Unravelling tidal dissipation in gaseous giant planets

Abstract : Context. Tidal dissipation in planetary interiors is one of the key physical mechanisms that drive the evolution of star-planet and planet-moon systems. New constraints on this dissipation are now obtained both in the solar and exo-planetary systems.Aims. Tidal dissipation in planets is intrinsically related to their internal structure. Indeed, the dissipation behaves very differently when we compare its properties in solid and fluid planetary layers. Since planetary interiors consist of both types of regions, it is necessary to be able to assess and compare the respective intensity of the reservoir of dissipation in each type of layers. Therefore, in the case of giant planets, the respective contribution of the potential central dense rocky/icy core and of the deep convective fluid envelope must be computed as a function of the mass and the radius of the core. This will allow us to obtain their respective strengths.Methods. Using a method that evaluates the reservoir of dissipation associated to each region, which is a frequency-average of complex tidal Love numbers, we compared the respective contributions of the central core and of the fluid envelope.Results. For Jupiter- and Saturn-like planets, we show that the viscoelastic dissipation in the core could dominate the turbulent friction acting on tidal inertial waves in the envelope. However, the fluid dissipation would not be negligible. This demonstrates that it is necessary to build complete models of tidal dissipation in planetary interiors from their deep interior to their surface without any arbitrary assumptions.Conclusions. We demonstrate how important it is to carefully evaluate the respective strength of each type of dissipation mechanism in planetary interiors and to go beyond the usually adopted ad-hoc models. We confirm the significance of tidal dissipation in the potential dense core of gaseous giant planets.
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M. Guenel, S. Mathis, F. Remus. Unravelling tidal dissipation in gaseous giant planets. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2014, 566, pp.L9. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201424010⟩. ⟨cea-01271011⟩

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