EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Magma oceanography of the dense, ultrashort-period sub-Earth GJ 367b

Gregor Golabek1, Tim Lichtenberg2, and Paul Tackley3
Gregor Golabek et al.
  • 1Bayerisches Geoinstitut, University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany (
  • 2Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands (
  • 3Institut für Geophysik, ETH Zurich, Switzerland (

The dawn of high-resolution observations with the James Webb Space Telescope will enable spatially resolved observations of ultrashort-period rocky exoplanets. Some of these planets orbit so closely to their star that they lack an atmosphere [1], which gives direct access to their surfaces and opens a window to infer their geodynamics [2]. The physical parameters of the ultrashort-period sub-Earth GJ 367b have been observationally constrained to a planetary radius of about 0.72 to 0.75 Earth-radii and a mass between 0.48 and 0.55 Earth-masses, implying a density of 6200 to 8500 kg/m3 [3, 4], which puts this planet in a Mercury-like interior regime with a thin mantle overlying a fractionally large core.
The dayside temperature ranges between 1500 to 1800 K, thus suggesting the presence of a permanent magma ocean or dayside magma pond on the surface, induced by stellar irradiation. The large uncertainty on the age of the stellar system, between 30 Myr [4] and about 8 Gyr [3], however, introduce severe uncertainties related to the compositional and thermal evolution of the planetary mantle. In this study we perform global 2D spherical annulus StagYY simulations [5, 6] of solid state mantle convection and surface melting with the goal to constrain the geometric and compositional properties of
the planet. Constraining the spatial dimensions of thermodynamic properties of partially molten, atmosphere-less planets like GJ 367b offers unique opportunities to constrain the compositional fractionation during magma ocean epochs and provides avenues to constrain the delivery and loss cycle of atmophile elements on strongly irradiated exoplanets.

[1] L. Kreidberg and 18 co-authors. Absence of a thick atmosphere on the terrestrial exoplanet LHS 3844b. Nature, 573:87–90, August 2019.
[2] T. G. Meier, D. J. Bower, T. Lichtenberg, P. J. Tackley, and B.-O. Demory. Hemispheric Tectonics on LHS 3844b. Astrophys. J. Lett., 908:L48, February 2021.
[3] K.W.F. Lam and 78 co-authors. GJ 367b: A dense, ultrashort-period sub-earth planet transiting a nearby red dwarf star. Science, 374:1271–1275, 2021.
[4] W. Brandner, P. Calissendorff, N. Frankel, and F. Cantalloube. High-contrast, high-angular resolution view of the GJ367 exoplanet system. Mon. Notices Royal Astron. Soc., 513:661–669, June 2022.
[5] J. W. Hernlund and P. J. Tackley. Modeling mantle convection in the spherical annulus. Phys. Earth Planet. Int., 171:48–54, 2008.
[6] P. J. Tackley. Modelling compressible mantle convection with large viscosity contrasts in a three-dimensional spherical shell using the yin-yang grid. Phys. Earth Planet. Int., 171:7–18, 2008.

How to cite: Golabek, G., Lichtenberg, T., and Tackley, P.: Magma oceanography of the dense, ultrashort-period sub-Earth GJ 367b, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-3592,, 2023.