Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Tides of Snowball Earth Would Have Been Greater

Tides of global ice-covered oceans




The tides of an ice-covered ocean are examined using a Cartesian representation of the elastic and fluid equations. Although unconstrained by any observations, the ocean tides of a Neoproterozoic “snowball” Earth could have been significantly larger than they are today. Time-mean tidal-residual circulations would then have been set up that are competitive with the circulation driven by geothermal heating. In any realistic configuration, the snowball Earth would have had an ice cover that is in the thin shell limit, but by permitting the ice thickness to become large, more interesting ice tidal response can be found, ones conceivably of application to bodies in the outer Solar System or hypothetical exoplanets. Little can be said concerning a reduction in tidal dissipation necessary to avoid a crisis in the history of the lunar orbit.

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