Geophysical and geochemical observations strongly suggest a 'hot origin of Mars,' i.e., the early formation of both the core and the crust-mantle system either during or just after planetary accretion. To consider the behavior of H2O in the planetary interior it is specifically important to determine by what mechanism the planet is heated enough to cause melting. For Mars, the main heat source is probably accretional heating. Because Mars is small, the accretion energy needs to be effectively retained in its interior. Therefore, the three candidates of heat retention mechanism are discussed first: (1) the blanketing effect of the primordial H2-He atmosphere; (2) the blanketing effect of the impact-induced H2O-CO2 atmosphere; and (3) the higher deposition efficiency of impact energy due to larger impacts. It was concluded that (3) the is the most plausible mechanism for Mars. Then, its possible consequence on how wet the early martian mantle was is discussed.
LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Lunar and Planetary Inst., Workshop on Early Mars: How Warm and How Wet?, Part 1; p 15-17