37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 15 Asteroid Physical Studies
Poster, Monday, September 5, 2005, 6:00-7:15pm, Music Recital Room

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[15.12] Plastic Deformation of Accreted Planetesimals

J. Kadish (University of Michigan)

The early stages of planetesimal growth follow an accretion model (Weidenschilling, Icarus 2000), which influences the intrinsic strength of a body and may control how its shape evolves after growth. In previous work we have determined the stress field of an accreted planetesimal accounting for possible variation in the object's spin as it accretes (Kadish et al., IJSS In Press)

At the end of growth, these objects are subject to transport mechanisms that can distribute them throughout the solar system. As they are transported these objects can be spun-up by tidal forces (Scheeres et al, Icarus 2000), YORP (Bottke et al., Asteroids III 2002), and collisions (Binzel et al., Asteroids II 1989). Such an increase of spin will cause perturbations to the initial stress field and may lead to failure. We are able to show analytically that failure is initiated on the object's surface and a plastic zone propagates inward as the object's spin is increased.

If we model an accreted body as a conglomeration of rocks similar to a gravel or sand, the deformation in the region of failure is characterized using a Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion with negligible cohesion and zero hardening(e.g. Holsapple, Icarus 2001). Such a response is highly non-linear and must be solved using finite elements and iterative methods (Simo and Hughes, Computational Inelasticity 1998).

Using the commercial finite element code ABAQUS, we present the shape deformation resulting from an elasto-plastic analysis of a spinning, self-gravitating accreted sphere that is spun-up after growth is complete. The methodology can be extended to model plastic deformation due to local failure for more complex planetesimal shapes, such as for the asteroid Kleopatra. This work has implications for the evolution of planetesimal shapes, the creation of binary and contact binary asteroids, and for the maximum spin rate of small planetary bodies.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to www.engin.umich.edu/~jkadish. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: jkadish@umich.edu

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