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Thomas Ruedas

Thomas Ruedas
Fax: +49 30 889140 - 8565

Museum für Naturkunde
Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung
Invalidenstraße 43
10115 Berlin


Postdoctoral research associate, Impact and Meteorite Research group

Research interests

In general, the long-term geological evolution of terrestrial (i.e., Earth-like) planets is dominated by very slow, regular convection currents in their rocky mantles. In part, this involves the usually quite uniform formation of melts, which is visible, for instance, as volcanism on Earth.
However, especially in the early stages of Solar System history, the terrestrial planets were struck by very large meteorite impacts that produced impact basins of hundreds or even thousands of kilometers in diameter. Although such impacts are extremely short events on geological timescales, the largest ones can bring forth effects that reach through the rigid, cold outer shell of the planet into the convecting mantle and influence the long-term processes there for millions of years. One of the possible consequences is probably a transient strong increase of melt production in the mantle.
In this project the interactions between impacts and mantle convection is studied with numerical simulations. Special attention is paid to melt formation by impacts as well as the concomitant outgassing and injection of volatiles (water, carbon dioxide) and the ensuing effects on the atmosphere. These processes are studied with a focus on Mars and Venus.

Publications (selection)

Godolt, M., Tosi, N., Stracke, B., Grenfell, J. L., Ruedas, T., Spohn, T., Rauer, H. (2019): The habitability of stagnant-lid Earths around dwarf stars; Astron. Astrophys. 625, A12, doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201834658

Ruedas, T., Breuer, D. (2019): Dynamical effects of multiple impacts: Large impacts on a Mars-like planet; Phys. Earth Planet. Inter., 287, 76-92, doi:10.1016/j.pepi.2019.01.003

Ruedas, T., Breuer, D. (2018): “Isocrater” impacts: Conditions and mantle dynamical responses for different impactor types; Icarus, 306, 94-115, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2018.02.005

Ruedas, T. (2017): Radioactive heat production of six geologically important nuclides; Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 18(9), 3530–3541, doi:10.1002/2017GC006997

Ruedas, T., Breuer, D. (2017): On the relative importance of thermal and chemical buoyancy in regular and impact-induced melting in a Mars-like planet; J. Geophys. Res. – Planets, 122(7), 1554–1579, doi:10.1002/2016JE005221

Padovan, S., Tosi, N., Plesa, A.-C., Ruedas, T. (2017): Impact-induced changes in source depth and volume of magmatism on Mercury and their observational signatures; Nat. Comm. 8, 1945, doi:10.1038/s41467-017-01692-0

Tosi, N., Godolt, M., Stracke, B., Ruedas, T., Grenfell, L., Höning, D., Nikolaou, A., Plesa, A.-C., Breuer, D., Spohn, T. (2017): The habitability of a stagnant-lid Earth; Astron. Astrophys., 605, A71, doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201730728

Ruedas, T. (2017): Globally smooth approximations for shock pressure decay in impacts. Icarus 289, 22–33, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2017.02.008

Ruedas, T., Tackley, P. J., Solomon, S. C. (2013): Thermal and compositional evolution of the martian mantle: Effects of water; Phys. Earth Planet. Inter. 220, 50–72,  doi:10.1016/j.pepi.2013.04.006

Ruedas, T., Tackley, P. J., Solomon, S. C. (2013): Thermal and compositional evolution of the martian mantle: Effects of phase transitions and melting; Phys. Earth Planet. Inter. 216, 32–58, doi:10.1016/j.pepi.2012.12.002

Ruedas, T., Schmeling, H. (2008): Kinematic models for the thickness of oceanic crust at and near mid-oceanic spreading centers; J. Geophys. Res. – Solid Earth 113, B01402, doi:10.1029/2006JB004746

Ruedas, T. (2006): Dynamics, crustal thicknesses, seismic anomalies, and electrical conductivities in dry and hydrous ridge-centered plumes; Phys. Earth Planet. Inter. 155(1–2), 16–41, doi:10.1016/j.pepi.2005.09.007