which the stretching and pulling of the Moon by the Earth leads to variations in crust thickness is called

"You can imagine that the part of the Moon that's pointing towards the Earth will start to flex and begin to be drawn towards the Earth and away from the Earth on the far side, and during this,

  • the poles will be stretched and heated."
"The amount of strain in the rock is going to be greater at the poles so there will be
  • more heating at the poles and
  • there'll be thinner crust at the poles."

Tidal bulging probably occurs across the solar system today.

The oceans on Earth bulge as a result of the Moon's gravitational pull and the

  • same process is thought to occur on Jupiter's moon Europa.

Europa consists of an ice crust on an ocean of water, and Jupiter's massive gravitational pull is thought to distort the moon's shape much like the process described in this new paper.

A similar process could be occurring on the moon Titan, Saturn's largest moon."


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