tidal heating

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The generation of heat due to friction produced by the strong tidal forces exerted by a very massive parent body on a body moving about it in an elliptical orbit. The intensity of tidal heating is proportional to the square of the orbital eccentricity, being zero in a circular orbit and reaching a maximum in a parabolic orbit, and inversely proportional to the size of the orbit.

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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