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Acoustic and Microstructural Properties of Partially Molten Samples in the Ice-Ammonia System

McCarthy, Christine; Nielson, Michael Andrew; Coonin, Allie N.; Minker, Jessica Shea; Domingos, Armando A.

We measured the ultrasonic properties and the microstructure of two-phase binary mixtures of the ice-ammonia partial melt system, which was selected based on its importance for numerous planetary bodies. The equilibrium microstructure of ice-ammonia melt was examined using a light microscope within a cold room. The measured median dihedral angle between the solid and melt at 256 K is approximately 63deg, with a broad distribution of observed angles. P-wave velocities in the partially molten samples were measured as a function of temperature and composition. We compare the results of this study to those of other potential binary systems by normalizing the datasets using a vertical lever and articulating the potential effects on the mechanical behavior and transport capabilities of partially molten ice in icy satellites.

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