Long‐term Earth‐Moon evolution with high‐level orbit and ocean tide models

Houraa Daher, Brian K. Arbic*, James Williams, Joseph K. Ansong, Dale H. Boggs, Malte Müller, Michael Schindelegger, Jacqueline Austermann, Bruce D. Cornuelle, Eliana B. Crawford, Oliver B. Fringer, Harriet C. P. Lau, Simon Lock, Adam C. Maloof, Dimitris Menemenlis, Jerry X. Mitrovica, J. A. Mattias Green, Matthew Huber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Abstract

Tides and Earth-Moon system evolution are coupled over geological time. Tidal energy dissipation on Earth slows Earth's rotation rate, increases obliquity, lunar orbit semi-major axis and eccentricity, and decreases lunar inclination. Tidal and core-mantle boundary dissipation within the Moon decrease inclination, eccentricity and semi-major axis. Here we integrate the Earth-Moon system backwards for 4.5 Ga with orbital dynamics and explicit ocean tide models that are “high-level” (i.e., not idealized). To account for uncertain plate tectonic histories, we employ Monte Carlo simulations, with tidal energy dissipation rates (normalized relative to astronomical forcing parameters) randomly selected from ocean tide simulations with modern ocean basin geometry and with 55, 116, and 252 Ma reconstructed basin paleogeometries. The normalized dissipation rates depend upon basin geometry and Earth's rotation rate. Faster Earth rotation generally yields lower normalized dissipation rates. The Monte Carlo results provide a spread of possible early values for the Earth-Moon system parameters. Of consequence for ocean circulation and climate, absolute (un-normalized) ocean tidal energy dissipation rates on the early Earth may have exceeded today's rate due to a closer Moon. Prior to ~3 Ga, evolution of inclination and eccentricity is dominated by tidal and core-mantle boundary dissipation within the Moon, which yield high lunar orbit inclinations in the early Earth-Moon system. A drawback for our results is that the semi-major axis does not collapse to near-zero values at 4.5 Ga, as indicated by most lunar formation models. Additional processes, missing from our current efforts, are discussed as topics for future investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021JE006875
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Volume126
Issue number12
Early online date23 Sept 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Mathieu Dumberry (who pointed out the time variable nature of KMoon/CMoon), Luc Lourens (who pointed out the need to discuss ice caps more thoroughly), an anonymous reviewer (who helped trim manuscript length), and the editor (Laurent Montesi) for helpful comments. B. K. Arbic thanks Robert Krasny for early discussions about orbital model time-stepping, Richard Ray for information on small tidal constituents, Chris Garrett for comments on tidal resonance, Dudley Chelton for useful comments on writing, and Stephen Meyers for discussions on precession rates in Meyers and Malinverno?(2018, their Table 2). B. K. Arbic and M. Schindelegger thank Robert Hallberg for discussions on energy dissipation rates due to bed friction in ocean models. Much of B. K. Arbic's contributions to this study took place while he was on sabbatical in France. B. K. Arbic thanks many French colleagues, especially Thierry Penduff, Rosemary Morrow, Nadia Ayoub, and Florent Lyard, for their help in procuring this sabbatical year. J. K. Ansong and B. K. Arbic thank Alistair Adcroft for help in setting up MOM6, and funding from the University of Michigan Associate Professor Support Fund, supported by the Margaret and Herman Sokol Faculty Awards. J. K. Ansong, H. Daher, E. B. Crawford, and B. K. Arbic acknowledge National Science Foundation (NSF) grants OCE-0968783 and OCE-1351837, including Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) supplements for H. Daher and E. B. Crawford. B. K. Arbic additionally acknowledges NASA grants NNX16AH79G, NNX17AH55G, and 80NSSC20K1135. M. Schindelegger acknowledges Austrian Science Fund (FWF) for grant P30097-N29. S. J. Lock acknowledges NSF grant EAR-1947614. J. X. Mitrovica was supported by Harvard University and NASA grant NNX17AE42G. J. A. M. Green acknowledges the UK?s Natural Environment Research Council, grant NE/S009566/1 (MATCH). A portion of the research described in this study was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (80NM0018D0004). Government sponsorship is acknowledged. B. K. Arbic dedicates his contributions to the work presented here to his beloved brother Joel Bernard Arbic, who passed away on December 2, 2017. Joel was passionate about a great many things, especially travel, adventure, family, and friends, and tremendously gifted in ways his older brother Brian was not, especially in endeavors mechanical, athletic, and artistic. Joel will forever be missed by his wife, two sons, parents, two brothers, in-laws, two nieces, other relatives, and numerous friends around the world.

Funding Information:
J. K. Ansong and B. K. Arbic thank Alistair Adcroft for help in setting up MOM6, and funding from the University of Michigan Associate Professor Support Fund, supported by the Margaret and Herman Sokol Faculty Awards. J. K. Ansong, H. Daher, E. B. Crawford, and B. K. Arbic acknowledge National Science Foundation (NSF) grants OCE‐0968783 and OCE‐1351837, including Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) supplements for H. Daher and E. B. Crawford. B. K. Arbic additionally acknowledges NASA grants NNX16AH79G, NNX17AH55G, and 80NSSC20K1135. M. Schindelegger acknowledges Austrian Science Fund (FWF) for grant P30097‐N29. S. J. Lock acknowledges NSF grant EAR‐1947614. J. X. Mitrovica was supported by Harvard University and NASA grant NNX17AE42G. J. A. M. Green acknowledges the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council, grant NE/S009566/1 (MATCH).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021. The Authors.

Keywords

  • Tides
  • Earth
  • Moon

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