Sample records for understanding planetary geological

  1. Planetary geology

    CERN Document Server

    Gasselt, Stephan


    This book provides an up-to-date interdisciplinary geoscience-focused overview of solid solar system bodies and their evolution, based on the comparative description of processes acting on them. Planetary research today is a strongly multidisciplinary endeavor with efforts coming from engineering and natural sciences. Key focal areas of study are the solid surfaces found in our Solar System. Some have a direct interaction with the interplanetary medium and others have dynamic atmospheres. In any of those cases, the geological records of those surfaces (and sub-surfaces) are key to understanding the Solar System as a whole: its evolution and the planetary perspective of our own planet. This book has a modular structure and is divided into 4 sections comprising 15 chapters in total. Each section builds upon the previous one but is also self-standing. The sections are:  Methods and tools Processes and Sources  Integration and Geological Syntheses Frontiers The latter covers the far-reaching broad topics of exo...

  2. Planetary Geologic Mapping Handbook - 2009 (United States)

    Tanaka, K. L.; Skinner, J. A.; Hare, T. M.


    Geologic maps present, in an historical context, fundamental syntheses of interpretations of the materials, landforms, structures, and processes that characterize planetary surfaces and shallow subsurfaces (e.g., Varnes, 1974). Such maps also provide a contextual framework for summarizing and evaluating thematic research for a given region or body. In planetary exploration, for example, geologic maps are used for specialized investigations such as targeting regions of interest for data collection and for characterizing sites for landed missions. Whereas most modern terrestrial geologic maps are constructed from regional views provided by remote sensing data and supplemented in detail by field-based observations and measurements, planetary maps have been largely based on analyses of orbital photography. For planetary bodies in particular, geologic maps commonly represent a snapshot of a surface, because they are based on available information at a time when new data are still being acquired. Thus the field of planetary geologic mapping has been evolving rapidly to embrace the use of new data and modern technology and to accommodate the growing needs of planetary exploration. Planetary geologic maps have been published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) since 1962 (Hackman, 1962). Over this time, numerous maps of several planetary bodies have been prepared at a variety of scales and projections using the best available image and topographic bases. Early geologic map bases commonly consisted of hand-mosaicked photographs or airbrushed shaded-relief views and geologic linework was manually drafted using mylar bases and ink drafting pens. Map publishing required a tedious process of scribing, color peel-coat preparation, typesetting, and photo-laboratory work. Beginning in the 1990s, inexpensive computing, display capability and user-friendly illustration software allowed maps to be drawn using digital tools rather than pen and ink, and mylar bases became obsolete

  3. Terrestrial analogs, planetary geology, and the nature of geological reasoning (United States)

    Baker, Victor R.


    Analogical reasoning is critical to planetary geology, but its role can be misconstrued by those unfamiliar with the practice of that science. The methodological importance of analogy to geology lies in the formulation of genetic hypotheses, an absolutely essential component of geological reasoning that was either ignored or denigrated by most 20th century philosophers of science, who took the theoretical/ experimental methodology of physics to be the sole model for all of scientific inquiry. Following the seminal 19th century work of Grove Karl Gilbert, an early pioneer of planetary geology, it has long been recognized that broad experience with and understanding of terrestrial geological phenomena provide geologists with their most effective resource for the invention of potentially fruitful, working hypotheses. The actions of (1) forming such hypotheses, (2) following their consequences, and (3) testing those consequences comprise integral parts of effective geological practice in regard to the understanding of planetary surfaces. Nevertheless, the logical terminology and philosophical bases for such practice will be unfamiliar to most planetary scientists, both geologists and nongeologists. The invention of geological hypotheses involves both inductive inferences of the type Gilbert termed “empiric classification” and abductive inferences of a logical form made famous by the 19th century American logician Charles Sanders Peirce. The testing and corroboration of geological hypotheses relies less on the correspondence logic of theoretical/ experimental sciences, like physics, and more on the logic of consistency, coherence, and consilience that characterizes the investigative and historical sciences of interpretation exemplified by geology.

  4. Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program (United States)

    McGill, George E.


    Geological mapping and topical studies, primarily in the southern Acidalia Planitia/Cydonia Mensae region of Mars is presented. The overall objective was to understand geologic processes and crustal history in the northern lowland in order to assess the probability that an ocean once existed in this region. The major deliverable is a block of 6 1:500,000 scale geologic maps that will be published in 2004 as a single map at 1:1,000,000 scale along with extensive descriptive and interpretive text. A major issue addressed by the mapping was the relative ages of the extensive plains of Acidalia Planitia and the knobs and mesas of Cydonia Mensae. The mapping results clearly favor a younger age for the plains. Topical studies included a preliminary analysis of the very abundant small domes and cones to assess the possibility that their origins could be determined by detailed mapping and remote-sensing analysis. We also tested the validity of putative shorelines by using GIs to co-register full-resolution MOLA altimetry data and Viking images with these shorelines plotted on them. Of the 3 proposed shorelines in this area, one is probably valid, one is definitely not valid, and the third is apparently 2 shorelines closely spaced in elevation. Publications supported entirely or in part by this grant are included.

  5. Planetary Geologic Mapping Handbook - 2010. Appendix (United States)

    Tanaka, K. L.; Skinner, J. A., Jr.; Hare, T. M.


    Geologic maps present, in an historical context, fundamental syntheses of interpretations of the materials, landforms, structures, and processes that characterize planetary surfaces and shallow subsurfaces. Such maps also provide a contextual framework for summarizing and evaluating thematic research for a given region or body. In planetary exploration, for example, geologic maps are used for specialized investigations such as targeting regions of interest for data collection and for characterizing sites for landed missions. Whereas most modern terrestrial geologic maps are constructed from regional views provided by remote sensing data and supplemented in detail by field-based observations and measurements, planetary maps have been largely based on analyses of orbital photography. For planetary bodies in particular, geologic maps commonly represent a snapshot of a surface, because they are based on available information at a time when new data are still being acquired. Thus the field of planetary geologic mapping has been evolving rapidly to embrace the use of new data and modern technology and to accommodate the growing needs of planetary exploration. Planetary geologic maps have been published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) since 1962. Over this time, numerous maps of several planetary bodies have been prepared at a variety of scales and projections using the best available image and topographic bases. Early geologic map bases commonly consisted of hand-mosaicked photographs or airbrushed shaded-relief views and geologic linework was manually drafted using mylar bases and ink drafting pens. Map publishing required a tedious process of scribing, color peel-coat preparation, typesetting, and photo-laboratory work. Beginning in the 1990s, inexpensive computing, display capability and user-friendly illustration software allowed maps to be drawn using digital tools rather than pen and ink, and mylar bases became obsolete. Terrestrial geologic maps published by

  6. Advances in planetary geology, volume 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)


    This publication is a continuation of volume 1; it is a compilation of reports focusing on research into the origin and evolution of the solar system with emphasis on planetary geology. Specific reports include a multispectral and geomorphic investigation of the surface of Europa and a geologic interpretation of remote sensing data for the Martian volcano Ascreaus Mons

  7. Planetary biology--paleontological, geological, and molecular histories of life. (United States)

    Benner, Steven A; Caraco, M Daniel; Thomson, J Michael; Gaucher, Eric A


    The history of life on Earth is chronicled in the geological strata, the fossil record, and the genomes of contemporary organisms. When examined together, these records help identify metabolic and regulatory pathways, annotate protein sequences, and identify animal models to develop new drugs, among other features of scientific and biomedical interest. Together, planetary analysis of genome and proteome databases is providing an enhanced understanding of how life interacts with the biosphere and adapts to global change.

  8. Significant achievements in the Planetary Geology Program, 1981

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holt, H.E.


    Recent developments in planetology research as reported at the 1981 NASA Planetary Geology Principal Investigators meeting are summarized. The evolution of the solar system, comparative planetology, and geologic processes active on other planets are considered. Galilean satellites and small bodies, Venus, geochemistry and regoliths, volcanic and aeolian processes and landforms, fluvial and periglacial processes, and planetary impact cratering, remote sensing, and cartography are discussed

  9. Geologic guide to the island of Hawaii: A field guide for comparative planetary geology (United States)

    Greeley, R. (Editor)


    With geological data available for all inner planets except Venus, we are entering an era of true comparative planetary geology, when knowledge of the differences and similarities for classes of structures (e.g., shield volcanoes) will lead to a better understanding of general geological processes, regardless of planet. Thus, it is imperative that planetologists, particularly those involved in geological mapping and surface feature analysis for terrestrial planets, be familiar with volcanic terrain in terms of its origin, structure, and morphology. One means of gaining this experience is through field trips in volcanic terrains - hence, the Planetology Conference in Hawaii. In addition, discussions with volcanologists at the conference provide an important basis for establishing communications between the two fields that will facilitate comparative studies as more data become available.

  10. Reflection seismology systems for planetary geology : A feasibility study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Batenburg, P.A.W.; Gill, E.K.A.; Drijkoningen, G.G.; Foing, B.H.; Toxopeus, G.


    A feasibility study is conducted to determine whether reflection seismology systems can be used for planetary geology research. The focus is on systems with up to 20,000 seismic detectors, such as used today in Earth geological research and energy companies. The study follows a top-down systems

  11. A bibliography of planetary geology principal investigators and their associates, 1976--1978

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)


    This bibliography cites publications submitted by 484 principal investigators and their associates who were supported through NASA's Office of Space Sciences Planetary Geology Program. Subject classifications include solar system formation, comets, and asteroids; planetary satellites, planetary interiors, geological and geochemical constraints on planetary evolution; impact crater studies, volcanism, eolian studies, fluvian studies, Mars geological mapping; Mercury geological mapping; planetary cartography; and instrument development and techniques. An author/editor index is provided

  12. A bibliography of planetary geology principal investigators and their associates, 1982 - 1983 (United States)

    Plescia, J. B.


    This bibliography cites recent publications by principal investigators and their associates, supported through NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications, Earth and Planetary Exploration Division, Planetary Geology Program. It serves as a companion piece to NASA TM-85127, ""Reports of Planetary Programs, 1982". Entries are listed under the following subject areas: solar system, comets, asteroids, meteorites and small bodies; geologic mapping, geomorphology, and stratigraphy; structure, tectonics, and planetary and satellite evolutions; impact craters; volcanism; fluvial, mass wasting, glacial and preglacial studies; Eolian and Arid climate studies; regolith, volatiles, atmosphere, and climate, radar; remote sensing and photometric studies; and cartography, photogrammetry, geodesy, and altimetry. An author index is provided.

  13. Interdisciplinary Research Produces Results in the Understanding of Planetary Dunes (United States)

    Titus, Timothy N.; Hayward, Rosalyn Kay; Bourke, Mary C.


    Second International Planetary Dunes Workshop: Planetary Analogs—Integrating Models, Remote Sensing, and Field Data; Alamosa, Colorado, 18-21 May 2010; Dunes and other eolian bed forms are prominent on several planetary bodies in our solar system. Despite 4 decades of study, many questions remain regarding the composition, age, and origins of these features, as well as the climatic conditions under which they formed. Recently acquired data from orbiters and rovers, together with terrestrial analogs and numerical models, are providing new insights into Martian sand dunes, as well as eolian bed forms on other terrestrial planetary bodies (e.g., Titan). As a means of bringing together terrestrial and planetary researchers from diverse backgrounds with the goal of fostering collaborative interdisciplinary research, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, the Desert Research Institute, and the U.S. National Park Service held a workshop in Colorado. The small group setting facilitated intensive discussion of problems and issues associated with eolian processes on Earth, Mars, and Titan.

  14. A bibliography of planetary geology principal investigators and their associates, 1981 - 1982 (United States)

    Plescia, J. B. (Compiler)


    Over 800 publications submitted by researchers supported through NASA's Planetary Geology Program are cited and an author/editor index is provided. Entries are listed under the following subjects: (1) general interest topics; (2) solar system, comets, asteroids, and small bodies; (3) geologic mapping, geomorphology, and stratigraphy; (4) structure, tectonics, geologic and geophysical evolution; (5) impact craters: morphology, density, and geologic studies; (6) volcanism; (7) fluvial, mass wasting, and periglacial processes; (8) Eolian studies; (9) regolith, volatile, atmosphere, and climate; (10) remote sensing, radar, and photometry; and (11) cartography, photogrammetry, geodesy, and altimetry.

  15. Updated symbol catalogue for geologic and geomorphologic mapping in Planetary Scinces (United States)

    Nass, Andrea; Fortezzo, Corey; Skinner, James, Jr.; Hunter, Marc; Hare, Trent


    Maps are one of the most powerful communication tools for spatial data. This is true for terrestrial data, as well as the many types of planetary data. Geologic and/or geomorphologic maps of planetary surfaces, in particular those of the Moon, Mars, and Venus, are standardized products and often prepared as a part of hypothesis-driven science investigations. The NASA-funded Planetary Geologic Mapping program, coordinated by the USGS Astrogeology Science Center (ASC), produces high-quality, standardized, and refereed geologic maps and digital databases of planetary bodies. In this context, 242 geologic, geomorphologic, and thematic map sheets and map series have been published since the 1962. However, outside of this program, numerous non-USGS published maps are created as result of scientific investigations and published, e.g. as figures or supplemental materials within a peer-reviewed journal article. Due to the complexity of planetary surfaces, diversity between different planet surfaces, and the varied resolution of the data, geomorphologic and geologic mapping is a challenging task. Because of these limiting conditions, the mapping process is a highly interpretative work and is mostly limited to remotely sensed satellite data - with a few expetions from rover data. Uniform and an unambiguous data are fundamental to make quality observations that lead to unbiased and supported interpretations, especially when there is no current groundtruthing. To allow for correlation between different map products (digital or analog), the most commonly used spatial objects are predefined cartographic symbols. The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Digital Cartographic Standard for Geologic Map Symbolization (DCSGMS) defines the most commonly used symbols, colors, and hatch patterns in one comprehensive document. Chapter 25 of the DCSGMS defines the Planetary Geology Features based on the symbols defined in the Venus Mapper's Handbook. After reviewing the 242 planetary

  16. Cooperative research in terrestrial planetary geology and geophysics (United States)


    This final report for the period of July 1991 to August 1994 covered a variety of topics concerning the study of Earth and Mars. The Earth studies stressed the interpretation of the MAGSAT crustal magnetic anomalies in order to determine the geological structure, mineralogical composition, magnetic nature, and the historical background of submarine features, and also featured work in the area of terrestrial remote sensing. Mars research included the early evolution of the Martian atmosphere and hydrosphere and the investigations of the large Martian impact basins. Detailed summaries of the research is included, along with lists of the publications resulting from this research.

  17. Conduct of Geologic Field Work During Planetary Exploration: Why Geology Matters (United States)

    Eppler, Dean B.


    The science of field geology is the investigative process of determining the distribution of rock units and structures on a planet fs surface, and it is the first-order data set that informs all subsequent studies of a planet, such as geochemistry, geochronology, geophysics, or remote sensing. For future missions to the Moon and Mars, the surface systems deployed must support the conduct of field geology if these endeavors are to be scientifically useful. This lecture discussed what field geology is all about.why it is important, how it is done, how conducting field geology informs many other sciences, and how it affects the design of surface systems and the implementation of operations in the future.

  18. Plate Tectonics and Planetary Evolution: Implications for Understanding Exoplanets (United States)

    Elkins-Tanton, L. T.


    A primary purpose in our study of exoplanets is the search for life. In hypothesizing how we might detect life, we start by examining life on Earth; it is our only example. How do we understand the meaning of habitability when there is only one example? All clues seem significant: the common need for the existence of water, the range of temperatures over which life on Earth is found, and the chemical cycles that maintain the surface and near-surface of the Earth within that range. A common assertion is that plate tectonics is necessary for the carbon cycle that keeps the Earth at habitable temperatures by sequestering carbon in limetone in oceans, and parceling it back into the atmosphere through volcanoes. This is an unproven hypothesis. There are other tectonic processes that cycle carbon into a planetary interior and back to the atmosphere; one possibility is small-scale convection that returns lithospheric material to the mantle and produces small-scale volcanism. Whether this process is sufficient to stabilize climate on one-plate planets or planets with sluggish convection remains to be demonstrated. Before we can discuss the criticality of plate tectonics on other planets we need to understand its criticality on Earth, and its apparent lack on Venus. And before we can predict whether plate tectonics should exist on a given exoplanet, we need to understand why it exists on Earth, and apparently not on Venus, and we need to know more about that exoplanet than can currently be detected. In this talk I will compare the predictions for exoplanetary conditions conducive to plate tectonics, walk through possible pathways in planetary evolution that lead to plate tectonics, and discuss whether any aspect of plate tectonics on an exoplanet is detectable from Earth. Predicting and hoping to detect plate tectonics on exoplanets is walking out a shaky limb; making cautious incremental advances in understanding terrestrial plate tectonics is critical before extending

  19. Field/Lab Training Workshops in Planetary Geology and Astrobiology for Secondary School Teachers (United States)

    Treiman, A.; Newsom, H.; Hoehler, T.; Tsairides, C.; Karlstrom, K.; Crossey, L.; Kiefer, W.; Kadel, S.; Garcia-Pichel, F.; Aubele, J.; Crumpler, L.


    Thematic field-lab-classroom workshops can be successful in training secondary teachers in planetary geology and astrobiology, from the LPI's 4 years experience. A typical workshop includes ˜4 days of field study and ˜3 days of related classroom/lab lectures and exercises. Up to 30 teachers have participated at once, and the staff averages 5 researchers and educators. The 2003 workshop, The Great Desert, focused on geology and life in the Colorado Plateau as analogs for Mars. Specific emphases were on geologic processes exemplified in the Grand Canyon, Sunset Crater and Meteor Crater, and on biotic communities in desert soils and hot springs. The classroom portion, hosted by UNM, included lectures, lab work, and teaching exercises keyed to the field experience and its extensions to Mars. Formal followups: non-directive exit questionnaires; email list-serves for participants; websites with images, presentations, and exercises from the workshop, and links to related materials (e.g.,; and interviews for six-month retrospective. Graduate and continuing education credit are available. Past workshops, all relevant to Mars, have targeted: geology and extremophiles of Yellowstone NP, geology of the Cascade volcanos; and giant floods and lava flows of central Washington. The greatest benefit of this workshop format is the teachers' intense, deep experience, emphasizing scientific content. They learn from field, classroom, and laboratory perspectives, and work with PhD level researchers who contribute their excitement, demonstrate and teach critical thought processes, and provide authoritative background and answers. The small group size permits personal interactions (among teachers and presenters) that complement each other's understanding and appreciation of the subject. They log ˜65 contact hours with the staff, in small groups or one-on-one. Teachers return to the classroom with personal experiences

  20. Native American Students' Understanding of Geologic Time Scale: 4th-8th Grade Ojibwe Students' Understanding of Earth's Geologic History (United States)

    Nam, Younkyeong; Karahan, Engin; Roehrig, Gillian


    Geologic time scale is a very important concept for understanding long-term earth system events such as climate change. This study examines forty-three 4th-8th grade Native American--particularly Ojibwe tribe--students' understanding of relative ordering and absolute time of Earth's significant geological and biological events. This study also…

  1. Comparing Geologic Data Sets Collected by Planetary Analog Traverses and by Standard Geologic Field Mapping: Desert Rats Data Analysis (United States)

    Feng, Wanda; Evans, Cynthia; Gruener, John; Eppler, Dean


    Geologic mapping involves interpreting relationships between identifiable units and landforms to understand the formative history of a region. Traditional field techniques are used to accomplish this on Earth. Mapping proves more challenging for other planets, which are studied primarily by orbital remote sensing and, less frequently, by robotic and human surface exploration. Systematic comparative assessments of geologic maps created by traditional mapping versus photogeology together with data from planned traverses are limited. The objective of this project is to produce a geologic map from data collected on the Desert Research and Technology Studies (RATS) 2010 analog mission using Apollo-style traverses in conjunction with remote sensing data. This map is compared with a geologic map produced using standard field techniques.

  2. Abstracts of the annual Planetary Geologic Mappers Meeting, June 18-19, 2001, Albuquerque, New Mexico (United States)

    Parker, Timothy J.; Tanaka, Kenneth L.; Senske, David A.


    The annual Planetary Geologic Mappers Meeting serves two purposes. In addition to giving mappers the opportunity to exchange ideas, experiences, victories, and problems with others, presentations are reviewed by the Geologic Mapping Subcommittee (GeMS) to provide input to the Planetary Geology and Geophysics Mapping Program review panel’s consideration of new proposals and progress reports that include mapping tasks. Funded mappers bring both oral presentation materials (slides or viewgraphs) and map products to post for review by GeMS and fellow mappers. Additionally, the annual meetings typically feature optional field trips offering earth analogs and parallels to planetary mapping problems. The 2001 Mappers Meeting, June 18-19, was convened by Tim Parker, Dave Senske, and Ken Tanaka and was hosted by Larry Crumpler and Jayne Aubele of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Oral presentations were given in the Museum’s Honeywell Auditorium, and maps were posted in the Sandia Room. In addition to active mappers, guests included local science teachers who had successfully competed for the right to attend and listen to the reports. It was a unique pleasure for mappers to have the opportunity to interact with and provide information to teachers responding so enthusiastically to the meeting presentation. On Sunday, June 17, Larry and Jayne conducted an optional pre-meeting field trip. The flanks of Rio Grande Rift, east and west of Albuquerque and Valles Caldera north of town presented tectonic, volcanic, and sedimentary examples of the Rift and adjoining areas analogous to observed features on Mars and Venus. The arid but volcanically and tectonically active environment of New Mexico’s rift valley enables focus on features that appear morphologically young and spectacular in satellite images and digital relief models. The theme of the trip was to see what, at orbiter resolution, "obvious" geologic features look like at

  3. Examining Volcanic Terrains Using In Situ Geochemical Technologies; Implications for Planetary Field Geology (United States)

    Young, K. E.; Bleacher, J. E.; Evans, C. A.; Rogers, A. D.; Ito, G.; Arzoumanian, Z.; Gendreau, K.


    Regardless of the target destination for the next manned planetary mission, the crew will require technology with which to select samples for return to Earth. The six Apollo lunar surface missions crews had only the tools to enable them to physically pick samples up off the surface or from a boulder and store those samples for return to the Lunar Module and eventually to Earth. Sample characterization was dependent upon visual inspection and relied upon their extensive geology training. In the four decades since Apollo however, great advances have been made in traditionally laboratory-based instrument technologies that enable miniaturization to a field-portable configuration. The implications of these advancements extend past traditional terrestrial field geology and into planetary surface exploration. With tools that will allow for real-time geochemical analysis, an astronaut can better develop a series of working hypotheses that are testable during surface science operations. One such technology is x-ray fluorescence (XRF). Traditionally used in a laboratory configuration, these instruments have now been developed and marketed commercially in a field-portable mode. We examine this technology in the context of geologic sample analysis and discuss current and future plans for instrument deployment. We also discuss the development of the Chromatic Mineral Identification and Surface Texture (CMIST) instrument at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). Testing is taking place in conjunction with the RIS4E (Remote, In Situ, and Synchrotron Studies for Science and Exploration) SSERVI (Solar System Exploration and Research Virtual Institute) team activities, including field testing at Kilauea Volcano, HI..

  4. Geodatabase model for global geologic mapping: concept and implementation in planetary sciences (United States)

    Nass, Andrea


    One aim of the NASA Dawn mission is to generate global geologic maps of the asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres. To accomplish this, the Dawn Science Team followed the technical recommendations for cartographic basemap production. The geological mapping campaign of Vesta was completed and published, but mapping of the dwarf planet Ceres is still ongoing. The tiling schema for the geological mapping is the same for both planetary bodies and for Ceres it is divided into two parts: four overview quadrangles (Survey Orbit, 415 m/pixel) and 15 more detailed quadrangles (High Altitude Mapping HAMO, 140 m/pixel). The first global geologic map was based on survey images (415 m/pixel). The combine 4 Survey quadrangles completed by HAMO data served as basis for generating a more detailed view of the geologic history and also for defining the chronostratigraphy and time scale of the dwarf planet. The most detailed view can be expected within the 15 mapping quadrangles based on HAMO resolution and completed by the Low Altitude Mapping (LAMO) data with 35 m/pixel. For the interpretative mapping process of each quadrangle one responsible mapper was assigned. Unifying the geological mapping of each quadrangle and bringing this together to regional and global valid statements is already a very time intensive task. However, another challenge that has to be accomplished is to consider how the 15 individual mappers can generate one homogenous GIS-based project (w.r.t. geometrical and visual character) thus produce a geologically-consistent final map. Our approach this challenge was already discussed for mapping of Vesta. To accommodate the map requirements regarding rules for data storage and database management, the computer-based GIS environment used for the interpretative mapping process must be designed in a way that it can be adjusted to the unique features of the individual investigation areas. Within this contribution the template will be presented that uses standards

  5. Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of Planetary Geologic Mappers, Tucson, AZ 2007 (United States)

    Gregg, Tracy K.P.; Tanaka, Kenneth L.; Saunders, R. Stephen; Bleamaster, Leslie F.


    Introduction Report of the Annual Mappers Meeting Planetary Science Institute Tucson, Arizona June 28 and 29, 2007 Approximately 22 people attended this year's mappers meeting, and many more submitted abstracts and maps in absentia. The 2007 meeting was convened by Tracy Gregg, Les Bleamaster, Steve Saunders, and Ken Tanaka and was hosted by David Crown and Les Bleamaster of the Planetary Science Institute (PSI) in Tucson, Arizona. Oral presentations and poster discussions took place on Thursday, June 28 and Friday, June 29. This year's meeting also included a unique opportunity to visit the operations centers of two active Mars missions; field trips to the University of Arizona took place on Thursday and Friday afternoons. Outgoing Geologic Mapping Subcommittee (GEMS) chairperson, Tracy Gregg, commenced the meeting with an introduction and David Crown followed with a discussion of logistics and the PSI facility; Steve Saunders (Planetary Geology and Geophysics Discipline Scientist) then provided a brief program update. Science presentations kicked off with Venus mapper Vicki Hansen and graduate students Eric Tharalson and Bhairavi Shankar of the University of Minnesota, Duluth, showing a 3-D animation of the global distribution of tesserae and discussing the implications, a progress report for V-45 quadrangle mapping, and a brief discussion of circular lows. Les Bleamaster (PSI) followed with a progress report on mapping of the V-50 quadrangle and the 1:10M Helen Planitia quadrangle. David Crown (PSI) concluded the Venus presentations with a discussion of progress made on the V-30 quadrangle. The remainder of Thursday's presentations jumped around the Solar System including Mars, Io, and Earth. Ken Tanaka of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began the afternoon with a general discussion of the status of the planetary mapping program at USGS. Buck Janes (University of Arizona) provided background information about the Mars Odyssey Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS) and

  6. Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of Planetary Geologic Mappers, Nampa, Idaho 2006 (United States)

    Gregg, Tracy K. P.; Tanaka, Kenneth L.; Saunders, R. Stephen


    Approximately 18 people attended this year's mappers meeting, and many more submitted abstracts and maps in absentia. The meeting was held on the campus of Northwest Nazarene University (NNU), and was graciously hosted by NNU's School of Health and Science. Planetary mapper Dr. Jim Zimbelman is an alumnus of NNU, and he was pivotal in organizing the meeting at this location. Oral and poster presentations were given on Friday, June 30. Drs. Bill Bonnichsen and Marty Godchaux led field excursions on July 1 and 2. USGS Astrogeology Team Chief Scientist Lisa Gaddis led the meeting with a brief discussion of the status of the planetary mapping program at USGS, and a more detailed description of the Lunar Mapping Program. She indicated that there is now a functioning website ( which shows which lunar quadrangles are available to be mapped. Like other USGS-published maps, proposals to complete a lunar geologic map must be submitted to the regular Planetary Geology & Geophysics (PGG) program for peer review. Jim Skinner (USGS) later presented the progress of the 1:2.5M-scale map of the lunar Copernicus quadrangle, and demonstrated the wide range of data that are available to support these maps. Gaddis and Skinner encouraged the community to submit proposals for generating lunar geologic maps, and reminded us that, as for all planetary maps, the project must be science-driven. Venus mapper Jim Zimbelman of the Smithsonian Institution (SI) presented the progress for his V-15 and V-16 quadrangles; Vicki Hansen (University of Minnesota Duluth) showed her preliminary work on V-45. Zimbelman addressed an issue that has been plaguing the community: 'delinquent Venus mappers'. In short, there were a number of Venus maps funded in the early 1990s under the Venus Data Analysis Program (VDAP). Unfortunately, funding for this program was cut before many Venus maps could be completed, resulting in about 10 Venus maps that

  7. Using Sandia's Z Machine and Density Functional Theory Simulations to Understand Planetary Materials (United States)

    Root, Seth


    The use of Z, NIF, and Omega have produced many breakthrough results in high pressure physics. One area that has greatly benefited from these facilities is the planetary sciences. The high pressure behavior of planetary materials has implications for numerous geophysical and planetary processes. The continuing discovery of exosolar super-Earths demonstrates the need for accurate equation of state data to better inform our models of their interior structures. Planetary collision processes, such as the moon-forming giant impact, require understanding planetary materials over a wide-range of pressures and temperatures. Using Z, we examined the shock compression response of some common planetary materials: MgO, Mg2SiO4, and Fe2O3 (hematite). We compare the experimental shock compression measurements with density functional theory (DFT) based quantum molecular dynamics (QMD) simulations. The combination of experiment and theory provides clearer understanding of planetary materials properties at extreme conditions. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-mission laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.

  8. Field Geologic Observation and Sample Collection Strategies for Planetary Surface Exploration: Insights from the 2010 Desert RATS Geologist Crewmembers (United States)

    Hurtado, Jose M., Jr.; Young, Kelsey; Bleacher, Jacob E.; Garry, W. Brent; Rice, James W., Jr.


    Observation is the primary role of all field geologists, and geologic observations put into an evolving conceptual context will be the most important data stream that will be relayed to Earth during a planetary exploration mission. Sample collection is also an important planetary field activity, and its success is closely tied to the quality of contextual observations. To test protocols for doing effective planetary geologic field- work, the Desert RATS(Research and Technology Studies) project deployed two prototype rovers for two weeks of simulated exploratory traverses in the San Francisco volcanic field of northern Arizona. The authors of this paper represent the geologist crew members who participated in the 2010 field test.We document the procedures adopted for Desert RATS 2010 and report on our experiences regarding these protocols. Careful consideration must be made of various issues that impact the interplay between field geologic observations and sample collection, including time management; strategies relatedtoduplicationofsamplesandobservations;logisticalconstraintson the volume and mass of samples and the volume/transfer of data collected; and paradigms for evaluation of mission success. We find that the 2010 field protocols brought to light important aspects of each of these issues, and we recommend best practices and modifications to training and operational protocols to address them. Underlying our recommendations is the recognition that the capacity of the crew to flexibly execute their activities is paramount. Careful design of mission parameters, especially field geologic protocols, is critical for enabling the crews to successfully meet their science objectives.

  9. Tools and Technologies Needed for Conducting Planetary Field Geology While On EVA: Insights from the 2010 Desert RATS Geologist Crewmembers (United States)

    Young, Kelsey; Hurtado, Jose M., Jr.; Bleacher, Jacob E.; Garry, W. Brent; Bleisath, Scott; Buffington, Jesse; Rice, James W., Jr.


    Observation is the primary role of all field geologists, and geologic observations put into an evolving conceptual context will be the most important data stream that will be relayed to Earth during a planetary exploration mission. Sample collection is also an important planetary field activity, and its success is closely tied to the quality of contextual observations. To test protocols for doing effective planetary geologic fieldwork, the Desert RATS (Research and Technology Studies) project deployed two prototype rovers for two weeks of simulated exploratory traverses in the San Francisco volcanic field of northern Arizona. The authors of this paper represent the geologist crewmembers who participated in the 2010 field test. We document the procedures adopted for Desert RATS 2010 and report on our experiences regarding these protocols. Careful consideration must be made of various issues that impact the interplay between field geologic observations and sample collection, including time management; strategies related to duplication of samples and observations; logistical constraints on the volume and mass of samples and the volume/transfer of data collected; and paradigms for evaluation of mission success. We find that the 2010 field protocols brought to light important aspects of each of these issues, and we recommend best practices and modifications to training and operational protocols to address them. Underlying our recommendations is the recognition that the capacity of the crew to "flexibly execute" their activities is paramount. Careful design of mission parameters, especially field geologic protocols, is critical for enabling the crews to successfully meet their science objectives.

  10. BASALT A: Basaltic Terrains in Idaho and Hawaii as Planetary Analogs for Mars Geology and Astrobiology (United States)

    Hughes, Scott S.; Haberle, Christopher W.; Nawotniak, Shannon E. Kobs; Sehlke, Alexander; Garry, W. Brent; Elphic, Richard C.; Payler, Sam J.; Stevens, Adam H.; Cockell, Charles S.; Brady, Allyson L.; hide


    Assessments of field research target regions are described within two notably basaltic geologic provinces as Earth analogs to Mars. Regions within the eastern Snake River Plain of Idaho and the Big Island of Hawaii, USA, provinces that represent analogs of present-day and early Mars, respectively, were evaluated on the basis of geologic settings, rock lithology and geochemistry, rock alteration, and climate. Each of these factors provide rationale for the selection of specific targets for field research in five analog target regions: (1) Big Craters and (2) Highway lava flows at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Idaho; and (3) Mauna Ulu low shield, (4) Kilauea Iki lava lake and (5) Kilauea caldera in the Kilauea Volcano summit region and the East Rift Zone of Hawaii. Our evaluation of compositional and textural differences, as well as the effects of syn- and post-eruptive rock alteration, shows that the basaltic terrains in Idaho and Hawaii provide a way to characterize the geology and major geologic substrates that host biological activity of relevance to Mars exploration. This work provides the foundation to better understand the scientific questions related to the habitability of basaltic terrains, the rationale behind selecting analog field targets, and their applicability as analogs to Mars.

  11. Geology of the Icy Galilean Satellites: Understanding Crustal Processes and Geologic Histories Through the JIMO Mission (United States)

    Figueredo, P. H.; Tanaka, K.; Senske, D.; Greeley, R.


    Knowledge of the geology, style and time history of crustal processes on the icy Galilean satellites is necessary to understanding how these bodies formed and evolved. Data from the Galileo mission have provided a basis for detailed geologic and geo- physical analysis. Due to constrained downlink, Galileo Solid State Imaging (SSI) data consisted of global coverage at a -1 km/pixel ground sampling and representative, widely spaced regional maps at -200 m/pixel. These two data sets provide a general means to extrapolate units identified at higher resolution to lower resolution data. A sampling of key sites at much higher resolution (10s of m/pixel) allows evaluation of processes on local scales. We are currently producing the first global geological map of Europa using Galileo global and regional-scale data. This work is demonstrating the necessity and utility of planet-wide contiguous image coverage at global, regional, and local scales.

  12. Planetary nebulae: understanding the physical and chemical evolution of dying stars. (United States)

    Weinberger, R; Kerber, F


    Planetary nebulae are one of the few classes of celestial objects that are active in every part of the electromagnetic spectrum. These fluorescing and often dusty expanding gaseous envelopes were recently found to be quite complex in their dynamics and morphology, but refined theoretical models can account for these discoveries. Great progress was also made in understanding the mechanisms that shape the nebulae and the spectra of their central stars. In addition, applications for planetary nebulae have been worked out; for example, they have been used as standard candles for long-range distances and as tracers of the enigmatic dark matter.

  13. The U.S. Geological Survey Flagstaff Science Campus—Providing expertise on planetary science, ecology, water resources, geologic processes, and human interactions with the Earth (United States)

    Hart, Robert J.; Vaughan, R. Greg; McDougall, Kristin; Wojtowicz, Todd; Thenkenbail, Prasad


    The U.S. Geological Survey’s Flagstaff Science Campus is focused on interdisciplinary study of the Earth and solar system, and has the scientific expertise to detect early environmental changes and provide strategies to minimize possible adverse effects on humanity. The Flagstaff Science Campus (FSC) is located in Flagstaff, Arizona, which is situated in the northern part of the State, home to a wide variety of landscapes and natural resources, including (1) young volcanoes in the San Francisco Volcanic Field, (2) the seven ecological life zones of the San Francisco Peaks, (3) the extensive geologic record of the Colorado Plateau and Grand Canyon, (4) the Colorado River and its perennial, ephemeral, and intermittent tributaries, and (5) a multitude of canyons, mountains, arroyos, and plains. More than 200 scientists, technicians, and support staff provide research, monitoring, and technical advancements in planetary geology and mapping, biology and ecology, Earth-based geology, hydrology, and changing climate and landscapes. Scientists at the FSC work in collaboration with multiple State, Federal, Tribal, municipal, and academic partners to address regional, national, and global environmental issues, and provide scientific outreach to the general public.

  14. Geology, geochemistry, and geophysics of the Moon: Status of current understanding (United States)

    Jaumann, R.; Hiesinger, H.; Anand, M.; Crawford, I. A.; Wagner, R.; Sohl, F.; Jolliff, B. L.; Scholten, F.; Knapmeyer, M.; Hoffmann, H.; Hussmann, H.; Grott, M.; Hempel, S.; Köhler, U.; Krohn, K.; Schmitz, N.; Carpenter, J.; Wieczorek, M.; Spohn, T.; Robinson, M. S.; Oberst, J.


    The Moon is key to understanding both Earth and our Solar System in terms of planetary processes and has been a witness of the Solar System history for more than 4.5 Ga. Building on earlier telescopic observations, our knowledge about the Moon was transformed by the wealth of information provided by Apollo and other space missions. These demonstrated the value of the Moon for understanding the fundamental processes that drive planetary formation and evolution. The Moon was understood as an inert body with its geology mainly restricted to impact and volcanism with associated tectonics, and a relative simple composition. Unlike Earth, an absence of plate tectonics has preserved a well-defined accretion and geological evolution record. However recent missions to the Moon show that this traditional view of the lunar surface is certainly an over simplification. For example, although it has long been suspected that ice might be preserved in cold traps at the lunar poles, recent results also indicate the formation and retention of OH- and H2O outside of polar regions. These volatiles are likely to be formed as a result of hydration processes operating at the lunar surface including the production of H2O and OH by solar wind protons interacting with oxygen-rich rock surfaces produced during micrometeorite impact on lunar soil particles. Moreover, on the basis of Lunar Prospector gamma-ray data, the lunar crust and underlying mantle has been found to be divided into distinct terranes that possess unique geochemical, geophysical, and geological characteristics. The concentration of heat producing elements on the nearside hemisphere of the Moon in the Procellarum KREEP Terrane has apparently led to the nearside being more volcanically active than the farside. Recent dating of basalts has shown that lunar volcanism was active for almost 3 Ga, starting at about 3.9-4.0 Ga and ceasing at ˜1.2 Ga. A recent re-processing of the seismic data supports the presence of a partially

  15. Assessment of planetary geologic mapping techniques for Mars using terrestrial analogs: The SP Mountain area of the San Francisco Volcanic Field, Arizona (United States)

    Tanaka, K.L.; Skinner, J.A.; Crumpler, L.S.; Dohm, J.M.


    We photogeologically mapped the SP Mountain region of the San Francisco Volcanic Field in northern Arizona, USA to evaluate and improve the fidelity of approaches used in geologic mapping of Mars. This test site, which was previously mapped in the field, is chiefly composed of Late Cenozoic cinder cones, lava flows, and alluvium perched on Permian limestone of the Kaibab Formation. Faulting and folding has deformed the older rocks and some of the volcanic materials, and fluvial erosion has carved drainage systems and deposited alluvium. These geologic materials and their formational and modificational histories are similar to those for regions of the Martian surface. We independently prepared four geologic maps using topographic and image data at resolutions that mimic those that are commonly used to map the geology of Mars (where consideration was included for the fact that Martian features such as lava flows are commonly much larger than their terrestrial counterparts). We primarily based our map units and stratigraphic relations on geomorphology, color contrasts, and cross-cutting relationships. Afterward, we compared our results with previously published field-based mapping results, including detailed analyses of the stratigraphy and of the spatial overlap and proximity of the field-based vs. remote-based (photogeologic) map units, contacts, and structures. Results of these analyses provide insights into how to optimize the photogeologic mapping of Mars (and, by extension, other remotely observed planetary surfaces). We recommend the following: (1) photogeologic mapping as an excellent approach to recovering the general geology of a region, along with examination of local, high-resolution datasets to gain insights into the complexity of the geology at outcrop scales; (2) delineating volcanic vents and lava-flow sequences conservatively and understanding that flow abutment and flow overlap are difficult to distinguish in remote data sets; (3) taking care to

  16. Issues of geologically-focused situational awareness in robotic planetary missions: Lessons from an analogue mission at Mistastin Lake impact structure, Labrador, Canada (United States)

    Antonenko, I.; Osinski, G. R.; Battler, M.; Beauchamp, M.; Cupelli, L.; Chanou, A.; Francis, R.; Mader, M. M.; Marion, C.; McCullough, E.; Pickersgill, A. E.; Preston, L. J.; Shankar, B.; Unrau, T.; Veillette, D.


    Remote robotic data provides different information than that obtained from immersion in the field. This significantly affects the geological situational awareness experienced by members of a mission control science team. In order to optimize science return from planetary robotic missions, these limitations must be understood and their effects mitigated to fully leverage the field experience of scientists at mission control.Results from a 13-day analogue deployment at the Mistastin Lake impact structure in Labrador, Canada suggest that scale, relief, geological detail, and time are intertwined issues that impact the mission control science team's effectiveness in interpreting the geology of an area. These issues are evaluated and several mitigation options are suggested. Scale was found to be difficult to interpret without the reference of known objects, even when numerical scale data were available. For this reason, embedding intuitive scale-indicating features into image data is recommended. Since relief is not conveyed in 2D images, both 3D data and observations from multiple angles are required. Furthermore, the 3D data must be observed in animation or as anaglyphs, since without such assistance much of the relief information in 3D data is not communicated. Geological detail may also be missed due to the time required to collect, analyze, and request data.We also suggest that these issues can be addressed, in part, by an improved understanding of the operational time costs and benefits of scientific data collection. Robotic activities operate on inherently slow time-scales. This fact needs to be embraced and accommodated. Instead of focusing too quickly on the details of a target of interest, thereby potentially minimizing science return, time should be allocated at first to more broad data collection at that target, including preliminary surveys, multiple observations from various vantage points, and progressively smaller scale of focus. This operational model

  17. Ground penetrating radar geologic field studies of the ejecta of Barringer Meteorite Crater, Arizona, as a planetary analog (United States)

    Russell, Patrick S.; Grant, John A.; Williams, Kevin K.; Carter, Lynn M.; Brent Garry, W.; Daubar, Ingrid J.


    penetrating radar (GPR) has been a useful geophysical tool in investigating a variety of shallow subsurface geological environments on Earth. Here we investigate the capabilities of GPR to provide useful geologic information in one of the most common geologic settings of planetary surfaces, impact crater ejecta. Three types of ejecta are surveyed with GPR at two wavelengths (400 MHz, 200 MHz) at Meteor Crater, Arizona, with the goal of capturing the GPR signature of the subsurface rock population. In order to "ground truth" the GPR characterization, subsurface rocks are visually counted and measured in preexisting subsurface exposures immediately adjacent to and below the GPR transect. The rock size-frequency distribution from 10 to 50 cm based on visual counts is well described by both power law and exponential functions, the former slightly better, reflecting the control of fragmentation processes during the impact-ejection event. GPR counts are found to overestimate the number of subsurface rocks in the upper meter (by a factor of 2-3x) and underestimate in the second meter of depth (0.6-1.0x), results attributable to the highly scattering nature of blocky ejecta. Overturned ejecta that is fractured yet in which fragments are minimally displaced from their complement fragments produces fewer GPR returns than well-mixed ejecta. The use of two wavelengths and division of results into multiple depth zones provides multiple aspects by which to characterize the ejecta block population. Remote GPR measurement of subsurface ejecta in future planetary situations with no subsurface exposure can be used to characterize those rock populations relative to that of Meteor Crater.

  18. Geologic Interpretation of Data Sets Collected by Planetary Analog Geology Traverses and by Standard Geologic Field Mapping. Part 1; A Comparison Study (United States)

    Eppler, Dean B.; Bleacher, Jacob F.; Evans, Cynthia A.; Feng, Wanda; Gruener, John; Hurwitz, Debra M.; Skinner, J. A., Jr.; Whitson, Peggy; Janoiko, Barbara


    Geologic maps integrate the distributions, contacts, and compositions of rock and sediment bodies as a means to interpret local to regional formative histories. Applying terrestrial mapping techniques to other planets is challenging because data is collected primarily by orbiting instruments, with infrequent, spatiallylimited in situ human and robotic exploration. Although geologic maps developed using remote data sets and limited "Apollo-style" field access likely contain inaccuracies, the magnitude, type, and occurrence of these are only marginally understood. This project evaluates the interpretative and cartographic accuracy of both field- and remote-based mapping approaches by comparing two 1:24,000 scale geologic maps of the San Francisco Volcanic Field (SFVF), north-central Arizona. The first map is based on traditional field mapping techniques, while the second is based on remote data sets, augmented with limited field observations collected during NASA Desert Research & Technology Studies (RATS) 2010 exercises. The RATS mission used Apollo-style methods not only for pre-mission traverse planning but also to conduct geologic sampling as part of science operation tests. Cross-comparison demonstrates that the Apollo-style map identifies many of the same rock units and determines a similar broad history as the field-based map. However, field mapping techniques allow markedly improved discrimination of map units, particularly unconsolidated surficial deposits, and recognize a more complex eruptive history than was possible using Apollo-style data. Further, the distribution of unconsolidated surface units was more obvious in the remote sensing data to the field team after conducting the fieldwork. The study raises questions about the most effective approach to balancing mission costs with the rate of knowledge capture, suggesting that there is an inflection point in the "knowledge capture curve" beyond which additional resource investment yields progressively

  19. Conducting Planetary Field Geology on EVA: Lessons from the 2010 DRATS Geologist Crewmembers (United States)

    Young, Kelsey E.; Bleacher, J. E.; Hurtado, J. M., Jr.; Rice, J.; Garry, W. B.; Eppler, D.


    In order to prepare for the next phase of planetary surface exploration, the Desert Research and Technology Studies (DRATS) field program seeks to test the next generation of technology needed to explore other surfaces. The 2010 DRATS 14-day field campaign focused on the simultaneous operation of two habitatable rovers, or Space Exploration Vehicles (SEVs). Each rover was crewed by one astronaut/commander and one geologist, with a change in crews on day seven of the mission. This shift change allowed for eight crew members to test the DRATS technology and operational protocols [1,2]. The insights presented in this abstract represent the crew s thoughts on lessons learned from this field season, as well as potential future testing concepts.

  20. Microtel: A TV Microscope for planetary field geology and resource evaluation (United States)

    Jakes, Petr


    To obtain "mineralogical and morphologic" information "in situ" on planetary surfaces we have designed, constructed and undertaken preliminary tests of a Microtel, compact TV-microscope imaging system that allows us to image an area of several square centimeters and/or millimeters of planetary surface (regolith or rock samples). The Microtel has been constructed with a minimum of moving parts. Because of its simplicity it could be part of a robotic probe or could be used by an astronaut as a hand-held lens. The microscope (or hand held lens equivalent) uses a photosensitive device (e.g., CCD chip) combined with the microscopic lenses, mirrors, internal light and/or fiber optics to image the area in visible, UV or NIR. The size of the monitored area translated to magnification could be easily changed, depending on needs, by varying the optics. The other modes of magnification, i.e., false electronic magnification, through dense CCD chips could be used as well. Microscope lenses with a short working distance between the optic system and the "eye" (CCD) are used. Magnification of 10 to 1000 times (using a TV screen) were explored. The best results were obtained with magnifications of 10 times to about 100 times at the TV screen. Good images were provided with sufficient depth of focus and good resolution (better than 5 microns). Different apertures are used to vary the depth of the focus. The device is connected by cable to a signal processing unit and to a TV monitor, videoprinter, videorecorder or PC. The equipment camera and illumination with focusing system is small and lightweight (50 x 50 x 20 millimeters, or tube of 100 mm long and 20 mm in diameter) and less than 250g. The Microtel has its own light source and is easily transportable, allowing the imaging of normally inaccessible areas.

  1. Neodymium diffusion in orthopyroxene: Experimental studies and applications to geological and planetary problems (United States)

    Sano, Jennifer; Ganguly, Jibamitra; Hervig, Richard; Dohmen, Ralf; Zhang, Xiaoyu


    We have determined the Nd 3+ diffusion kinetics in natural enstatite crystals as a function of temperature, f(O 2) and crystallographic direction at 1 bar pressure and applied these data to several terrestrial and planetary problems. The diffusion is found to be anisotropic with the diffusion parallel to the c-axial direction being significantly greater than that parallel to a- and b-axis. Also, D(// a) is likely to be somewhat greater than D(// b). Diffusion experiments parallel to the b-axial direction as a function of f(O 2) do not show a significant dependence of D(Nd 3+) on f(O 2) within the range defined by the IW buffer and 1.5 log unit above the WM buffer. The observed diffusion anisotropy and weak f(O 2) effect on D(Nd 3+) may be understood by considering the crystal structure of enstatite and the likely diffusion pathways. Using the experimental data for D(Nd 3+), we calculated the closure temperature of the Sm-Nd geochronological system in enstatite during cooling as a function of cooling rate, grain size and geometry, initial (peak) temperature and diffusion direction. We have also evaluated the approximate domain of validity of closure temperatures calculated on the basis of an infinite plane sheet model for finite plane sheets showing anisotropic diffusion. These results provide a quantitative framework for the interpretation of Sm-Nd mineral ages of orthopyroxene in planetary samples. We discuss the implications of our experimental data to the problems of melting and subsolidus cooling of mantle rocks, and the resetting of Sm-Nd mineral ages in mesosiderites. It is found that a cooling model proposed earlier [Ganguly J., Yang H., Ghose S., 1994. Thermal history of mesosiderites: Quantitative constraints from compositional zoning and Fe-Mg ordering in orthopyroxene. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 58, 2711-2723] could lead to the observed ˜90 Ma difference between the U-Pb age and Sm-Nd mineral age for mesosiderites, thus obviating the need for a model of

  2. Modeling pN2through Geological Time: Implications for Planetary Climates and Atmospheric Biosignatures. (United States)

    Stüeken, E E; Kipp, M A; Koehler, M C; Schwieterman, E W; Johnson, B; Buick, R


    Nitrogen is a major nutrient for all life on Earth and could plausibly play a similar role in extraterrestrial biospheres. The major reservoir of nitrogen at Earth's surface is atmospheric N 2 , but recent studies have proposed that the size of this reservoir may have fluctuated significantly over the course of Earth's history with particularly low levels in the Neoarchean-presumably as a result of biological activity. We used a biogeochemical box model to test which conditions are necessary to cause large swings in atmospheric N 2 pressure. Parameters for our model are constrained by observations of modern Earth and reconstructions of biomass burial and oxidative weathering in deep time. A 1-D climate model was used to model potential effects on atmospheric climate. In a second set of tests, we perturbed our box model to investigate which parameters have the greatest impact on the evolution of atmospheric pN 2 and consider possible implications for nitrogen cycling on other planets. Our results suggest that (a) a high rate of biomass burial would have been needed in the Archean to draw down atmospheric pN 2 to less than half modern levels, (b) the resulting effect on temperature could probably have been compensated by increasing solar luminosity and a mild increase in pCO 2 , and (c) atmospheric oxygenation could have initiated a stepwise pN 2 rebound through oxidative weathering. In general, life appears to be necessary for significant atmospheric pN 2 swings on Earth-like planets. Our results further support the idea that an exoplanetary atmosphere rich in both N 2 and O 2 is a signature of an oxygen-producing biosphere. Key Words: Biosignatures-Early Earth-Planetary atmospheres. Astrobiology 16, 949-963.

  3. Novel 3D imaging techniques for improved understanding of planetary surface geomorphology. (United States)

    Muller, Jan-Peter


    Understanding the role of different planetary surface formation processes within our Solar System is one of the fundamental goals of planetary science research. There has been a revolution in planetary surface observations over the past decade for Mars and the Moon, especially in 3D imaging of surface shape (down to resolutions of 75cm) and subsequent correction for terrain relief of imagery from orbiting and co-registration of lander and rover robotic images. We present some of the recent highlights including 3D modelling of surface shape from the ESA Mars Express HRSC (High Resolution Stereo Camera), see [1], [2] at 30-100m grid-spacing; and then co-registered to HRSC using a resolution cascade of 20m DTMs from NASA MRO stereo-CTX and 0.75m DTMs from MRO stereo-HiRISE [3]. This has opened our eyes to the formation mechanisms of megaflooding events, such as the formation of Iani Vallis and the upstream blocky terrain, to crater lakes and receding valley cuts [4]. A comparable set of products is now available for the Moon from LROC-WA at 100m [5] and LROC-NA at 1m [6]. Recently, a very novel technique for the super-resolution restoration (SRR) of stacks of images has been developed at UCL [7]. First examples shown will be of the entire MER-A Spirit rover traverse taking a stack of 25cm HiRISE to generate a corridor of SRR images along the rover traverse of 5cm imagery of unresolved features such as rocks, created as a consequence of meteoritic bombardment, ridge and valley features. This SRR technique will allow us for ˜400 areas on Mars (where 5 or more HiRISE images have been captured) and similar numbers on the Moon to resolve sub-pixel features. Examples will be shown of how these SRR images can be employed to assist with the better understanding of surface geomorphology. Acknowledgements: The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under PRoViDE grant agreement n° 312377

  4. 3D Geological Mapping - uncovering the subsurface to increase environmental understanding (United States)

    Kessler, H.; Mathers, S.; Peach, D.


    Geological understanding is required for many disciplines studying natural processes from hydrology to landscape evolution. The subsurface structure of rocks and soils and their properties occupies three-dimensional (3D) space and geological processes operate in time. Traditionally geologists have captured their spatial and temporal knowledge in 2 dimensional maps and cross-sections and through narrative, because paper maps and later two dimensional geographical information systems (GIS) were the only tools available to them. Another major constraint on using more explicit and numerical systems to express geological knowledge is the fact that a geologist only ever observes and measures a fraction of the system they study. Only on rare occasions does the geologist have access to enough real data to generate meaningful predictions of the subsurface without the input of conceptual understanding developed from and knowledge of the geological processes responsible for the deposition, emplacement and diagenesis of the rocks. This in turn has led to geology becoming an increasingly marginalised science as other disciplines have embraced the digital world and have increasingly turned to implicit numerical modelling to understand environmental processes and interactions. Recent developments in geoscience methodology and technology have gone some way to overcoming these barriers and geologists across the world are beginning to routinely capture their knowledge and combine it with all available subsurface data (of often highly varying spatial distribution and quality) to create regional and national geological three dimensional geological maps. This is re-defining the way geologists interact with other science disciplines, as their concepts and knowledge are now expressed in an explicit form that can be used downstream to design process models structure. For example, groundwater modellers can refine their understanding of groundwater flow in three dimensions or even directly

  5. A Review of the Handheld X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer as a Tool for Field Geologic Investigations on Earth and in Planetary Surface Exploration (United States)

    Young, Kelsey E.; Evans, Cynthia A.; Hodges, Kip V.; Bleacher, Jacob E.; Graff, Trevor G.


    X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy is a well-established and commonly used technique in obtaining diagnostic compositional data on geological samples. Recently, developments in X-ray tube and detector technologies have resulted in miniaturized, field-portable instruments that enable new applications both in and out of standard laboratory settings. These applications, however, have not been extensively applied to geologic field campaigns. This study investigates the feasibility of using developing handheld XRF (hXRF) technology to enhance terrestrial field geology, with potential applications in planetary surface exploration missions. We demonstrate that the hXRF is quite stable, providing reliable and accurate data continuously over a several year period. Additionally, sample preparation is proved to have a marked effect on the strategy for collecting and assimilating hXRF data. While the hXRF is capable of obtaining data that are comparable to laboratory XRF analysis for several geologically-important elements (such as Si, Ca, Ti, and K), the instrument is unable to detect other elements (such as Mg and Na) reliably. While this limits the use of the hXRF, especially when compared to laboratory XRF techniques, the hXRF is still capable of providing the field user with significantly improved contextual awareness of a field site, and more work is needed to fully evaluate the potential of this instrument in more complex geologic environments.

  6. Geology (United States)

    Kansas Data Access and Support Center — This database is an Arc/Info implementation of the 1:500,000 scale Geology Map of Kansas, M­23, 1991. This work wasperformed by the Automated Cartography section of...

  7. Development, Deployment, and Assessment of Dynamic Geological and Geophysical Models Using the Google Earth APP and API: Implications for Undergraduate Education in the Earth and Planetary Sciences (United States)

    de Paor, D. G.; Whitmeyer, S. J.; Gobert, J.


    We previously reported on innovative techniques for presenting data on virtual globes such as Google Earth using emergent Collada models that reveal subsurface geology and geophysics. We here present several new and enhanced models and linked lesson plans to aid deployment in undergraduate geoscience courses, along with preliminary results from our assessment of their effectiveness. The new Collada models are created with Google SketchUp, Bonzai3D, and MeshLab software, and are grouped to cover (i) small scale field mapping areas; (ii) regional scale studies of the North Atlantic Ocean Basin, the Appalachian Orogen, and the Pacific Ring of Fire; and (iii) global scale studies of terrestrial planets, moons, and asteroids. Enhancements include emergent block models with three-dimensional surface topography; models that conserve structural orientation data; interactive virtual specimens; models that animate plate movements on the virtual globe; exploded 3-D views of planetary mantles and cores; and server-generated dynamic KML. We tested volunteer students and professors using Silverback monitoring software, think-aloud verbalizations, and questionnaires designed to assess their understanding of the underlying geo-scientific phenomena. With the aid of a cohort of instructors across the U.S., we are continuing to assess areas in which users encounter difficulties with both the software and geoscientific concepts. Preliminary results suggest that it is easy to overestimate the computer expertise of novice users even when they are content knowledge experts (i.e., instructors), and that a detailed introduction to virtual globe manipulation is essential before moving on to geoscience applications. Tasks that seem trivial to developers may present barriers to non-technical users and technicalities that challenge instructors may block adoption in the classroom. We have developed new models using the Google Earth API which permits enhanced interaction and dynamic feedback and

  8. Nuclear planetology: understanding planetary mantle and crust formation in the light of nuclear and particle physics (United States)

    Roller, Goetz


    The Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) diagram is one of the most important diagrams in astronomy. In a HR diagram, the luminosity of stars and/or stellar remnants (white dwarf stars, WD's), relative to the luminosity of the sun, is plotted versus their surface temperatures (Teff). The Earth shows a striking similarity in size (radius ≈ 6.371 km) and Teff of its outer core surface (Teff ≈ 3800 K at the core-mantle-boundary) with old WD's (radius ≈ 6.300 km) like WD0346+246 (Teff ≈ 3820 K after ≈ 12.7 Ga [1]), which plot in the HR diagram close to the low-mass extension of the stellar population or main sequence. In the light of nuclear planetology [2], Earth-like planets are regarded as old, down-cooled and differentiated black dwarfs (Fe-C BLD's) after massive decompression, the most important nuclear reactions involved being 56Fe(γ,α)52Cr (etc.), possibly responsible for extreme terrestrial glaciations events ("snowball" Earth), together with (γ,n), (γ,p) and fusion reactions like 12C(α,γ)16O. The latter reaction might have caused oxidation of the planet from inside out. Nuclear planetology is a new research field, tightly constrained by a coupled 187Re-232Th-238U systematics [3-5]. By means of nuclear/quantum physics and taking the theory of relativity into account, it aims at understanding the thermal and chemical evolution of Fe-C BLD's after gravitational contraction (e.g. Mercury) or Fermi-pressure controlled collapse (e.g. Earth) events after massive decompression, leading possibly to an r-process event, towards the end of their cooling period [2]. So far and based upon 187Re-232Th-238U nuclear geochronometry, the Fe-C BLD hypothesis can successfully explain the global terrestrial MORB 232Th/238U signature [5]. Thus, it may help to elucidate the DM (depleted mantle), EMI (enriched mantle 1), EMII (enriched mantle 2) or HIMU (high U/Pb) reservoirs [6], and the 187Os/188Os isotopic dichotomy in Archean magmatic rocks and sediments [7]. Here I present a

  9. Evaluating Handheld X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Technology in Planetary Exploration: Demonstrating Instrument Stability and Understanding Analytical Constraints and Limits for Basaltic Rocks (United States)

    Young, K. E.; Hodges, K. V.; Evans, C. A.


    While large-footprint X-ray fluorescence (XRF) instruments are reliable providers of elemental information about geologic samples, handheld XRF instruments are currently being developed that enable the collection of geochemical data in the field in short time periods (approx.60 seconds) [1]. These detectors are lightweight (1.3kg) and can provide elemental abundances of major rock forming elements heavier than Na. While handheld XRF detectors were originally developed for use in mining, we are working with commercially available instruments as prototypes to explore how portable XRF technology may enable planetary field science [2,3,4]. If an astronaut or robotic explorer visited another planetary surface, the ability to obtain and evaluate geochemical data in real-time would be invaluable, especially in the high-grading of samples to determine which should be returned to Earth. We present our results on the evaluation of handheld XRF technology as a geochemical tool in the context of planetary exploration.

  10. Experimental impact cratering provides ground truth data for understanding planetary-scale collision processes (United States)

    Poelchau, Michael H.; Deutsch, Alex; Kenkmann, Thomas


    Impact cratering is generally accepted as one of the primary processes that shape planetary surfaces in the solar system. While post-impact analysis of craters by remote sensing or field work gives many insights into this process, impact cratering experiments have several advantages for impact research: 1) excavation and ejection processes can be directly observed, 2) physical parameters of the experiment are defined and can be varied, and 3) cratered target material can be analyzed post-impact in an unaltered, uneroded state. The main goal of the MEMIN project is to comprehensively quantify impact processes by conducting a stringently controlled experimental impact cratering campaign on the meso-scale with a multidisciplinary analytical approach. As a unique feature we use two-stage light gas guns capable of producing impact craters in the decimeter size-range in solid rocks that, in turn, allow detailed spatial analysis of petrophysical, structural, and geochemical changes in target rocks and ejecta. In total, we have carried out 24 experiments at the facilities of the Fraunhofer EMI, Freiburg - Germany. Steel, aluminum, and iron meteorite projectiles ranging in diameter from 2.5 to 12 mm were accelerated to velocities ranging from 2.5 to 7.8 km/s. Targets were solid rocks, namely sandstone, quartzite and tuff that were either dry or saturated with water. In the experimental setup, high speed framing cameras monitored the impact process, ultrasound sensors were attached to the target to record the passage of the shock wave, and special particle catchers were positioned opposite of the target surface to capture the ejected target and projectile material. In addition to the cratering experiments, planar shock recovery experiments were performed on the target material, and numerical models of the cratering process were developed. The experiments resulted in craters with diameters up to 40 cm, which is unique in laboratory cratering research. Target porosity

  11. Laboratory simulations of planetary surfaces: Understanding regolith physical properties from remote photopolarimetric observations (United States)

    Nelson, Robert M.; Boryta, Mark D.; Hapke, Bruce W.; Manatt, Kenneth S.; Shkuratov, Yuriy; Psarev, V.; Vandervoort, Kurt; Kroner, Desire; Nebedum, Adaze; Vides, Christina L.; Quiñones, John


    We present reflectance and polarization phase curve measurements of highly reflective planetary regolith analogues having physical characteristics expected on atmosphereless solar system bodies (ASSBs) such as a eucritic asteroids or icy satellites. We used a goniometric photopolarimeter (GPP) of novel design to study thirteen well-sorted particle size fractions of aluminum oxide (Al2O3). The sample suite included particle sizes larger than, approximately equal to, and smaller than the wavelength of the incident monochromatic radiation (λ = 635 nm). The observed phase angle, α, was 0.056 o ∼95%). The incident radiation has a very high probability of being multiply scattered before being backscattered toward the incident direction or ultimately absorbed. The five smallest particle sizes exhibited extremely high void space (> ∼95%). The reflectance phase curves for all particle size fractions show a pronounced non-linear reflectance increase with decreasing phase angle at α∼ ∼1 we detect no polarization. This polarization behavior is distinct from that observed in low albedo solar system objects such as the Moon and asteroids and for absorbing materials in the laboratory. We suggest this behavior arises because photons that are backscattered have a high probability of having interacted with two or more particles, thus giving rise to the CB process. These results may explain the unusual negative polarization behavior observed near small phase angles reported for several decades on highly reflective ASSBs such as the asteroids 44 Nysa, 64 Angelina and the Galilean satellites Io, Europa and Ganymede. Our results suggest these ASSB regoliths scatter electromagnetic radiation as if they were extremely fine grained with void space > ∼95%, and grain sizes of the order field of terrestrial geo-engineering, particularly to suggestions that earth's radiation balance can be modified by injecting Al2O3 particulates into the stratosphere thereby offsetting the effect

  12. Understanding brittle deformation at the Olkiluoto site. Literature compilation for site characterization and geological modelling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Millnes, A.G.


    The present report arose from the belief that geological modelling at Olkiluoto, Finland, where an underground repository for spent nuclear fuel is at present under construction, could be significantly improved by an increased understanding of the phenomena being modelled, in conjunction with the more sophisticated data acquisition and processing methods which are now being introduced. Since the geological model is the necessary basis for the rock engineering and hydrological models, which in turn provide the foundation for identifying suitable rock volumes underground and for demonstrating longterm safety, its scientific basis is of critical importance. As a contribution to improving this scientific basis, the literature on brittle deformation in the Earth's crust has been reviewed, and key references chosen and arranged, with the particular geology of the Olkiluoto site in mind. The result is a compilation of scientific articles, reports and books on some of the key topics, which are of significance for an improved understanding of brittle deformation of hard, crystalline rocks, such as those typical for Olkiluoto. The report is subdivided into six Chapters, covering (1) background information, (2) important aspects of the fabric of intact rock, (3) fracture mechanics and brittle microtectonics, (4) fracture data acquisition and processing, for the statistical characterisation and modelling of fracture systems, (5) the characterisation of brittle deformation zones for deterministic modelling, and (6) the regional geological framework of the Olkiluoto site. The Chapters are subdivided into a number of Sections, and each Section into a number of Topics. The citations are mainly collected under each Topic, embedded in a short explanatory text or listed chronologically without comment. The systematic arrangement of Chapters, Sections and Topics is such that the Table of Contents can be used to focus quickly on the theme of interest without the necessity of looking

  13. How Do Novice and Expert Learners Represent, Understand, and Discuss Geologic Time? (United States)

    Layow, Erica Amanda

    This dissertation examined the representations novice and expert learners constructed for the geologic timescale. Learners engaged in a three-part activity. The purpose was to compare novice learners' representations to those of expert learners. This provided insight into the similarities and differences between their strategies for event ordering, assigning values and scale to the geologic timescale model, as well as their language and practices to complete the model. With a qualitative approach to data analysis informed by an expert-novice theoretical framework grounded in phenomenography, learner responses comprised the data analyzed. These data highlighted learners' metacognitive thoughts that might not otherwise be shared through lectures or laboratory activities. Learners' responses were analyzed using a discourse framework that positioned learners as knowers. Novice and expert learners both excelled at ordering and discussing events before the Phanerozoic, but were challenged with events during the Phanerozoic. Novice learners had difficulty assigning values to events and establishing a scale for their models. Expert learners expressed difficulty with determining a scale because of the size of the model, yet eventually used anchor points and unitized the model to establish a scale. Despite challenges constructing their models, novice learners spoke confidently using claims and few hedging phrases indicating their confidence in statements made. Experts used more hedges than novices, however the hedging comments were made about more complex conceptions. Using both phenomenographic and discourse analysis approaches for analysis foregrounded learners' discussions of how they perceived geologic time and their ways of knowing and doing. This research is intended to enhance the geoscience community's understanding of the ways novice and expert learners think and discuss conceptions of geologic time, including the events and values of time, and the strategies used

  14. The need for New In Situ Measurements to Understand the Climate, Geology and Evolution of Venus. (United States)

    Grinspoon, D. H.


    Many measurements needed to address outstanding questions about current processes and evolution of Venus can only be made from in situ platforms such as entry probes, balloons or landers. Among these are precise determination of the value and altitude dependence of the deuterium-to-hydrogen ratio, an important tracer of water history which, while clearly greatly elevated compared to the terrestrial ratio, is still unknown within a large range of uncertainty and appears, based on Venus Express results, to display an enigmatic altitude dependence. Rare gas abundances and isotopes provide clues to volatile sources and histories of outgassing and exospheric escape. Modern mass spectrometry at Venus would yield abundances of the eight stable xenon isotopes, bulk abundances of krypton, and isotopes of neon. Altitude profiles of sulfur-containing chemical species would illuminate global geochemical cycles, including cloud formation, outgassing rates and surface-atmosphere interactions. The altitude profile of wind speeds and radiation fluxes, interpreted in light of the Venus Express and Akatsuki data, would enrich understanding of the global circulation and climate dynamics of Venus. Descent and surface images of carefully chosen locations would lend ground truth to interpretations of the near-global Magellan data sets and provide context for global remote sensing data obtained by future orbiter missions. Landed instruments would provide refinement and calibration for chemical abundance measurements by historical missions as well as direct mineralogical measurements of Venusian surface and subsurface rocks. In concert with atmospheric measurements these would greatly constrain geologic history as well as the nature of surface-atmosphere interactions. Such a suite of measurements will deepen our understanding of the origin and evolution of Venus in the context of Solar System and extrasolar terrestrial planets, determine the level and style of current geological activity


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. G. Chuvardinsky


    Full Text Available The hypothesis of Permo-Carboniferous glaciation appeared for the first time in the middle of XIX century based on findings of tillite outcrop and striated boulder in India and Australia. After that such boulder deposits were found in South and Equatorial Africa, Europe, Kazakhstan, South and North America, on the Arabian Peninsula. The latest place where tillites were found is Antarctica. Over 150-200 years the hypothesis turned into an unshakeable theory and, together with the theory of powerful Quaternary glaciation, was wildly introduced into Earth science (geoscience, it was definitely considered as a fundamental and epoch-making scientific achievement. During this period the scientific groups from different countries – botanists, zoologists, paleogeographers, climatologists and geologists collected rich, sometimes unique, factual material concerning plant and animal life of the late Paleozoic and wide formations of coal deposits. The paleogeography reconstructions of almost global glaciation with ice thickness of 6 km (! were also informative; this glaciation was called “The Great Permo-Carboniferous ice age”. It was impossible to think about debunking this theory. Therefore, it is worth mentioning that many scientists, both foreign and Russian ones, can be regarded as our extramural co-authors. The fact that we, unlike them, try to disprove the glacial theory, does not change the matter – it was impossible to prove the absence of this glaciation without the powerful glacial doctrine created by the scientific community and without huge factual material collected by them. The geological features of the Permo-Carboniferous glaciation are based on the same criteria as for the Quaternary glaciation. First of all, this is “an ice exaltation relief” – they are roche moutonnée (sheepbacks, polished rocks, striation, furrows on bedrock and boulders, tillites. It allows using the well-known principle of actuality. The author

  16. Classroom virtual lab experiments as teaching tools for explaining how we understand planetary processes (United States)

    Hill, C. N.; Schools, H.; Research Team Members


    This presentation will report on a classroom pilot study in which we teamed with school teachers in four middle school classes to develop and deploy course modules that connect the real-world to virtual forms of laboratory experiments.The broad goal is to help students realize that seemingly complex Earth system processes can be connected to basic properties of the planet and that this can be illustrated through idealized experiment. Specifically the presentation will describe virtual modules based on on-demand cloud computing technologies that allow students to test the notion that pole equator gradients in radiative forcing together with rotation can explain characteristic patterns of flow in the atmosphere. The module developed aligns with new Massachusetts science standard requirements regarding understanding of weather and climate processes. These new standards emphasize an appreciation of differential solar heating and a qualitative understanding of the significance of rotation. In our preliminary classroom pilot studies we employed pre and post evaluation tests to establish that the modules had increased student knowledge of phenomenology and terms. We will describe the results of these tests as well as results from anecdotal measures of student response. This pilot study suggests that one way to help make Earth science concepts more tractable to a wider audience is through virtual experiments that distill phenomena down, but still retain enough detail that students can see the connection to the real world. Modern computer technology and developments in research models appear to provide an opportunity for more work in this area. We will describe some follow-up possibilities that we envisage.

  17. Understanding wetland sub-surface hydrology using geologic and isotopic signatures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Sahu


    Full Text Available This paper attempts to utilize hydrogeology and isotope composition of groundwater to understand the present hydrological processes prevalent in a freshwater wetland, source of wetland groundwater, surface water/groundwater interaction and mixing of groundwater of various depth zones in the aquifer. This study considers East Calcutta Wetlands (ECW – a freshwater peri-urban inland wetland ecosystem located at the lower part of the deltaic alluvial plain of South Bengal Basin and east of Kolkata city. This wetland is well known over the world for its resource recovery systems, developed by local people through ages, using wastewater of the city. Geological investigations reveal that the sub-surface geology is completely blanketed by the Quaternary sediments comprising a succession of silty clay, sand of various grades and sand mixed with occasional gravels and thin intercalations of silty clay. At few places the top silty clay layer is absent due to scouring action of past channels. In these areas sand is present throughout the geological column and the areas are vulnerable to groundwater pollution. Groundwater mainly flows from east to west and is being over-extracted to the tune of 65×103 m3/day. δ18O and δD values of shallow and deep groundwater are similar indicating resemblance in hydrostratigraphy and climate of the recharge areas. Groundwater originates mainly from monsoonal rain with some evaporation prior to or during infiltration and partly from bottom of ponds, canals and infiltration of groundwater withdrawn for irrigation. Relatively high tritium content of the shallow groundwater indicates local recharge, while the deep groundwater with very low tritium is recharged mainly from distant areas. At places the deep aquifer has relatively high tritium, indicating mixing of groundwater of shallow and deep aquifers. Metals such as copper, lead, arsenic, cadmium, aluminium, nickel and chromium are also

  18. Understanding wetland sub-surface hydrology using geologic and isotopic signatures (United States)

    Sikdar, P. K.; Sahu, P.


    This paper attempts to utilize hydrogeology and isotope composition of groundwater to understand the present hydrological processes prevalent in a freshwater wetland, source of wetland groundwater, surface water/groundwater interaction and mixing of groundwater of various depth zones in the aquifer. This study considers East Calcutta Wetlands (ECW) - a freshwater peri-urban inland wetland ecosystem located at the lower part of the deltaic alluvial plain of South Bengal Basin and east of Kolkata city. This wetland is well known over the world for its resource recovery systems, developed by local people through ages, using wastewater of the city. Geological investigations reveal that the sub-surface geology is completely blanketed by the Quaternary sediments comprising a succession of silty clay, sand of various grades and sand mixed with occasional gravels and thin intercalations of silty clay. At few places the top silty clay layer is absent due to scouring action of past channels. In these areas sand is present throughout the geological column and the areas are vulnerable to groundwater pollution. Groundwater mainly flows from east to west and is being over-extracted to the tune of 65×103 m3/day. δ18O and δD values of shallow and deep groundwater are similar indicating resemblance in hydrostratigraphy and climate of the recharge areas. Groundwater originates mainly from monsoonal rain with some evaporation prior to or during infiltration and partly from bottom of ponds, canals and infiltration of groundwater withdrawn for irrigation. Relatively high tritium content of the shallow groundwater indicates local recharge, while the deep groundwater with very low tritium is recharged mainly from distant areas. At places the deep aquifer has relatively high tritium, indicating mixing of groundwater of shallow and deep aquifers. Metals such as copper, lead, arsenic, cadmium, aluminium, nickel and chromium are also present in groundwater of various depths. Therefore

  19. Development of the Exam of GeoloGy Standards, EGGS, to Measure Students' Conceptual Understanding of Geology Concepts (United States)

    Guffey, S. K.; Slater, T. F.; Slater, S. J.


    Discipline-based geoscience education researchers have considerable need for criterion-referenced, easy-to-administer and easy-to-score, conceptual diagnostic surveys for undergraduates taking introductory science survey courses in order for faculty to better be able to monitor the learning impacts of various interactive teaching approaches. To support ongoing discipline-based science education research to improve teaching and learning across the geosciences, this study establishes the reliability and validity of a 28-item, multiple-choice, pre- and post- Exam of GeoloGy Standards, hereafter simply called EGGS. The content knowledge EGGS addresses is based on 11 consensus concepts derived from a systematic, thematic analysis of the overlapping ideas presented in national science education reform documents including the Next Generation Science Standards, the AAAS Benchmarks for Science Literacy, the Earth Science Literacy Principles, and the NRC National Science Education Standards. Using community agreed upon best-practices for creating, field-testing, and iteratively revising modern multiple-choice test items using classical item analysis techniques, EGGS emphasizes natural student language over technical scientific vocabulary, leverages illustrations over students' reading ability, specifically targets students' misconceptions identified in the scholarly literature, and covers the range of topics most geology educators expect general education students to know at the end of their formal science learning experiences. The current version of EGGS is judged to be valid and reliable with college-level, introductory science survey students based on both standard quantitative and qualitative measures, including extensive clinical interviews with targeted students and systematic expert review.

  20. Planetary Rings (United States)

    Tiscareno, Matthew S.

    Planetary rings are the only nearby astrophysical disks and the only disks that have been investigated by spacecraft (especially the Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn). Although there are significant differences between rings and other disks, chiefly the large planet/ring mass ratio that greatly enhances the flatness of rings (aspect ratios as small as 10- 7), understanding of disks in general can be enhanced by understanding the dynamical processes observed at close range and in real time in planetary rings.We review the known ring systems of the four giant planets, as well as the prospects for ring systems yet to be discovered. We then review planetary rings by type. The A, B, and C rings of Saturn, plus the Cassini Division, comprise our solar system's only dense broad disk and host many phenomena of general application to disks including spiral waves, gap formation, self-gravity wakes, viscous overstability and normal modes, impact clouds, and orbital evolution of embedded moons. Dense narrow rings are found both at Uranus (where they comprise the main rings entirely) and at Saturn (where they are embedded in the broad disk) and are the primary natural laboratory for understanding shepherding and self-stability. Narrow dusty rings, likely generated by embedded source bodies, are surprisingly found to sport azimuthally confined arcs at Neptune, Saturn, and Jupiter. Finally, every known ring system includes a substantial component of diffuse dusty rings.Planetary rings have shown themselves to be useful as detectors of planetary processes around them, including the planetary magnetic field and interplanetary impactors as well as the gravity of nearby perturbing moons. Experimental rings science has made great progress in recent decades, especially numerical simulations of self-gravity wakes and other processes but also laboratory investigations of coefficient of restitution and spectroscopic ground truth. The age of self-sustained ring systems is a matter of

  1. Rivers through geological time : the fluvial contribution to understanding of our planet.


    Bridgland, D.R.; Bennett, J.A.; McVicar-Wright, S.E.; Scrivener, R.C.


    Fluvial rocks and sediments form an important part of the geological record from the terrestrial environment, from the Archaean to the recent. Precambrian fluvial archives record the change in Earth's atmosphere from anoxic to oxygen-rich, while the absence of land plants led to significant differences between Precambrian and Palaeozoic fluvial regimes and those from later in the geological record. In the Mesozoic and Cenozoic river valleys were populated by land animals and their deposits ar...

  2. Understanding geological processes: Visualization of rigid and non-rigid transformations (United States)

    Shipley, T. F.; Atit, K.; Manduca, C. A.; Ormand, C. J.; Resnick, I.; Tikoff, B.


    Visualizations are used in the geological sciences to support reasoning about structures and events. Research in cognitive sciences offers insights into the range of skills of different users, and ultimately how visualizations might support different users. To understand the range of skills needed to reason about earth processes we have developed a program of research that is grounded in the geosciences' careful description of the spatial and spatiotemporal patterns associated with earth processes. In particular, we are pursuing a research program that identifies specific spatial skills and investigates whether and how they are related to each other. For this study, we focus on a specific question: Is there an important distinction in the geosciences between rigid and non-rigid deformation? To study a general spatial thinking skill we employed displays with non-geological objects that had been altered by rigid change (rotation), and two types of non-rigid change ("brittle" (or discontinuous) and "ductile" (or continuous) deformation). Disciplinary scientists (geosciences and chemistry faculty), and novices (non-science faculty and undergraduate psychology students) answered questions that required them to visualize the appearance of the object before the change. In one study, geologists and chemists were found to be superior to non-science faculty in reasoning about rigid rotations (e.g., what an object would look like from a different perspective). Geologists were superior to chemists in reasoning about brittle deformations (e.g., what an object looked like before it was broken - here the object was a word cut into many fragments displaced in different directions). This finding is consistent with two hypotheses: 1) Experts are good at visualizing the types of changes required for their domain; and 2) Visualization of rigid and non-rigid changes are not the same skill. An additional important finding is that there was a broad range of skill in both rigid and non

  3. Towards understanding how surface life can affect interior geological processes: a non-equilibrium thermodynamics approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. G. Dyke


    Full Text Available Life has significantly altered the Earth's atmosphere, oceans and crust. To what extent has it also affected interior geological processes? To address this question, three models of geological processes are formulated: mantle convection, continental crust uplift and erosion and oceanic crust recycling. These processes are characterised as non-equilibrium thermodynamic systems. Their states of disequilibrium are maintained by the power generated from the dissipation of energy from the interior of the Earth. Altering the thickness of continental crust via weathering and erosion affects the upper mantle temperature which leads to changes in rates of oceanic crust recycling and consequently rates of outgassing of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Estimates for the power generated by various elements in the Earth system are shown. This includes, inter alia, surface life generation of 264 TW of power, much greater than those of geological processes such as mantle convection at 12 TW. This high power results from life's ability to harvest energy directly from the sun. Life need only utilise a small fraction of the generated free chemical energy for geochemical transformations at the surface, such as affecting rates of weathering and erosion of continental rocks, in order to affect interior, geological processes. Consequently when assessing the effects of life on Earth, and potentially any planet with a significant biosphere, dynamical models may be required that better capture the coupled nature of biologically-mediated surface and interior processes.

  4. Toward an Understanding of "Teaching in the Making:" Explaining Instructional Decision Making by Analyzing a Geology Instructor's Use of Metaphors (United States)

    Dolphin, Glenn Robert

    There is a need to enhance science and geoscience literacy. Effective instruction allows students opportunity to build their own models, test them, make their own arguments, and discern reliability of the claims and arguments of others. Attempts at designing and importing such instruction have shown limited implementation fidelity, even with attached professional development. Up to present, attempts to understand the problem of implementation sought to focused on the context of the teacher (beliefs, knowledges, and motivations) to explain teacher practice, and results indicate great complexity. Maintaining a similar focus, this investigation analyzes a geology instructor's use of metaphor, when talking about teaching, learning, and knowledge, to understand and explain the factors involved in his instructional decision making. Eric (pseudonym), a geology professor, implemented a curricular intervention in two successive introductory geology classes. However, Eric selected and amended only particular facets of the intervention. The research utilizes classroom observations and multiple audio recorded meetings with Eric to understand why he chose and amended certain parts of the intervention and not others. Results show that Eric described his teaching in terms of two metaphors: the puzzle metaphor and the field trip metaphor. The metaphors paralleled each other in terms how Eric saw his role, his students' role and the role and the nature of knowledge, and therefore influenced what and how he taught. This study suggests that curriculum designers need to take instructor context into consideration when designing curricular interventions and analyzing for the use of metaphor may be an effective way to discern that context.

  5. Planetary Atmospheric Electricity

    CERN Document Server

    Leblanc, F; Yair, Y; Harrison, R. G; Lebreton, J. P; Blanc, M


    This volume presents our contemporary understanding of atmospheric electricity at Earth and in other solar system atmospheres. It is written by experts in terrestrial atmospheric electricity and planetary scientists. Many of the key issues related to planetary atmospheric electricity are discussed. The physics presented in this book includes ionisation processes in planetary atmospheres, charge generation and separation, and a discussion of electromagnetic signatures of atmospheric discharges. The measurement of thunderstorms and lightning, including its effects and hazards, is highlighted by articles on ground and space based instrumentation, and new missions.Theory and modelling of planetary atmospheric electricity complete this review of the research that is undertaken in this exciting field of space science. This book is an essential research tool for space scientists and geoscientists interested in electrical effects in atmospheres and planetary systems. Graduate students and researchers who are new to t...

  6. Planetary nebulae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amnuehl', P.R.


    The history of planetary nebulae discovery and their origin and evolution studies is discussed in a popular way. The problem of planetary nebulae central star is considered. The connection between the white-draft star and the planetary nebulae formulation is shown. The experimental data available acknowledge the hypothesis of red giant - planetary nebula nucleus - white-draft star transition process. Masses of planetary nebulae white-draft stars and central stars are distributed practically similarly: the medium mass is close to 0.6Msub(Sun) (Msub(Sun) - is the mass of the Sun)

  7. The contribution of remote sensing to an understanding of the geology of Gabon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bassot, J.P.


    A major remote-sensing operation involving radar imagery and airbone magnetism and spectrometry has been successfully conducted in Gabon. The three methods used give complementary results. Lateral radar imagery and radiometry (U, K, Th) have supplied much new information on the Upper and Lower Proterozoic, but in areas affected by intense peneplanation and lateritisation they are less effective. Conversely, Airbone magnetism gives a deeper vision into the ground: particularly it revealed that the extent of greenstone belts had been significantly underestimated on existing geological maps. In addition, the trends in these belts have given a new insight into late Archaean tectonics in northern Gabon [fr

  8. New geologic mapping of the northwestern Willamette Valley, Oregon, and its American Viticultural Areas (AVAs)—A foundation for understanding their terroir (United States)

    Wells, Ray E.; Haugerud, Ralph A.; Niem, Alan; Niem, Wendy; Ma, Lina; Madin, Ian; Evarts, Russell C.


    A geologic map of the greater Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area is planned that will document the region’s complex geology (currently in review: “Geologic map of the greater Portland metropolitan area and surrounding region, Oregon and Washington,” by Wells, R.E., Haugerud, R.A., Niem, A., Niem, W., Ma, L., Evarts, R., Madin, I., and others). The map, which is planned to be published as a U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map, will consist of 51 7.5′ quadrangles covering more than 2,500 square miles, and it will represent more than 100 person-years of geologic mapping and studies. The region was mapped at the relatively detailed scale of 1:24,000 to improve understanding of its geology and its earthquake hazards. More than 100 geologic map units will record the 50-million-year history of volcanism, sedimentation, folding, and faulting above the Cascadia Subduction Zone. The geology contributes to the varied terroir of four American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in the northwestern Willamette Valley: the Yamhill-Carlton, Dundee Hills, Chehalem Mountains, and Ribbon Ridge AVAs. Terroir is defined as the environmental conditions, especially climate and soils, that influence the quality and character of a region’s crops—in this case, grapes for wine.On this new poster (“New geologic mapping of the northwestern Willamette Valley, Oregon, and its American Viticultural Areas (AVAs)—A foundation for understanding their terroir”), we present the geologic map at a reduced scale (about 1:175,000) to show the general distribution of geologic map units, and we highlight, discuss, and illustrate six major geologic events that helped shape the region and form its terrior. We also discuss the geologic elements that contribute to the character of each of the four AVAs in the northwestern Willamette Valley.

  9. Gaining the necessary geologic, hydrologic, and geochemical understanding for additional brackish groundwater development, coastal San Diego, California, USA (United States)

    Danskin, Wesley R.


    Local water agencies and the United States Geological Survey are using a combination of techniques to better understand the scant freshwater resources and the much more abundant brackish resources in coastal San Diego, California, USA. Techniques include installation of multiple-depth monitoring well sites; geologic and paleontological analysis of drill cuttings; geophysical logging to identify formations and possible seawater intrusion; sampling of pore-water obtained from cores; analysis of chemical constituents including trace elements and isotopes; and use of scoping models including a three-dimensional geologic framework model, rainfall-runoff model, regional groundwater flow model, and coastal density-dependent groundwater flow model. Results show that most fresh groundwater was recharged during the last glacial period and that the coastal aquifer has had recurring intrusions of fresh and saline water. These intrusions disguise the source, flowpaths, and history of ground water near the coast. The flow system includes a freshwater lens resting on brackish water; a 100-meter-thick flowtube of freshwater discharging under brackish estuarine water and above highly saline water; and broad areas of fine-grained coastal sediment filled with fairly uniform brackish water. Stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen indicate the recharged water flows through many kilometers of fractured crystalline rock before entering the narrow coastal aquifer.

  10. Study of Geological Analogues for Understanding the Radar Sounder Response of the RIME Targets (United States)

    Thakur, S.; Bruzzone, L.


    Radar for Icy Moon Exploration (RIME), the radar sounder onboard the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE), is aimed at characterizing the ice shells of the Jovian moons - Ganymede, Europa and Callisto. RIME is optimized to operate at 9 MHz central frequency with bandwidth of 1 MHz and 2.7 MHz to achieve a penetration depth up to 9 km through ice. We have developed an approach to the definition of a database of simulated RIME radargrams by leveraging the data available from airborne and orbital radar sounder acquisitions over geological analogues of the expected icy moon features. These simulated radargrams are obtained by merging real radar sounder data with models of the subsurface of the Jupiter icy moons. They will be useful for geological interpretation of the RIME radargrams and for better predicting the performance of RIME. The database will also be useful in developing pre-processing and automatic feature extraction algorithms to support data analysis during the mission phase of RIME. Prior to the JUICE mission exploring the Jovian satellites with RIME, there exist radar sounders such as SHARAD (onboard MRO) and MARSIS (onboard MEX) probing Mars, the LRS (onboard SELENE) probing the Moon, and many airborne sounders probing the polar regions of Earth. Analogues have been identified in these places based on similarity in geo-morphological expression. Moreover, other analogues have been identified on the Earth for possible dedicated acquisition campaigns before the RIME operations. By assuming that the subsurface structure of the RIME targets is approximately represented in the analogue radargrams, the difference in composition is accounted for by imposing different dielectric and subsurface attenuation models. The RIME radargrams are simulated from the analogue radargrams using the radar equation and the RIME processing chain and accounting for different possible scenarios in terms of subsurface structure, dielectric properties and instrument parameters. For

  11. Asteroids astronomical and geological bodies

    CERN Document Server

    Burbine, Thomas H


    Asteroid science is a fundamental topic in planetary science and is key to furthering our understanding of planetary formation and the evolution of the Solar System. Ground-based observations and missions have provided a wealth of new data in recent years, and forthcoming missions promise further exciting results. This accessible book presents a comprehensive introduction to asteroid science, summarising the astronomical and geological characteristics of asteroids. The interdisciplinary nature of asteroid science is reflected in the broad range of topics covered, including asteroid and meteorite classification, chemical and physical properties of asteroids, observational techniques, cratering, and the discovery of asteroids and how they are named. Other chapters discuss past, present and future space missions and the threat that these bodies pose for Earth. Based on an upper-level course on asteroids and meteorites taught by the author, this book is ideal for students, researchers and professional scientists ...

  12. CO2-mineral Wettability and Implications for Understanding Leakage Processes from Geologic Carbon Sequestration Sites (United States)

    Clarens, A. F.; Edwards, I.; Wang, S.


    In geological carbon sequestration (GCS), leakage events will be difficult to predict because parcels of CO2 will travel over long length scales and encounter a number of heterogeneous formations and endogenous brine in their rise to the surface. A constitutive model of a rising parcel of CO2 includes at least three main forces: 1) buoyant forces, 2) surface tension forces, and 3) shear drag forces. Of these, surface tension forces are of great significance, especially for predicting capillary and mineral trapping, and are affected by surface tension and the three-phase contact angle between CO2, brine, and the solid host mineral surfaces. Very limited experimental data on contact angles in GCS relevant systems has been reported in the academic literature. Here, the contact angle of several of the rock and clay species prevailing near GCS sites, e.g. quartz, feldspar, calcite, kaolinite, smectite and illite, were measured under a range of relevant temperature, pressure and ionic strength conditions. The measurements were made in a custom-built high-pressure view cell by introducing precisely controlled pendant CO2 droplets of constant volume to smooth and clean mineral surfaces after saturating the surrounding brine with CO2 and images were recorded using a high resolution digital camera. Images were processed and the contact angle measured using ImageJ software with a plug-in designed for this purpose. To measure the contact angle of CO2 on clay surfaces, ultra-pure microscope glass slides were coated with cleaned and particle-size-separated clay particles using hydrolyzed polyvinyl alcohol to ensure adhesion and a continuous coating on the surface. The uniform morphology of the surface was confirmed using electron microscopy. Preliminary results demonstrate differences in contact angle between the tested minerals, with calcite > quartz > feldspar. The absolute differences between the minerals were on the order of 3-7%. The results also demonstrate that under

  13. Planetary Magnetism (United States)

    Connerney, J. E. P.


    The chapter on Planetary Magnetism by Connerney describes the magnetic fields of the planets, from Mercury to Neptune, including the large satellites (Moon, Ganymede) that have or once had active dynamos. The chapter describes the spacecraft missions and observations that, along with select remote observations, form the basis of our knowledge of planetary magnetic fields. Connerney describes the methods of analysis used to characterize planetary magnetic fields, and the models used to represent the main field (due to dynamo action in the planet's interior) and/or remnant magnetic fields locked in the planet's crust, where appropriate. These observations provide valuable insights into dynamo generation of magnetic fields, the structure and composition of planetary interiors, and the evolution of planets.

  14. Understanding Global Change: A New Conceptual Framework To Guide Teaching About Planetary Systems And Both The Causes And Effects Of Changes In Those Systems (United States)

    Levine, J.; Bean, J. R.


    Goals of the Next Generation Science Standards include understanding climate change and learning about ways to moderate the causes and mitigate the consequences of planetary-scale anthropogenic activities that interact synergistically to affect ecosystems and societies. The sheer number and scale of both causes and effects of global change can be daunting for teachers, and the lack of a clear conceptual framework for presenting this material usually leads educators (and textbooks) to present these phenomenon as a disjointed "laundry list." But an alternative approach is in the works. The Understanding Global Change web resource, currently under development at the UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology, will provide educators with a conceptual framework, graphic models, lessons, and assessment templates for teaching NGSS-aligned, interdisciplinary, global change curricula. The core of this resource is an original informational graphic that presents and relates Earth's global systems, human and non-human factors that produce changes in those systems, and the effects of those changes that scientists can measure.

  15. A methodology for scenario development based on understanding of long-term evolution of geological disposal systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wakasugi, Keiichiro; Ishiguro, Katsuhiko; Ebashi, Takeshi; Ueda, Hiroyoshi; Koyama, Toshihiro; Shiratsuchi, Hiroshi; Yashio, Shoko; Kawamura, Hideki


    We have developed a 'hybrid' scenario development method by combining bottom-up and top-down approaches and applied for the case of geological disposal of high-level waste. This approach provides a top-down perspective, by introducing a concept of safety functions for different periods and 'storyboards', which depict repository evolution with time on a range of spatial scales, and a bottom-up perspective, by identifying relationship between processes related to radionuclide migration and safety functions based on feature, event and process (FEP) management. Based on a trial study, we have specified work descriptions for each step of the hybrid scenario development methodology and confirmed that the storyboard provides a baseline and holistic overview for the FEP management and a common platform to involve close interaction with experts in various disciplines to understand the crossover phenomenological processes. We also confirmed that there is no conflict between the top-down approach and the bottom-up approach and the hybrid scenario development work frame fulfils the specified requirements for traceability, comprehensiveness, ease of understanding, integration of multidisciplinary knowledge and applicability to a staged approach to siting. (author)

  16. IODP-ICDP Expedition 364: Drilling the Chicxulub impact crater to understand planetary evolution and mass extinction (United States)

    Gulick, S. P. S.; Morgan, J. V.


    The most recent of Earth's five largest mass extinction events occurred 66 Ma, coeval with the impact of a 12 km asteroid, striking at 60 degrees into what is today the Yucatán Peninsula, México, producing the 200 km-wide Chicxulub crater. This impact, by some estimations, drove the extinction of 75% of life on Earth at the genus level. The mass extinction event marks the boundary between the Cretaceous and Paleogene. Proposed kill mechanisms include thermal effects caused by the reentry of fast ejecta into Earth's atmosphere, dust and sulfate aerosols reducing Earth's solar insolation, ocean acidification, and metal toxicity due to the chemical make-up of the impactor. The magnitude and duration of these processes is still debated, and further evaluation of the proposed kill mechanisms requires an understanding of the mechanics of the Chicxulub impact as well as the resulting global environmental perturbations. In April and May 2016, the International Ocean Discovery Program, with co-funding from the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program, successfully cored into the Chicxulub impact crater with nearly 100% recovery. These cores include the first-ever samples of the transition from an intact peak ring through post-impact sediments. A peak ring is a discontinuous ring of mountains observed within the central basin of all large impact craters on rocky planets. Newly drilled cores include the uplifted target rocks, melt-rich impactites, hydrothermal deposits, a possible settling layer, and the resumption of carbonate sedimentation. The discovery that Chicxulub's peak ring consists of largely granitic crust uplifted by 10 km calibrates impact models and allows for observation of impact processes. At the top of the peak ring, the K-Pg boundary deposit includes a impactite sequence 130 m thick deposited by processes that range from minutes to likely years post-impact. This sequence is then overprinted by hydrothermal processes that lasted at least 100s

  17. Geology of the Elephanta Island fault zone, western Indian rifted margin, and its significance for understanding the Panvel flexure (United States)

    Samant, Hrishikesh; Pundalik, Ashwin; D'souza, Joseph; Sheth, Hetu; Lobo, Keegan Carmo; D'souza, Kyle; Patel, Vanit


    The Panvel flexure is a 150-km long tectonic structure, comprising prominently seaward-dipping Deccan flood basalts, on the western Indian rifted margin. Given the active tectonic faulting beneath the Panvel flexure zone inferred from microseismicity, better structural understanding of the region is needed. The geology of Elephanta Island in the Mumbai harbour, famous for the ca. mid-6th century A.D. Hindu rock-cut caves in Deccan basalt (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is poorly known. We describe a previously unreported but well-exposed fault zone on Elephanta Island, consisting of two large faults dipping steeply east-southeast and producing easterly downthrows. Well-developed slickensides and structural measurements indicate oblique slip on both faults. The Elephanta Island fault zone may be the northern extension of the Alibag-Uran fault zone previously described. This and two other known regional faults (Nhava-Sheva and Belpada faults) indicate a progressively eastward step-faulted structure of the Panvel flexure, with the important result that the individual movements were not simply downdip but also oblique-slip and locally even rotational (as at Uran). An interesting problem is the normal faulting, block tectonics and rifting of this region of the crust for which seismological data indicate a normal thickness (up to 41.3 km). A model of asymmetric rifting by simple shear may explain this observation and the consistently landward dips of the rifted margin faults.

  18. Planetary Magnetism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Russell, C.T.


    Planetary spacecraft have now probed the magnetic fields of all the terrestrial planets, the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn. These measurements reveal that dynamos are active in at least four of the planets, Mercury, the earth, Jupiter, and Saturn but that Venus and Mars appear to have at most only very weak planetary magnetic fields. The moon may have once possessed an internal dynamo, for the surface rocks are magnetized. The large satellites of the outer solar system are candidates for dynamo action in addition to the large planets themselves. Of these satellites the one most likely to generate its own internal magnetic field is Io

  19. Theory of chaotic orbital variations confirmed by Cretaceous geological evidence (United States)

    Ma, Chao; Meyers, Stephen R.; Sageman, Bradley B.


    Variations in the Earth’s orbit and spin vector are a primary control on insolation and climate; their recognition in the geological record has revolutionized our understanding of palaeoclimate dynamics, and has catalysed improvements in the accuracy and precision of the geological timescale. Yet the secular evolution of the planetary orbits beyond 50 million years ago remains highly uncertain, and the chaotic dynamical nature of the Solar System predicted by theoretical models has yet to be rigorously confirmed by well constrained (radioisotopically calibrated and anchored) geological data. Here we present geological evidence for a chaotic resonance transition associated with interactions between the orbits of Mars and the Earth, using an integrated radioisotopic and astronomical timescale from the Cretaceous Western Interior Basin of what is now North America. This analysis confirms the predicted chaotic dynamical behaviour of the Solar System, and provides a constraint for refining numerical solutions for insolation, which will enable a more precise and accurate geological timescale to be produced.

  20. A Whole Different Side of Geology: The Science of Reading and Mostly Understanding Scientific Articles for Beginning Geologists (United States)

    Figg, S.


    The idea of reading and understanding scientific articles can be daunting to beginning geology students. A student driven question "How do I read a scientific paper?" became the catalyst for a 1-unit special topic course, specifically devoted to the process of reading scientific articles. Five students participated in the course, which focused on research articles pertaining to an upcoming field study in Death Valley. The course was divided into four main portions: locating articles, reading and understand scientific articles, applying of articles in the field, and creating an abstract. Articles were located electronically through the Palomar College library. The first step was to teach students how to navigate databases for the desired material. Part Two was the most challenging and time consuming: the process of reading, analyzing, and comprehending scholarly articles. What made the course interesting was the student driven approach to the articles. Under guidance of an instructor, students worked as a group, navigating two different articles while developing their own strategies to obtain the basic concepts of the article. Each student then had to analyze an additional two articles of their choosing. During this time observations were made on student confidence, methods developed to assist in understanding articles, student challenges and successes. Information gained from the articles was then applied during a five day field course in Death Valley. Each student gave a brief presentation about the two articles read independently, applying them to various settings in the Death Valley region. Upon returning from the trip, students were tasked with contacting an author from one of the papers. The final portion of the special topic course was for students to produce their own abstracts, requiring them to condense a semester's worth of work into a short amount of words. From this 1-unit course, students learned there is no one way to read a scientific article, and

  1. ULtimateCO2 : A FP7 European project dedicated to the understanding of the long term fate of geologically stored CO2

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Audigane, P.; Brown, S.; Dimier, A.; Frykman, P.; Gherardi, F.; Gallo, Y.L.; Maurand, N.; Cremer, H.; Pearce, J.; Rütters, H.; Spiers, C.; Yalamas, T.


    ULTimateCO2 will assess the long-term CO2 storage behaviour in terms of efficiency and security. The project is dedicated to studying the main physical processes needed to develop a better, quantitative understanding of the longterm geological storage of CO2, namely: (i) reservoir trapping, (ii)

  2. Using a mass balance to understand the geology and geochemistry of a reservoir receiving and discharging acid mine drainage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Turney, D.C.; Edwards, K.


    Howard-Williams Lake is a 14.5 acre reservoir located in an abandoned coal mine in Perry County, Ohio. With a pH of 3.0 and acidity values of 300--400 mg/L, the reservoir has no plants or fish currently surviving in the lake. Reclamation of spoil piles adjacent to the lake to the north in the late 1980s was not successful in reducing the acidity of the lake. Currently, papermill sludge is being used on the reclaimed area to the north to promote vegetation, but the reservoir has shown no signs of improving. The goal of this project is to transform the lake into a fishable and swimmable one. The reservoir is receiving about 175 gallons per minute of acid mine drainage, not including seepage into the lake, from eight different sources. Three of the sources account for about 165 gallons per minute of the surface water that enters the lake. These inflows have relatively low acidity readings, which range from 66 mg/L to 568 mg/L. The other five sources of acid mine drainage have much lower flowrates, but have acidity values as high as 3,000 mg/L. Samples of all of the surface inflows and the outflow of the lake were taken and sent to a laboratory and tested for the following parameters: total acidity as CaCO 3 , total alkalinity as CaCO 2 , specific conductivity, total suspended solids, sulfate, chloride calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, total iron, total manganese, aluminum, and hardness. During sampling of the surface inflows, volumetric flowrates were measured for each inflow. Once the flowrates and the concentrations of the various parameters were known, a mass balance could be constructed which would show how much of each parameter was entering the lake each day. These data were then used to gain an understanding of the geochemistry and geology of the site

  3. Gazetteer of planetary nomenclature 1994 (United States)

    Batson, Raymond M.; Russell, Joel F.


    Planetary nomenclature, like terrestrial nomenclature, is used to uniquely identify a feature on the surface of a planet or satellite so that the feature can be easily located, described, and discussed. This volume contains detailed information about all names of topographic and albedo features on planets and satellites (and some planetary ring and ring-gap systems) that the International Astronomical Union has named and approved from its founding in 1919 through its triennial meeting in 1994.This edition of the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature supersedes an earlier informal volume distributed by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1986 as Open-File Report 84-692 (Masursky and others, 1986). Named features are depicted on maps of the Moon published first by the U.S. Defense Mapping Agency or the Aeronautical Chart and Information Center and more recently by the U.S. Geological Survey; on maps of Mercury, Venus, Mars, and the satellites of Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus published by the U.S. Geological Survey; and on maps of the Moon, Venus, and Mars produced by the U.S.S.R.Although we have attempted to check the accuracy of all data in this volume, we realize that some errors will remain in a work of this size. Readers noting errors or omissions are urged to communicate them to the U.S. Geological Survey, Branch of Astrogeology, Rm. 409, 2255 N. Gemini Drive, Flagstaff, AZ 86001.

  4. Planetary Society (United States)

    Murdin, P.


    Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman founded the non-profit Planetary Society in 1979 to advance the exploration of the solar system and to continue the search for extraterrestrial life. The Society has its headquarters in Pasadena, California, but is international in scope, with 100 000 members worldwide, making it the largest space interest group in the world. The Society funds a var...

  5. Planetary atomspheres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lal, D.; Rao, M.N.


    Salient features of the atmosheres of Venus and Mars are described and compared with those of the earth. Their temperature profiles are given. Degassing of planetary interiors by volcanic and plate tectonic processes is described. Noble gas abundances in the atmospheres of these planets are compared. Information provided by Pioneer, Venera space probes and the Viking-landers on Mars is studied. (B.G.W.)

  6. Planetary engineering (United States)

    Pollack, James B.; Sagan, Carl


    Assuming commercial fusion power, heavy lift vehicles and major advances in genetic engineering, the authors survey possible late-21st century methods of working major transformations in planetary environments. Much more Earthlike climates may be produced on Mars by generating low freezing point greenhouse gases from indigenous materials; on Venus by biological conversion of CO2 to graphite, by canceling the greenhouse effect with high-altitude absorbing fine particles, or by a sunshield at the first Lagrangian point; and on Titan by greenhouses and/or fusion warming. However, in our present state of ignorance we cannot guarantee a stable endstate or exclude unanticipated climatic feedbacks or other unintended consequences. Moreover, as the authors illustrate by several examples, many conceivable modes of planetary engineering are so wasteful of scarce solar system resources and so destructive of important scientific information as to raise profound ethical issues, even if they were economically feasible, which they are not. Global warming on Earth may lead to calls for mitigation by planetary engineering, e.g., emplacement and replenishment of anti-greenhouse layers at high altitudes, or sunshields in space. But here especially we must be concerned about precision, stability, and inadvertent side-effects. The safest and most cost-effective means of countering global warming - beyond, e.g., improved energy efficiency, CFC bans and alternative energy sources - is the continuing reforestation of approximately 2 times 107 sq km of the Earth's surface. This can be accomplished with present technology and probably at the least cost.

  7. Planetary engineering (United States)

    Pollack, James B.; Sagan, Carl

    Assuming commercial fusion power, heavy lift vehicles and major advances in genetic engineering, the authors survey possible late-21st century methods of working major transformations in planetary environments. Much more Earthlike climates may be produced on Mars by generating low freezing point greenhouse gases from indigenous materials; on Venus by biological conversion of CO2 to graphite, by canceling the greenhouse effect with high-altitude absorbing fine particles, or by a sunshield at the first Lagrangian point; and on Titan by greenhouses and/or fusion warming. However, in our present state of ignorance we cannot guarantee a stable endstate or exclude unanticipated climatic feedbacks or other unintended consequences. Moreover, as the authors illustrate by several examples, many conceivable modes of planetary engineering are so wasteful of scarce solar system resources and so destructive of important scientific information as to raise profound ethical issues, even if they were economically feasible, which they are not. Global warming on Earth may lead to calls for mitigation by planetary engineering, e.g., emplacement and replenishment of anti-greenhouse layers at high altitudes, or sunshields in space. But here especially we must be concerned about precision, stability, and inadvertent side-effects. The safest and most cost-effective means of countering global warming - beyond, e.g., improved energy efficiency, CFC bans and alternative energy sources - is the continuing reforestation of approximately 2 times 107 sq km of the Earth's surface. This can be accomplished with present technology and probably at the least cost.

  8. OneGeology - Access to geoscience for all (United States)

    Komac, Marko; Lee, Kathryn; Robida, Francois


    OneGeology is an initiative of Geological Survey Organisations (GSO) around the globe that dates back to Brighton, UK in 2007. Since then OneGeology has been a leader in developing geological online map data using a new international standard - a geological exchange language known as 'GeoSciML'. Increased use of this new language allows geological data to be shared and integrated across the planet with other organisations. One of very important goals of OneGeology was a transfer of valuable know-how to the developing world, hence shortening the digital learning curve. In autumn 2013 OneGeology was transformed into a Consortium with a clearly defined governance structure, making its structure more official, its operability more flexible and its membership more open where in addition to GSO also to other type of organisations that manage geoscientific data can join and contribute. The next stage of the OneGeology initiative will hence be focused into increasing the openness and richness of that data from individual countries to create a multi-thematic global geological data resource on the rocks beneath our feet. Authoritative information on hazards and minerals will help to prevent natural disasters, explore for resources (water, minerals and energy) and identify risks to human health on a planetary scale. With this new stage also renewed OneGeology objectives were defined and these are 1) to be the provider of geoscience data globally, 2) to ensure exchange of know-how and skills so all can participate, and 3) to use the global profile of 1G to increase awareness of the geosciences and their relevance among professional and general public. We live in a digital world that enables prompt access to vast amounts of open access data. Understanding our world, the geology beneath our feet and environmental challenges related to geology calls for accessibility of geoscientific data and OneGeology Portal ( is the place to find them.

  9. Impact cratering on high-porosity planetary bodies (United States)

    Collins, Gareth


    Porous materials abound in the Solar System. Primordial solids accreted gently from dust into high-porosity aggregates; many asteroids appear to be loosely-bound rubble piles; and the crusts of airless planetary surfaces are heavily fractured from prolonged bombardment of asteroids. High porosity attenuates shock propagation and localizes shock heating, which has several important implications for the evolution of planetary surfaces. Most studies of impact cratering have focused on targets composed of common geologic materials, such as soils and rock, thought to be reasonable proxies for the surfaces of the terrestrial planets. However, it has become clear that those materials are not good analogues for the minor bodies of the Solar System. Here we present numerical and experimental results of impact cratering in high porosity materials that elucidate the compaction regime of planetary cratering: where crater growth is dominated by impactor penetration and compaction, while rapid shock attenuation and extensive collapse limit the volume and speed of ejected material. Understanding these effects is a crucial step in using crater populations to estimate impactor flux, date planetary surfaces and infer subsurface properties, as well as deflecting hazardous near-Earth asteroids. In collaboration with: Kevin Housen, The Boeing Co.

  10. A Fiber Raman Spectrometer for Field Detecting Geological Materials Project (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — High throughput, fast detection and characterization of geological materials have become important challenge for future lunar robotic rover exploration and planetary...

  11. Destination: Geology? (United States)

    Price, Louise


    "While we teach, we learn" (Roman philosopher Seneca) One of the most beneficial ways to remember a theory or concept is to explain it to someone else. The offer of fieldwork and visits to exciting destinations is arguably the easiest way to spark a students' interest in any subject. Geology at A-Level (age 16-18) in the United Kingdom incorporates significant elements of field studies into the curriculum with many students choosing the subject on this basis and it being a key factor in consolidating student knowledge and understanding. Geology maintains a healthy annual enrollment with interest in the subject increasing in recent years. However, it is important for educators not to loose sight of the importance of recruitment and retention of students. Recent flexibility in the subject content of the UK curriculum in secondary schools has provided an opportunity to teach the basic principles of the subject to our younger students and fieldwork provides a valuable opportunity to engage with these students in the promotion of the subject. Promotion of the subject is typically devolved to senior students at Hessle High School and Sixth Form College, drawing on their personal experiences to engage younger students. Prospective students are excited to learn from a guest speaker, so why not use our most senior students to engage and promote the subject rather than their normal subject teacher? A-Level geology students embarking on fieldwork abroad, understand their additional responsibility to promote the subject and share their understanding of the field visit. They will typically produce a series of lessons and activities for younger students using their newly acquired knowledge. Senior students also present to whole year groups in seminars, sharing knowledge of the location's geology and raising awareness of the exciting destinations offered by geology. Geology fieldwork is always planned, organised and led by the member of staff to keep costs low, with recent visits

  12. Old Geology and New Geology (United States)


    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Released 28 May 2003Mangala Vallis one of the large outflow channels that channeled large quantities of water into the northern lowlands, long ago on geological timescales. This valley is one of the few in the southern hemisphere, as well as one of the few west of the Tharsis bulge. A closer look at the channel shows more recent weathering of the old water channel: the walls of the channel show small, dark slope streaks that form in dusty areas; and much of the surrounding terrain has subtle linear markings trending from the upper left to the lower right, which are probably features sculpted and streamlined by the wind. Geology still shapes the surface of Mars today, but its methods over the eons have changed.Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -6, Longitude 209.6 East (150.4 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

  13. Stones, Glass and Steel One Architect's journey towards understanding the impact of geology on his design work. (United States)

    Guillot, R. E.


    Geological forms and materials have long served as inspiration for creativity. The earliest drawings in the caves of Lascaux were perhaps the simplest and most elegant narratives ever to link the earth and the stories of the people that inhabit it. The earth is a storytelling and inspirational tool.Ironically, in contemporary architecture, the forces that create minerals and the geology of the earth over time are the same forces that architecture seeks to overcome. Our buildings are stronger, taller and seemingly more gravity defying than ever before. They soar and hover while still being subject to the same forces that drove cathedrals and pyramids to embrace the ground and rise from it. How can the earth and its geological elements serve as inspiration for the art of architecture as well as connecting buildings with the places that they inhabit? Typically, the Architect's interest is in the narrow band of geology called topography- the earth's crust which is a relatively minor chapter in the story of the earth. This is the layer that impacts soils and bearing pressures for foundations but very little of the Architect's imagination. The human connection to the elements of the earth; the translucence, strata, color and at times the frozen sounds of the violent formation of the landforms themselves all can inform the language of architecture.Through a discussion of my work designed and built in the United States and around the World, I will share the inspiration of geology through my own architecture and the many architectural forms it takes.

  14. OneGeology- A Global Geoscience Data Platform (United States)

    Harrison, M.; Komac, M.; Duffy, T.; Robida, F.; Allison, M. L.


    OneGeology (1G) is an initiative of Geological Survey Organisations (GSOs) around the globe that dates back to 2007. Since then, OneGeology has been a leader in developing geological online map data using GeoSciML- an international interoperability standard for the exchange of geological data. Increased use of this new standard allows geological data to be shared and integrated across the planet among organisations. One of the goals of OneGeology is an exchange of know-how with the developing world, shortening the digital learning curve. In autumn 2013 OneGeology was transformed into a Consortium with a clearly defined governance structure, making it more transparent, its operation more sustainable and its membership more open where in addition to GSOs, other types of organisations that create and use geoscience data can join and contribute. The next stage of the OneGeology initiative is focused on increasing the openness and richness of that data from individual countries to create a multi-thematic global geological data resource about the rocks beneath our feet. Authoritative geoscience information will help to mitigate natural disasters, explore for resources (water, minerals and energy) and identify risks to human health on a planetary scale with the aim of 1G to increase awareness of the geosciences and their relevance among professionals and general public- to be part of the solution. We live in a digital world that enables prompt access to vast amounts of open access data. Understanding our world, the geology beneath our feet and environmental challenges related to geology calls for accessibility of geoscience data and the OneGeology Portal ( is the place to find them.

  15. Field Geology/Processes (United States)

    Allen, Carlton; Jakes, Petr; Jaumann, Ralf; Marshall, John; Moses, Stewart; Ryder, Graham; Saunders, Stephen; Singer, Robert


    The field geology/process group examined the basic operations of a terrestrial field geologist and the manner in which these operations could be transferred to a planetary lander. Four basic requirements for robotic field geology were determined: geologic content; surface vision; mobility; and manipulation. Geologic content requires a combination of orbital and descent imaging. Surface vision requirements include range, resolution, stereo, and multispectral imaging. The minimum mobility for useful field geology depends on the scale of orbital imagery. Manipulation requirements include exposing unweathered surfaces, screening samples, and bringing samples in contact with analytical instruments. To support these requirements, several advanced capabilities for future development are recommended. Capabilities include near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy, hyper-spectral imaging, multispectral microscopy, artificial intelligence in support of imaging, x ray diffraction, x ray fluorescence, and rock chipping.

  16. Shaping of planetary nebulae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Balick, B.


    The phases of stellar evolution and the development of planetary nebulae are examined. The relation between planetary nebulae and red giants is studied. Spherical and nonspherical cases of shaping planetaries with stellar winds are described. CCD images of nebulae are analyzed, and it is determined that the shape of planetary nebulae depends on ionization levels. Consideration is given to calculating the distances of planetaries using radio images, and molecular hydrogen envelopes which support the wind-shaping model of planetary nebulae

  17. Planetary compositions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taylor, S.R.


    The present study of the density, major-element and trace-element compositions, oxygen isotopes, and noble gases of the metal, sulfide, and silicate components of meteorites shows that these properties do not match those of the terrestrial planets, and thereby suggests that there was not much lateral mixing in the solar nebula during planetary accretion. The planets would then have accumulated from narrow concentric zones, and the current zonal structure of the asteroid belt may be analogous to the structure of the inner portions of the solar nebula during the terrestrial planets' accretion. Localized heating during the material's infall to the median plane of the nebula is suggested to have occurred. 64 references

  18. Planetary Atmosphere and Surfaces Chamber (PASC: A Platform to Address Various Challenges in Astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Mateo-Marti


    Full Text Available The study of planetary environments of astrobiological interest has become a major challenge. Because of the obvious technical and economical limitations on in situ planetary exploration, laboratory simulations are one of the most feasible research options to make advances both in planetary science and in developing a consistent description of the origin of life. With this objective in mind, we applied vacuum technology to the design of versatile vacuum chambers devoted to the simulation of planetary atmospheres’ conditions. These vacuum chambers are able to simulate atmospheres and surface temperatures representative of the majority of planetary objects, and they are especially appropriate for studying the physical, chemical and biological changes induced in a particular sample by in situ irradiation or physical parameters in a controlled environment. Vacuum chambers are a promising potential tool in several scientific and technological fields, such as engineering, chemistry, geology and biology. They also offer the possibility of discriminating between the effects of individual physical parameters and selected combinations thereof. The implementation of our vacuum chambers in combination with analytical techniques was specifically developed to make feasible the in situ physico-chemical characterization of samples. Many wide-ranging applications in astrobiology are detailed herein to provide an understanding of the potential and flexibility of these experimental systems. Instruments and engineering technology for space applications could take advantage of our environment-simulation chambers for sensor calibration. Our systems also provide the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the chemical reactivity of molecules on surfaces under different environments, thereby leading to a greater understanding of interface processes in prebiotic chemical reactions and facilitating studies of UV photostability and photochemistry on surfaces

  19. Mineralogical and Geochemical Analysis of Howardite DaG 779: understanding geological evolution of asteroid (4) Vesta (United States)

    Marcel Müller, Christian; Mengel, Kurt; Singh Thangjam, Guneshwar; Weckwerth, Gerd


    metasomatic reactions were observed between clinopyroxene (pigeonite) and a sulphide-bearing agent, according to the principal reaction Pigeonite (Fe-rich) + S2 ↔ FeS + Augit (Mg-rich) + SiO2. This type of metasomatism (Zhang et al. (2013)) is not well understood yet. References: Grossman, J. N. (2000): The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 84, 2000 August. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 35: A119-A225. doi: 10.1111/j.1945-5100.2000.tb01797.x. Toplis, M.J. et al. (2013): Chondritic models of 4 Vesta: Implications for geochemical and geophysical properties. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 48: 2300-2315. doi: 10.1111/maps.12195. Zhang, A. et al. (2013): Record of S-rich vapors on asteroid 4 Vesta: Sulfurization in the Northwest Africa 2339 eucrite. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 109, 1-13. Mittlefehldt, D.W., (2015): Asteroid (4) Vesta: I. The howardite-eucrite-diogenite (HED) clan of meteorites. Chemie Erde-Geochem. 75, 2, 155-183. Prettyman, T.H. et al. (2013): Neutron absorption constraints on the composition of 4 Vesta. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 48:2211-2236.

  20. Low-energy Planetary Excavator (LPE), Phase I (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — ORBITEC proposes to develop an innovative Low-energy Planetary Excavator (LPE) to excavate in situ regolith, ice-regolith mixes, and a variety of other geologic...

  1. Low-energy Planetary Excavator (LPE), Phase II (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — ORBITEC is developing an innovative Low-energy Planetary Excavator (LPE) to excavate in situ regolith, ice-regolith mixes, and a variety of other geologic materials...

  2. Galactic planetary science. (United States)

    Tinetti, Giovanna


    Planetary science beyond the boundaries of our Solar System is today in its infancy. Until a couple of decades ago, the detailed investigation of the planetary properties was restricted to objects orbiting inside the Kuiper Belt. Today, we cannot ignore that the number of known planets has increased by two orders of magnitude nor that these planets resemble anything but the objects present in our own Solar System. Whether this fact is the result of a selection bias induced by the kind of techniques used to discover new planets--mainly radial velocity and transit--or simply the proof that the Solar System is a rarity in the Milky Way, we do not know yet. What is clear, though, is that the Solar System has failed to be the paradigm not only in our Galaxy but even 'just' in the solar neighbourhood. This finding, although unsettling, forces us to reconsider our knowledge of planets under a different light and perhaps question a few of the theoretical pillars on which we base our current 'understanding'. The next decade will be critical to advance in what we should perhaps call Galactic planetary science. In this paper, I review highlights and pitfalls of our current knowledge of this topic and elaborate on how this knowledge might arguably evolve in the next decade. More critically, I identify what should be the mandatory scientific and technical steps to be taken in this fascinating journey of remote exploration of planets in our Galaxy.

  3. From Planetary Mapping to Map Production: Planetary Cartography as integral discipline in Planetary Sciences (United States)

    Nass, Andrea; van Gasselt, Stephan; Hargitai, Hendrik; Hare, Trent; Manaud, Nicolas; Karachevtseva, Irina; Kersten, Elke; Roatsch, Thomas; Wählisch, Marita; Kereszturi, Akos


    Cartography is one of the most important communication channels between users of spatial information and laymen as well as the open public alike. This applies to all known real-world objects located either here on Earth or on any other object in our Solar System. In planetary sciences, however, the main use of cartography resides in a concept called planetary mapping with all its various attached meanings: it can be (1) systematic spacecraft observation from orbit, i.e. the retrieval of physical information, (2) the interpretation of discrete planetary surface units and their abstraction, or it can be (3) planetary cartography sensu strictu, i.e., the technical and artistic creation of map products. As the concept of planetary mapping covers a wide range of different information and knowledge levels, aims associated with the concept of mapping consequently range from a technical and engineering focus to a scientific distillation process. Among others, scientific centers focusing on planetary cartography are the United State Geological Survey (USGS, Flagstaff), the Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography (MIIGAiK, Moscow), Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE, Hungary), and the German Aerospace Center (DLR, Berlin). The International Astronomical Union (IAU), the Commission Planetary Cartography within International Cartographic Association (ICA), the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), the WG IV/8 Planetary Mapping and Spatial Databases within International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) and a range of other institutions contribute on definition frameworks in planetary cartography. Classical cartography is nowadays often (mis-)understood as a tool mainly rather than a scientific discipline and an art of communication. Consequently, concepts of information systems, mapping tools and cartographic frameworks are used interchangeably, and cartographic workflows and visualization of spatial information in thematic maps have often been

  4. The effects of conducting authentic field-geology research on high school students' understanding of the nature of science, and their views of themselves as research scientists (United States)

    Millette, Patricia M.

    Authentic field geology research is a inquiry method that encourages students to interact more with their local environment, and by solving genuine puzzles, begin to increase their intuitive understanding of the nature and processes of science. The goal of the current study was to determine if conducting authentic field research and giving high school students the opportunity to present findings to adult audiences outside of the school setting 1) enhances students' understanding of the nature of science, and 2) affects students views of themselves as researchers. To accomplish this, ninth-grade students from a public school in northern New England engaged in a community-initiated glacial geology problem, completed a field research investigation, and presented their findings at several professional conferences. Following the completion of this student-centered field research, I investigated its effects by using a mixed methods approach consisting of qualitative and quantitative data from two sources. These included selected questions from an open-response survey (VNOS-c), and interviews that were conducted with fifteen of the students of different ages and genders. Findings show that conducting original field research seems to have a positive influence on these students' understanding of the NOS as well as the processes of science. Many of the students reported feelings of accomplishment, acceptance of responsibility for the investigation, a sense of their authentic contribution to the body of scientific knowledge in the world, and becoming scientists. This type of authentic field investigation is significant because recent reforms in earth-science education stress the importance of students learning about the nature and processes of scientific knowledge along with science content.

  5. Assessing understanding of the nature of science and science self-efficacy in undergraduates involved in research in an introductory geology course (United States)

    Moss, Elizabeth Louise

    As part of a campus-wide effort to transform introductory science courses to be more engaging and to more accurately convey the excitement of discovery in science, we have re-created the curriculum of our introductory geology lab. We have transformed what was a series of `cookbook' lab activities into a series of activities based in scientific inquiry and cooperative learning and have included a six-week, student driven research project focused on local groundwater and surface water issues, seeking to determine whether or not this new curriculum was an effective means to increase students' understanding of the nature of science and self-efficacy towards science. In addition to developing the research project curriculum, we worked with other university faculty to create a local hydrology research station which included eight monitoring wells and a stream gage, allowing students to collect their own water-level and water-quality data as well as to retrieve automatically collected data. In order to measure nature of science understanding, we used a modified version of the Student Understanding of Science and Scientific Inquiry questionnaire (Liang et al., 2005; Clough, 2010). We modified a vocational self-efficacy survey (Riggs et al. 1994) to measure science self-efficacy. Both instruments had average Cronbach's alpha values >0.8, making them reliable for our study. After three semesters of collecting data, we have found that an authentic research project slightly improves, but does not significantly increase overall nature of science understanding or science self-efficacy. Dis-aggregating the data into demographic sub-groups, nature of science understanding increased relatively more in non-STEM students than STEM students, and science self-efficacy increased relatively more in STEM students than non-STEM students. We also measured changes in students' understanding of geologic concepts in the Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 semesters. We gave students enrolled in the lab

  6. Planetary science: Haze cools Pluto's atmosphere (United States)

    West, Robert A.


    Modelling suggests that Pluto's atmospheric temperature is regulated by haze, unlike the other planetary bodies in the Solar System. The finding has implications for our understanding of exoplanetary atmospheres. See Letter p.352

  7. Planetary Data System (PDS) (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Planetary Data System (PDS) is an archive of data products from NASA planetary missions, which is sponsored by NASA's Science Mission Directorate. We actively...

  8. Planetary climates (princeton primers in climate)

    CERN Document Server

    Ingersoll, Andrew


    This concise, sophisticated introduction to planetary climates explains the global physical and chemical processes that determine climate on any planet or major planetary satellite--from Mercury to Neptune and even large moons such as Saturn's Titan. Although the climates of other worlds are extremely diverse, the chemical and physical processes that shape their dynamics are the same. As this book makes clear, the better we can understand how various planetary climates formed and evolved, the better we can understand Earth's climate history and future.

  9. U.S. Geological Survey climate and land use change science strategy: a framework for understanding and responding to global change (United States)

    Burkett, Virginia R.; Kirtland, David A.; Taylor, Ione L.; Belnap, Jayne; Cronin, Thomas M.; Dettinger, Michael D.; Frazier, Eldrich L.; Haines, John W.; Loveland, Thomas R.; Milly, Paul C.D.; ,; ,; ,; Robert, S.; Maule, Alec G.; McMahon, Gerard; Striegl, Robert G.


    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), a nonregulatory Federal science agency with national scope and responsibilities, is uniquely positioned to serve the Nation’s needs in understanding and responding to global change, including changes in climate, water availability, sea level, land use and land cover, ecosystems, and global biogeochemical cycles. Global change is among the most challenging and formidable issues confronting our Nation and society. Scientists agree that global environmental changes during this century will have far-reaching societal implications (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007; U.S. Global Change Research Program, 2009). In the face of these challenges, the Nation can benefit greatly by using natural science information in decisionmaking.

  10. U.S. Geological Survey core science systems strategy: characterizing, synthesizing, and understanding the critical zone through a modular science framework (United States)

    Bristol, R. Sky; Euliss, Ned H.; Booth, Nathaniel L.; Burkardt, Nina; Diffendorfer, Jay E.; Gesch, Dean B.; McCallum, Brian E.; Miller, David M.; Morman, Suzette A.; Poore, Barbara S.; Signell, Richard P.; Viger, Roland J.


    Core Science Systems is a new mission of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that resulted from the 2007 Science Strategy, "Facing Tomorrow's Challenges: U.S. Geological Survey Science in the Decade 2007-2017." This report describes the Core Science Systems vision and outlines a strategy to facilitate integrated characterization and understanding of the complex Earth system. The vision and suggested actions are bold and far-reaching, describing a conceptual model and framework to enhance the ability of the USGS to bring its core strengths to bear on pressing societal problems through data integration and scientific synthesis across the breadth of science. The context of this report is inspired by a direction set forth in the 2007 Science Strategy. Specifically, ecosystem-based approaches provide the underpinnings for essentially all science themes that define the USGS. Every point on Earth falls within a specific ecosystem where data, other information assets, and the expertise of USGS and its many partners can be employed to quantitatively understand how that ecosystem functions and how it responds to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Every benefit society obtains from the planet-food, water, raw materials to build infrastructure, homes and automobiles, fuel to heat homes and cities, and many others, are derived from or affect ecosystems. The vision for Core Science Systems builds on core strengths of the USGS in characterizing and understanding complex Earth and biological systems through research, modeling, mapping, and the production of high quality data on the Nation's natural resource infrastructure. Together, these research activities provide a foundation for ecosystem-based approaches through geologic mapping, topographic mapping, and biodiversity mapping. The vision describes a framework founded on these core mapping strengths that makes it easier for USGS scientists to discover critical information, share and publish results, and identify potential

  11. Science partnership between U.S. Geological Survey and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe—Understanding the Elwha River Dam Removal Project (United States)

    Duda, Jeffrey J.; Beirne, Matt M.; Warrick, Jonathan A.; Magirl, Christopher S.


    After nearly a century of producing power, two large hydroelectric dams on the Elwha River in Washington State were removed during 2011 to 2014 to restore the river ecosystem and recover imperiled salmon populations. Roughly two-thirds of the 21 million cubic meters of sediment—enough to fill nearly 2 million dump trucks—contained behind the dams was released downstream, which restored natural processes and initiated important changes to the river, estuarine, and marine ecosystems. A multidisciplinary team of scientists from the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, academia, non-governmental organizations, Federal and state agencies, and the U.S. Geological Survey collected key data before, during, and after dam removal to understand the outcomes of this historic project on the Elwha River ecosystem.

  12. Planetary Landscape Geography (United States)

    Hargitai, H.

    INTRODUCTION Landscape is one of the most often used category in physical ge- ography. The term "landshap" was introduced by Dutch painters in the 15-16th cen- tury. [1] The elements that build up a landscape (or environment) on Earth consists of natural (biogenic and abiogenic - lithologic, atmospheric, hydrologic) and artificial (antropogenic) factors. Landscape is a complex system of these different elements. The same lithology makes different landscapes under different climatic conditions. If the same conditions are present, the same landscape type will appear. Landscapes build up a hierarchic system and cover the whole surface. On Earth, landscapes can be classified and qualified according to their characteristics: relief forms (morphology), and its potential economic value. Aesthetic and subjective parameters can also be considered. Using the data from landers and data from orbiters we can now classify planetary landscapes (these can be used as geologic mapping units as well). By looking at a unknown landscape, we can determine the processes that created it and its development history. This was the case in the Pathfinder/Sojourner panoramas. [2]. DISCUSSION Planetary landscape evolution. We can draw a raw landscape develop- ment history by adding the different landscape building elements to each other. This has a strong connection with the planet's thermal evolution (age of the planet or the present surface materials) and with orbital parameters (distance from the central star, orbit excentricity etc). This way we can build a complex system in which we use differ- ent evolutional stages of lithologic, atmospheric, hydrologic and biogenic conditions which determine the given - Solar System or exoplanetary - landscape. Landscape elements. "Simple" landscapes can be found on asteroids: no linear horizon is present (not differentiated body, only impact structures), no atmosphere (therefore no atmospheric scattering - black sky as part of the landscape) and no

  13. The contributions of Donald Lee Johnson to understanding the Quaternary geologic and biogeographic history of the California Channel Islands (United States)

    Muhs, Daniel R.


    Over a span of 50 years, native Californian Donald Lee Johnson made a number of memorable contributions to our understanding of the California Channel Islands. Among these are (1) recognizing that carbonate dunes, often cemented into eolianite and derived from offshore shelf sediments during lowered sea level, are markers of glacial periods on the Channel Islands; (2) identifying beach rock on the Channel Islands as the northernmost occurrence of this feature on the Pacific Coast of North America; (3) recognizing of the role of human activities in historic landscape modification; (4) identifying both the biogenic and pedogenic origins of caliche “ghost forests” and laminar calcrete forms on the Channel Islands; (5) providing the first soil maps of several of the islands, showing diverse pathways of pedogenesis; (6) pointing out the importance of fire in Quaternary landscape history on the Channel Islands, based on detailed stratigraphic studies; and (7), perhaps his greatest contribution, clarifying the origin of Pleistocene pygmy mammoths on the Channel Islands, due not to imagined ancient land bridges, but rather the superb swimming abilities of proboscideans combined with lowered sea level, favorable paleowinds, and an attractive paleovegetation on the Channel Islands. Don was a classic natural historian in the great tradition of Charles Darwin and George Gaylord Simpson, his role models. Don’s work will remain important and useful for many years and is an inspiration to those researching the California Channel Islands today.

  14. Understanding the rural population migration pattern of Uttarakhand using Geophysical, Geological and Socio-Economical BigData (United States)

    Chattopadhyay, Kausik; Chattopadhyay, Pallavi


    Uttarakhand, a Himalayan state of India is facing a worst scenario of rural population migration for the past few decades from hill regions to the planes. While urbanization is believed to be one of the major factors for migration, how geo scientific parameters can impact the population to redraw the demographies of the hills is studied in this research. An attempt is made using density based clustering and Apriori association rule mining on 45 derived variables with a time series of 30 years to understand the rural population migration pattern. Both zone identification and origin-destination pair extraction are formulated as spatial-temporal point clustering problem and DBSCAN (Density-Based Spatial Clustering of Applications with Noise) is applied to solve them. Specifically the population migration is formulated as a 4D point clustering problem and the relative distance between two origin - destination pair with a preference factor is used to fine tune the cluster length. In Apriori, threshold values for confidence and J-measure are kept same as for rule extraction. Rules with maximum confidence level and J-measure are obtained for an antecedent window of 18 months, consequent window of 4 months and time lag of 2 months. From the rules extracted, it can be demonstrated that almost all the geoscience indices are occurring as antecedents for migration episodes. The result demonstrates that the three districts that have registered the highest migration rates are also the districts that have witnessed maximum depletion in water sources. Even though some districts have higher number of landslide incidents, their out migration is less compared to other hill districts. However districts experiencing higher number of earthquakes are experiencing higher out migration. Upper hill region with higher precipitation experience higher migration compared to their lower hill counterpart. However this is not true when compared to the counter parts in the plane regions. Even

  15. Energy Balance Models and Planetary Dynamics (United States)

    Domagal-Goldman, Shawn


    We know that planetary dynamics can have a significant affect on the climate of planets. Planetary dynamics dominate the glacial-interglacial periods on Earth, leaving a significant imprint on the geological record. They have also been demonstrated to have a driving influence on the climates of other planets in our solar system. We should therefore expect th.ere to be similar relationships on extrasolar planets. Here we describe a simple energy balance model that can predict the growth and thickness of glaciers, and their feedbacks on climate. We will also describe model changes that we have made to include planetary dynamics effects. This is the model we will use at the start of our collaboration to handle the influence of dynamics on climate.

  16. Solar Variability and Planetary Climates

    CERN Document Server

    Calisesi, Y; Gray, L; Langen, J; Lockwood, M


    Variations in solar activity, as revealed by variations in the number of sunspots, have been observed since ancient times. To what extent changes in the solar output may affect planetary climates, though, remains today more than ever a subject of controversy. In 2000, the SSSI volume on Solar Variability and Climate reviewed the to-date understanding of the physics of solar variability and of the associated climate response. The present volume on Solar Variability and Planetary Climates provides an overview of recent advances in this field, with particular focus at the Earth's middle and lower atmosphere. The book structure mirrors that of the ISSI workshop held in Bern in June 2005, the collection of invited workshop contributions and of complementary introductory papers synthesizing the current understanding in key research areas such as middle atmospheric processes, stratosphere-troposphere dynamical coupling, tropospheric aerosols chemistry, solar storm influences, solar variability physics, and terrestri...

  17. Proto-planetary nebulae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zuckerman, B.


    A 'proto-planetary nebula' or a 'planetary nebula progenitor' is the term used to describe those objects that are losing mass at a rate >approximately 10 -5 Msolar masses/year (i.e. comparable to mass loss rates in planetary nebulae with ionized masses >approximately 0.2 Msolar masses) and which, it is believed, will become planetary nebulae themselves within 5 years. It is shown that most proto-planetary nebulae appear as very red objects although a few have been 'caught' near the middle of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. The precursors of these proto-planetaries are the general red giant population, more specifically probably Mira and semi-regular variables. (Auth.)end

  18. Planetary maps - Passports for the mind

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, C.M.


    The various types of planetary maps are reviewed. Included are basic descriptions of planimetric, topographic, geologic, and digital maps. It is noted that planimetric maps are pictorial representations of a planet's round surface flattened into a plane, such as controlled photomosaic maps and shaded relief maps. Topographic maps, those usually made with data from altimeters and stereoscopic images, have contour lines indicating the shapes and elevations of landforms. Geologic maps carry additional information about landforms, such as rock types, the processes that formed them, and their relative ages. The International Astronomical Union nomenclature system is briefly discussed, pointing out that the Union often assigns themes to areas to be mapped

  19. Planetary heat flow measurements. (United States)

    Hagermann, Axel


    The year 2005 marks the 35th anniversary of the Apollo 13 mission, probably the most successful failure in the history of manned spaceflight. Naturally, Apollo 13's scientific payload is far less known than the spectacular accident and subsequent rescue of its crew. Among other instruments, it carried the first instrument designed to measure the flux of heat on a planetary body other than Earth. The year 2005 also should have marked the launch of the Japanese LUNAR-A mission, and ESA's Rosetta mission is slowly approaching comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Both missions carry penetrators to study the heat flow from their target bodies. What is so interesting about planetary heat flow? What can we learn from it and how do we measure it?Not only the Sun, but all planets in the Solar System are essentially heat engines. Various heat sources or heat reservoirs drive intrinsic and surface processes, causing 'dead balls of rock, ice or gas' to evolve dynamically over time, driving convection that powers tectonic processes and spawns magnetic fields. The heat flow constrains models of the thermal evolution of a planet and also its composition because it provides an upper limit for the bulk abundance of radioactive elements. On Earth, the global variation of heat flow also reflects the tectonic activity: heat flow increases towards the young ocean ridges, whereas it is rather low on the old continental shields. It is not surprising that surface heat flow measurements, or even estimates, where performed, contributed greatly to our understanding of what happens inside the planets. In this article, I will review the results and the methods used in past heat flow measurements and speculate on the targets and design of future experiments.

  20. A Study of the Education of Geology (United States)

    Berglin, R. S.; Baldridge, A. M.; Buxner, S.; Crown, D. A.


    An Evaluation and Assessment Method for Workshops in Science Education and Resources While many professional development workshops train teachers with classroom activities for students, Workshops in Science Education and Resources (WISER): Planetary Perspectives is designed to give elementary and middle school teachers the deeper knowledge necessary to be confident teaching the earth and space science content in their classrooms. Two WISER workshops, Deserts of the Solar System and Volcanoes of the Solar System, place an emphasis on participants being able to use learned knowledge to describe or 'tell the story of' a given rock. In order to understand how participants' knowledge and ability to tell the story changes with instruction, we are investigating new ways of probing the understanding of geologic processes. The study will include results from both college level geology students and teachers, focusing on their understanding of geologic processes and the rock cycle. By studying how new students process geologic information, teachers may benefit by learning how to better teach similar information. This project will help to transfer geologic knowledge to new settings and assess education theories for how people learn. Participants in this study include teachers participating in the WISER program in AZ and introductory level college students at St. Mary's College of California. Participants will be videotaped drawing out their thought process on butcher paper as they describe a given rock. When they are done, they will be asked to describe what they have put on the paper and this interview will be recorded. These techniques will be initially performed with students at St. Mary's College of California to understand how to best gather information. An evaluation of their prior knowledge and previous experience will be determined, and a code of their thought process will be recorded. The same students will complete a semester of an introductory college level Physical

  1. Smart Rotorcraft Field Assistants for Terrestrial and Planetary Science (United States)

    Young, Larry A.; Aiken, Edwin W.; Briggs, Geoffrey A.


    Field science in extreme terrestrial environments is often difficult and sometimes dangerous. Field seasons are also often short in duration. Robotic field assistants, particularly small highly mobile rotary-wing platforms, have the potential to significantly augment a field season's scientific return on investment for geology and astrobiology researchers by providing an entirely new suite of sophisticated field tools. Robotic rotorcraft and other vertical lift planetary aerial vehicle also hold promise for supporting planetary science missions.

  2. Planetary cartography in the next decade (1984 - 1994) (United States)


    The cartographic products required to support science and planetary exploration during the next 10 years were assessed. Only major map series or first order maps needed to characterize the surface physiography of a planet or satellite were considered. Included in these considerations are maps needed as bases for plotting geologic, geophysical, and atmospheric phenomena and for planning future planetary exploration. These products consist of three types of maps: controlled photomosaics, shaded relief maps, and topographic contour maps.

  3. The Pilot Lunar Geologic Mapping Project: Summary Results and Recommendations from the Copernicus Quadrangle (United States)

    Skinner, J. A., Jr.; Gaddis, L. R.; Hagerty, J. J.


    The first systematic lunar geologic maps were completed at 1:1M scale for the lunar near side during the 1960s using telescopic and Lunar Orbiter (LO) photographs [1-3]. The program under which these maps were completed established precedents for map base, scale, projection, and boundaries in order to avoid widely discrepant products. A variety of geologic maps were subsequently produced for various purposes, including 1:5M scale global maps [4-9] and large scale maps of high scientific interest (including the Apollo landing sites) [10]. Since that time, lunar science has benefitted from an abundance of surface information, including high resolution images and diverse compositional data sets, which have yielded a host of topical planetary investigations. The existing suite of lunar geologic maps and topical studies provide exceptional context in which to unravel the geologic history of the Moon. However, there has been no systematic approach to lunar geologic mapping since the flight of post-Apollo scientific orbiters. Geologic maps provide a spatial and temporal framework wherein observations can be reliably benchmarked and compared. As such, a lack of a systematic mapping program means that modern (post- Apollo) data sets, their scientific ramifications, and the lunar scientists who investigate these data, are all marginalized in regard to geologic mapping. Marginalization weakens the overall understanding of the geologic evolution of the Moon and unnecessarily partitions lunar research. To bridge these deficiencies, we began a pilot geologic mapping project in 2005 as a means to assess the interest, relevance, and technical methods required for a renewed lunar geologic mapping program [11]. Herein, we provide a summary of the pilot geologic mapping project, which focused on the geologic materials and stratigraphic relationships within the Copernicus quadrangle (0-30degN, 0-45degW).

  4. Escape from planetary neighbourhoods

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Waalkens, H.; Burbanks, A.; Wiggins, S.


    In this paper we use recently developed phase-space transport theory coupled with a so-called classical spectral theorem to develop a dynamically exact and computationally efficient procedure for studying escape from a planetary neighbourhood. The ‘planetary neighbourhood’ is a bounded region of

  5. The Planetary Data System— Archiving Planetary Data for the use of the Planetary Science Community (United States)

    Morgan, Thomas H.; McLaughlin, Stephanie A.; Grayzeck, Edwin J.; Vilas, Faith; Knopf, William P.; Crichton, Daniel J.


    NASA’s Planetary Data System (PDS) archives, curates, and distributes digital data from NASA’s planetary missions. PDS provides the planetary science community convenient online access to data from NASA’s missions so that they can continue to mine these rich data sets for new discoveries. The PDS is a federated system consisting of nodes for specific discipline areas ranging from planetary geology to space physics. Our federation includes an engineering node that provides systems engineering support to the entire PDS.In order to adequately capture complete mission data sets containing not only raw and reduced instrument data, but also calibration and documentation and geometry data required to interpret and use these data sets both singly and together (data from multiple instruments, or from multiple missions), PDS personnel work with NASA missions from the initial AO through the end of mission to define, organize, and document the data. This process includes peer-review of data sets by members of the science community to ensure that the data sets are scientifically useful, effectively organized, and well documented. PDS makes the data in PDS easily searchable so that members of the planetary community can both query the archive to find data relevant to specific scientific investigations and easily retrieve the data for analysis. To ensure long-term preservation of data and to make data sets more easily searchable with the new capabilities in Information Technology now available (and as existing technologies become obsolete), the PDS (together with the COSPAR sponsored IPDA) developed and deployed a new data archiving system known as PDS4, released in 2013. The LADEE, MAVEN, OSIRIS REx, InSight, and Mars2020 missions are using PDS4. ESA has adopted PDS4 for the upcoming BepiColumbo mission. The PDS is actively migrating existing data records into PDS4 and developing tools to aid data providers and users. The PDS is also incorporating challenge

  6. Geology's Impact on Culture (United States)

    Pizzorusso, Ann


    Most people consider geology boring, static and difficult. The fields of astronomy and physics have "rebranded" themselves with exciting programs formatted so as to be readily understandable to the general public. The same thing can be done for geology. My research on geology's influence on other disciplines has resulted in a book, Tweeting da Vinci, in which I was able to show how geology affected Italy's art, architecture, medicine, religion, literature, engineering and just about everything else. The reaction to the book and my lectures by both students and the general public has been very positive, including four gold medals, with reviews and comments indicating that they never knew geology could be so exciting. The book is very user friendly, packed with facts, full-color photos, paintings, sketches and illustrations. Complex aspects of geology are presented in an easily understandable style. Widely diverse topics—such as gemology, folk remedies, grottoes, painting, literature, physics and religion—are stitched together using geology as a thread. Quoting everyone from Pliny the Elder to NASA physicist Friedemann Freund, the work is solidly backed scholarship that reads as easily as a summer novel. The book can be used in classes such as physics, chemistry, literature, art history, medicine, Classical Studies, Latin, Greek and Italian. By incorporating a "geologic perspective" in these courses, it can be perceived as a more "all encompassing" discipline and encourage more students to study it. The lectures I have given on college campuses have resulted in students seeing their own majors from a different perspective and some have even signed up for introductory geology courses. One college organized summer course to the Bay of Naples based on the book. We followed the geology as well as the culture of the area and the students were profoundly moved. To encourage dialog, the book is linked to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This has enabled followers from

  7. Dust in planetary nebulae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kwok, S.


    A two-component dust model is suggested to explain the infrared emission from planetary nebulae. A cold dust component located in the extensive remnant of the red-giant envelope exterior to the visible nebula is responsible for the far-infrared emission. A ward dust component, which is condensed after the formation of the planetary nebula and confined within the ionized gas shell, emits most of the near- and mid-infrared radiation. The observations of NGC 7027 are shown to be consisten with such a model. The correlation of silicate emission in several planetary nebulae with an approximately +1 spectral index at low radio frequencies suggests that both the silicate and radio emissions originate from the remnant of the circumstellar envelope of th precursor star and are observable only while the planetary nebula is young. It is argued that oxygen-rich stars as well as carbon-rich stars can be progenitors of planetary nebulae

  8. The Use of MERRA-2 Near Surface Meteorology to Understand the Behavior of Planetary Boundary Layer heights Derived from Wind Profiler Data Over the US Great Plains (United States)

    Molod, A.; Salmun, H.; Collow, A.


    The atmospheric general circulation model (GCM) that underlies the MERRA-2 reanalysis includesa suite of physical parameterizations that describe the processes that occur in theplanetary boundary layer (PBL). The data assimilation system assures that the atmosphericstate variables used as input to these parameterizations are constrained to the bestfit to all of the available observations. Many studies, however, have shown that the GCM-based estimates of MERRA-2 PBL heights are biased high, and so are not reliable forapplication related to constituent transport or the carbon cycle.A new 20-year record of PBL heights was derived from Wind Profiler (WP) backscatter data measuredat a wide network of stations throughout the US Great Plains and has been validated against independent estimates. The behavior of these PBL heights shows geographical and temporalvariations that are difficult to attribute to particular physical processes withoutadditional information that are not part of the observational record.In the present study, we use information on physical processes from MERRA-2 to understand the behavior of the WP derived PBL heights. The behavior of the annual cycle of both MERRA-2 and WP PBL heights shows three classes of behavior: (i) canonical, where the annual cyclefollows the annual cycle of the sun, (ii) delayed, where the PBL height reaches its annual maximum after the annual maximum of the solar insolation, and (iii) double maxima, wherethe PBL height begins to rise with the solar insolation but falls sometimes during the the summer and then rises again. Although the magnitude of these types of variations isdescribed by the WP PBL record, the explanation for these behaviors and the relationshipto local precipitation, temperature, hydrology and sensible and latent heat fluxes is articulated using information from MERRA-2.

  9. Homo Sapiens as Geological Agents (United States)

    Holloway, T.; Bedsworth, L. W.; Caldeira, K.; Rosenzweig, C.; Kelley, G.; Rosenzweig, C.; Caldeira, K.; Bedsworth, L. W.; Holloway, T.; Purdy, J. S.; Vince, G.; Syvitski, J. A.; Bondre, N. R.; Kelly, J.; Vince, G.; Seto, K. C.; Steffen, W.; Oreskes, N.


    In the 18th and 19th centuries, earth scientists came to understand the magnitude and power of geological and geophysical processes. In comparison, the activities of humans seemed paltry if not insignificant. With the development of radiometric dating in the 20th century, scientists realized that human history was but a miniscule part of Earth history. Metaphors to this effect abounded, and filled textbooks: If Earth history were a 24-hour day, human history would not occupy even the final second. If Earth history were a yardstick, the human portion would not even be visible to the naked eye. Generations of scientists were taught that one of the principal contributions of geology, qua science, was the demonstration of our insignificance. The Anthropocene concept disrupts this. To affirms its existence is to insist that human activities compete in scale and significance with other Earth processes, and may threaten to overwhelm them. It also inverts our relation to normative claims. For more than a century earth scientists and evolutionary biologists insisted that their theories were descriptive and not normative—that there was no moral conclusion to be drawn from either planetary or human evolution. Now, we confront the suggestion that there is a moral component to our new paradigm: we can scarcely claim that humans are disrupting the climate, destroying biodiversity, and acidifying the oceans without implying that there is something troubling about these developments. Thus, the Anthropocene concept suggests both a radical redefinition of the scope of Earth science, and a radical reconsideration of the place of normative judgments in scientific work.

  10. New Indivisible Planetary Science Paradigm: Consequence of Questioning Popular Paradigms (United States)

    Marvin Herndon, J.


    removed, pressure began to build in the compressed rocky kernel of Earth and eventually the rigid crust began to crack. The major energy source for planetary decompression and for heat emplacement at the base of the crust is the stored energy of protoplanetary compression. In response to decompression-driven volume increases, cracks form to increase surface area and fold-mountain ranges form to accommodate changes in curvature. One of the most profound mysteries of modern planetary science is this: As the terrestrial planets are more-or-less of common chondritic composition, how does one account for the marked differences in their surface dynamics? Differences among the inner planets are principally due to the degree of compression experienced. Planetocentric georeactor nuclear fission, responsible for magnetic field generation and concomitant heat production, is applicable to compressed and non-compressed planets and large moons. The internal composition of Mercury is calculated based upon an analogy with the deep-Earth mass ratio relationships. The origin and implication of Mercurian hydrogen geysers is described. Besides Earth, only Venus appears to have sustained protoplanetary compression; the degree of which might eventually be estimated from understanding Venetian surface geology. A basis is provided for understanding that Mars essentially lacks a 'geothermal gradient' which implies potentially greater subsurface water reservoir capacity than previously expected. Resources at .

  11. Gender Diversity in Planetary Volcanology: Encouraging Equality (United States)

    Gregg, T. K.; Lopes, R. M.


    We have brought together a group of respected and well-known female planetary volcanologists to create a book designed to encourage young women to pursue scientific careers. The book, entitled "Volcanic Worlds: Exploring the Solar System's Volcanoes," published by Praxis, is written for undergraduates who may have no background in geology or planetary sciences. Each chapter covers a different Solar System body or volcanic process, and is authored by a woman who is an expert in her field. Subjects covered include: the relation of plate tectonics to volcanism on Earth; the study of Mars' volcanoes from space and using rovers; geysers on Neptune's moon Triton and on Earth; eruptions on Io; and studying submarine lava flows from a submarine. Each chapter is written in a comfortable, readily accessible tone, with authors presenting not only science, but also some of the unique challenges faced by women conducting volcanological research today-and how these are overcome. Although not intended to be a textbook, this work could easily form the basis of an undergraduate geology seminar, honors course, or as a valuable accessory to an introductory geology course. In addition, it could be used in courses that would be cross-listed between geology departments and sociology departments. We will present more information on the book, and suggestions of how it could be used in the classroom to enhance gender diversity in the Earth and Space Sciences.

  12. Cognitive Planetary Transitions: An Astrobiological Perspective on the "Sapiezoic Eon". (United States)

    Grinspoon, D. H.


    A powerful new dynamic is remaking Earth. Never before has a geological force become aware of its influence. A taxonomy of planetary catastrophes illuminates the unusual nature of the Anthropocene and reframes our current environmental predicaments as part of the narrative of planetary evolution. From a deep time perspective will the Anthropocene be an event, an interval, or something more significant? I propose that it is not simply an Epoch boundary, but the advent of Earth's 5th Eon, the "Sapiezoic". The advent of self-aware cognitive/geological processes as a component of planetary systems is potentially as significant as the other three Eon boundaries, each of which represented a shift in relationship between life and the planet. Yet, an Eon implies a permanently changed planet. This puts our immediate challenges over the next century: (stabilizing population & devising an energy system that can provide for the needs of this population without wrecking the natural systems upon which we depend) against the backdrop of a larger challenge: Becoming a long-term stabilizing factor on the planet. This will include: Over the next several hundred years, asteroid defense; Over tens of thousands of years, preventing ice ages and natural episodes of dangerous warming; Over billions of years, preventing runaway warming from solar evolution. Global influence precedes global control, so the earliest stages of this transition are characterized by unstable positive feedbacks threatening catastrophe. However, conscious awareness and control can also provide negative feedback. Becoming a stable part of the Earth system will require deep understanding of nature and an ability to forestall natural disasters, as well as the self-understanding needed to avoid self-imposed disasters. It will require both technical and spiritual progress. How we conduct ourselves on a global scale may affect the security and well-being of all future life. In the past when humans faced existential

  13. The Anthropocene: A Planetary Perspective (United States)

    Anbar, A. D.; Hartnett, H. E.; York, A.; Selin, C.


    regional scales. It is, however, intimidating at the global scale, for good reason: it is a daunting challenge that we barely understand and for which we are poorly prepared. In this presentation, we will address approaches to adaptation and mitigation that illustrate the promise - and pitfalls - of a planetary design perspective relevant to food, energy, water, and climate.

  14. PSUP: A Planetary SUrface Portal (United States)

    Poulet, F.; Quantin-Nataf, C.; Ballans, H.; Dassas, K.; Audouard, J.; Carter, J.; Gondet, B.; Lozac'h, L.; Malapert, J.-C.; Marmo, C.; Riu, L.; Séjourné, A.


    . It also allows overlapping of these data products on a virtual Martian globe, which can be difficult to use collectively. The architecture of PSUP data management layer and visualization is based on SITools2 (Malapert and Marseille, 2012) and MIZAR (Module for Interactive visualiZation from Astronomical Repositories) respectively, two CNES generic tools developed by a joint effort between the French space agency (CNES) and French scientific laboratories. Future developments include the addition of high level products of Mars (regional geological maps, new global compositional maps…) and tools (spectra extraction from hyperspectral cubes). Ultimately, PSUP will be adapted to other planetary surfaces and space missions in which the French research institutes are involved.

  15. Migration-induced architectures of planetary systems. (United States)

    Szuszkiewicz, Ewa; Podlewska-Gaca, Edyta


    The recent increase in number of known multi-planet systems gives a unique opportunity to study the processes responsible for planetary formation and evolution. Special attention is given to the occurrence of mean-motion resonances, because they carry important information about the history of the planetary systems. At the early stages of the evolution, when planets are still embedded in a gaseous disc, the tidal interactions between the disc and planets cause the planetary orbital migration. The convergent differential migration of two planets embedded in a gaseous disc may result in the capture into a mean-motion resonance. The orbital migration taking place during the early phases of the planetary system formation may play an important role in shaping stable planetary configurations. An understanding of this stage of the evolution will provide insight on the most frequently formed architectures, which in turn are relevant for determining the planet habitability. The aim of this paper is to present the observational properties of these planetary systems which contain confirmed or suspected resonant configurations. A complete list of known systems with such configurations is given. This list will be kept by us updated from now on and it will be a valuable reference for studying the dynamics of extrasolar systems and testing theoretical predictions concerned with the origin and the evolution of planets, which are the most plausible places for existence and development of life.

  16. Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Planetary nomenclature, like terrestrial nomenclature, is used to uniquely identify a feature on the surface of a planet or satellite so that the feature can be...

  17. Human-Robot Planetary Exploration Teams (United States)

    Tyree, Kimberly


    The EVA Robotic Assistant (ERA) project at NASA Johnson Space Center studies human-robot interaction and robotic assistance for future human planetary exploration. Over the past four years, the ERA project has been performing field tests with one or more four-wheeled robotic platforms and one or more space-suited humans. These tests have provided experience in how robots can assist humans, how robots and humans can communicate in remote environments, and what combination of humans and robots works best for different scenarios. The most efficient way to understand what tasks human explorers will actually perform, and how robots can best assist them, is to have human explorers and scientists go and explore in an outdoor, planetary-relevant environment, with robots to demonstrate what they are capable of, and roboticists to observe the results. It can be difficult to have a human expert itemize all the needed tasks required for exploration while sitting in a lab: humans do not always remember all the details, and experts in one arena may not even recognize that the lower level tasks they take for granted may be essential for a roboticist to know about. Field tests thus create conditions that more accurately reveal missing components and invalid assumptions, as well as allow tests and comparisons of new approaches and demonstrations of working systems. We have performed field tests in our local rock yard, in several locations in the Arizona desert, and in the Utah desert. We have tested multiple exploration scenarios, such as geological traverses, cable or solar panel deployments, and science instrument deployments. The configuration of our robot can be changed, based on what equipment is needed for a given scenario, and the sensor mast can even be placed on one of two robot bases, each with different motion capabilities. The software architecture of our robot is also designed to be as modular as possible, to allow for hardware and configuration changes. Two focus

  18. Interoperability in planetary research for geospatial data analysis (United States)

    Hare, Trent M.; Rossi, Angelo P.; Frigeri, Alessandro; Marmo, Chiara


    For more than a decade there has been a push in the planetary science community to support interoperable methods for accessing and working with geospatial data. Common geospatial data products for planetary research include image mosaics, digital elevation or terrain models, geologic maps, geographic location databases (e.g., craters, volcanoes) or any data that can be tied to the surface of a planetary body (including moons, comets or asteroids). Several U.S. and international cartographic research institutions have converged on mapping standards that embrace standardized geospatial image formats, geologic mapping conventions, U.S. Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) cartographic and metadata standards, and notably on-line mapping services as defined by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). The latter includes defined standards such as the OGC Web Mapping Services (simple image maps), Web Map Tile Services (cached image tiles), Web Feature Services (feature streaming), Web Coverage Services (rich scientific data streaming), and Catalog Services for the Web (data searching and discoverability). While these standards were developed for application to Earth-based data, they can be just as valuable for planetary domain. Another initiative, called VESPA (Virtual European Solar and Planetary Access), will marry several of the above geoscience standards and astronomy-based standards as defined by International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA). This work outlines the current state of interoperability initiatives in use or in the process of being researched within the planetary geospatial community.

  19. Impact cratering – fundamental process in geoscience and planetary ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Impact cratering is a geological process characterized by ultra-fast strain rates, which generates extreme shock pressure and shock temperature conditions on and just below planetary surfaces. Despite initial skepticism, this catastrophic process has now been widely accepted by geoscientists with respect to its importance ...

  20. Geologic Time. (United States)

    Newman, William L.

    One of a series of general interest publications on science topics, the booklet provides those interested in geologic time with an introduction to the subject. Separate sections discuss the relative time scale, major divisions in geologic time, index fossils used as guides for telling the age of rocks, the atomic scale, and the age of the earth.…

  1. Geological remote sensing (United States)

    Bishop, Charlotte; Rivard, Benoit; de Souza Filho, Carlos; van der Meer, Freek


    Geology is defined as the 'study of the planet Earth - the materials of which it is made, the processes that act on these materials, the products formed, and the history of the planet and its life forms since its origin' (Bates and Jackson, 1976). Remote sensing has seen a number of variable definitions such as those by Sabins and Lillesand and Kiefer in their respective textbooks (Sabins, 1996; Lillesand and Kiefer, 2000). Floyd Sabins (Sabins, 1996) defined it as 'the science of acquiring, processing and interpreting images that record the interaction between electromagnetic energy and matter' while Lillesand and Kiefer (Lillesand and Kiefer, 2000) defined it as 'the science and art of obtaining information about an object, area, or phenomenon through the analysis of data acquired by a device that is not in contact with the object, area, or phenomenon under investigation'. Thus Geological Remote Sensing can be considered the study of, not just Earth given the breadth of work undertaken in planetary science, geological features and surfaces and their interaction with the electromagnetic spectrum using technology that is not in direct contact with the features of interest.

  2. 1:1 scale wellbore experiment and associated modeling for a better understanding of well integrity in the context of CO2 geological storage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Manceau, J.C.; Trémosa, J.; Audigane, P.; Claret, F.; Wasch, L.J.; Gherardi, F.; Ukelis, O.; Dimier, A.; Nussbaum, C.; Lettry, Y.; Fierz, T.


    In this study, we present a new experiment for following the evolution of the well integrity over time due to different changes in well conditions (pressure, temperature and fluids in contact with the well) in the context of CO2 geological storage. A small section of a wellbore is reproduced in the

  3. Planetary Geophysics and Tectonics (United States)

    Zuber, Maria


    The broad objective of this work is to improve understanding of the internal structures and thermal and stress histories of the solid planets by combining results from analytical and computational modeling, and geophysical data analysis of gravity, topography and tectonic surface structures. During the past year we performed two quite independent studies in the attempt to explain the Mariner 10 magnetic observations of Mercury. In the first we revisited the possibility of crustal remanence by studying the conditions under which one could break symmetry inherent in Runcorn's model of a uniformly magnetized shell to produce a remanent signal with a dipolar form. In the second we applied a thin shell dynamo model to evaluate the range of intensity/structure for which such a planetary configuration can produce a dipole field consistent with Mariner 10 results. In the next full proposal cycle we will: (1) develop numerical and analytical and models of thin shell dynamos to address the possible nature of Mercury s present-day magnetic field and the demise of Mars magnetic field; (2) study the effect of degree-1 mantle convection on a core dynamo as relevant to the early magnetic field of Mars; (3) develop models of how the deep mantles of terrestrial planets are perturbed by large impacts and address the consequences for mantle evolution; (4) study the structure, compensation, state of stress, and viscous relaxation of lunar basins, and address implications for the Moon s state of stress and thermal history by modeling and gravity/topography analysis; and (5) use a three-dimensional viscous relaxation model for a planet with generalized vertical viscosity distribution to study the degree-two components of the Moon's topography and gravity fields to constrain the primordial stress state and spatial heterogeneity of the crust and mantle.

  4. Non-planetary Science from Planetary Missions (United States)

    Elvis, M.; Rabe, K.; Daniels, K.


    Planetary science is naturally focussed on the issues of the origin and history of solar systems, especially our own. The implications of an early turbulent history of our solar system reach into many areas including the origin of Earth's oceans, of ores in the Earth's crust and possibly the seeding of life. There are however other areas of science that stand to be developed greatly by planetary missions, primarily to small solar system bodies. The physics of granular materials has been well-studied in Earth's gravity, but lacks a general theory. Because of the compacting effects of gravity, some experiments desired for testing these theories remain impossible on Earth. Studying the behavior of a micro-gravity rubble pile -- such as many asteroids are believed to be -- could provide a new route towards exploring general principles of granular physics. These same studies would also prove valuable for planning missions to sample these same bodies, as techniques for anchoring and deep sampling are difficult to plan in the absence of such knowledge. In materials physics, first-principles total-energy calculations for compounds of a given stoichiometry have identified metastable, or even stable, structures distinct from known structures obtained by synthesis under laboratory conditions. The conditions in the proto-planetary nebula, in the slowly cooling cores of planetesimals, and in the high speed collisions of planetesimals and their derivatives, are all conditions that cannot be achieved in the laboratory. Large samples from comets and asteroids offer the chance to find crystals with these as-yet unobserved structures as well as more exotic materials. Some of these could have unusual properties important for materials science. Meteorites give us a glimpse of these exotic materials, several dozen of which are known that are unique to meteorites. But samples retrieved directly from small bodies in space will not have been affected by atmospheric entry, warmth or

  5. Geomorphology; Geochronology; São Francisco river; Northeast of Brazil. / Geological and geomorphological characterization of the State Park of Ibitipoca, MG (Brazil: ground for the understanding of its geopatrimony

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilian Carla Moreira Bento


    Full Text Available The State Park of Ibitipoca (PEI is a state conservation unit most visited in the state of Minas Gerais,according to data from State Forest Institute (IEF, 2012 and these statistics reflect the great scenic beautyof its geopatrimony, such as caves, waterfalls, river beaches, stone bridge, etc. The objective of this studyis to make the local geological and morphological characterization so that one can understand the existinggeopatrimony there. One hopes that the information made available here may be, in the future, adaptedand passed on to the park visitors, promoting not only the contemplation, but also the understanding ofgeopatrimony, under the perspective of valuing this aspect of nature.

  6. Tips and Tools for Teaching Planetary Science (United States)

    Schneider, N. M.


    The poster will describe handson exercises with demonstrations, clicker questions and discussion to demonstrate how to help students understand planets on a deeper conceptual level. We'll also discuss ways to take the latest discoveries beyond "wow" and turn them into teachable moments. The goal is to give modern strategies for teaching planetary science, emphasizing physical concepts and comparative principles. All will be given digital copies of video clips, demonstration descriptions, clicker questions, web links and powerpoint slidesets on recent planetary science discoveries.

  7. The Role of Geologic Mapping in NASA PDSI Planning (United States)

    Williams, D. A.; Skinner, J. A.; Radebaugh, J.


    Geologic mapping is an investigative process designed to derive the geologic history of planetary objects at local, regional, hemispheric or global scales. Geologic maps are critical products that aid future exploration by robotic spacecraft or human missions, support resource exploration, and provide context for and help guide scientific discovery. Creation of these tools, however, can be challenging in that, relative to their terrestrial counterparts, non-terrestrial planetary geologic maps lack expansive field-based observations. They rely, instead, on integrating diverse data types wth a range of spatial scales and areal coverage. These facilitate establishment of geomorphic and geologic context but are generally limited with respect to identifying outcrop-scale textural details and resolving temporal and spatial changes in depositional environments. As a result, planetary maps should be prepared with clearly defined contact and unit descriptions as well as a range of potential interpretations. Today geologic maps can be made from images obtained during the traverses of the Mars rovers, and for every new planetary object visited by NASA orbital or flyby spacecraft (e.g., Vesta, Ceres, Titan, Enceladus, Pluto). As Solar System Exploration develops and as NASA prepares to send astronauts back to the Moon and on to Mars, the importance of geologic mapping will increase. In this presentation, we will discuss the past role of geologic mapping in NASA's planetary science activities and our thoughts on the role geologic mapping will have in exploration in the coming decades. Challenges that planetary mapping must address include, among others: 1) determine the geologic framework of all Solar System bodies through the systematic development of geologic maps at appropriate scales, 2) develop digital Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based mapping techniques and standards to assist with communicating map information to the scientific community and public, 3) develop

  8. Planetary Simulation Chambers bring Mars to laboratory studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mateo-Marti, E.


    Although space missions provide fundamental and unique knowledge for planetary exploration, they are always costly and extremely time-consuming. Due to the obvious technical and economical limitations of in-situ planetary exploration, laboratory simulations are among the most feasible research options for making advances in planetary exploration. Therefore, laboratory simulations of planetary environments are a necessary and complementary option to expensive space missions. Simulation chambers are economical, more versatile, and allow for a higher number of experiments than space missions. Laboratory-based facilities are able to mimic the conditions found in the atmospheres and on the surfaces of a majority of planetary objects. Number of relevant applications in Mars planetary exploration will be described in order to provide an understanding about the potential and flexibility of planetary simulation chambers systems: mainly, stability and presence of certain minerals on Mars surface; and microorganisms potential habitability under planetary environmental conditions would be studied. Therefore, simulation chambers will be a promising tools and necessary platform to design future planetary space mission and to validate in-situ measurements from orbital or rover observations. (Author)

  9. Structural Geology and Map Interpretation (United States)

    Helper, Mark A.


    Geological maps lay flat the three-dimensional architecture of a region's rock record. In doing so, they reveal and document geometrical relationships and geological histories that would otherwise be difficult, if not impossible, to visualize. They are a primary data source for a wide range of practical applications, from civil engineering, mining, and energy resource exploration to urban planning and geologic hazard mitigation, and are literally the "ground truth" for understanding environments and processes of the Earth's past. Their utility resides not only in a plan-view portrayal of surface geology, but in the geometrical information they contain that allows projection of surface geology to the subsurface, or into regions where surface control is lacking. Understanding this predictive capacity and being able to read and truly appreciate a geological map's three-dimensional character are among the most unique and important skills a geologist masters. These same skills are unfortunately among the most difficult for students to learn.

  10. Airships for Planetary Exploration (United States)

    Colozza, Anthony


    The feasibility of utilizing an airship for planetary atmospheric exploration was assessed. The environmental conditions of the planets and moons within our solar system were evaluated to determine their applicability for airship flight. A station-keeping mission of 50 days in length was used as the baseline mission. Airship sizing was performed utilizing both solar power and isotope power to meet the baseline mission goal at the selected planetary location. The results show that an isotope-powered airship is feasible within the lower atmosphere of Venus and Saturn s moon Titan.

  11. Planetary ring systems properties, structures, and evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Murray, Carl D


    Planetary rings are among the most intriguing structures of our solar system and have fascinated generations of astronomers. Collating emerging knowledge in the field, this volume reviews our current understanding of ring systems with reference to the rings of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and more. Written by leading experts, the history of ring research and the basics of ring–particle orbits is followed by a review of the known planetary ring systems. All aspects of ring system science are described in detail, including specific dynamical processes, types of structures, thermal properties and their origins, and investigations using computer simulations and laboratory experiments. The concluding chapters discuss the prospects of future missions to planetary rings, the ways in which ring science informs and is informed by the study of other astrophysical disks, and a perspective on the field's future. Researchers of all levels will benefit from this thorough and engaging presentation.

  12. Teaching, learning, and planetary exploration (United States)

    Brown, Robert A.


    The progress accomplished in the first five months of the three-year grant period of Teaching, Learning, and Planetary Exploration is presented. The objectives of this project are to discover new education products and services based on space science, particularly planetary exploration. An Exploration in Education is the umbrella name for the education projects as they are seen by teachers and the interested public. As described in the proposal, our approach consists of: (1) increasing practical understanding of the potential role and capabilities of the research community to contribute to basic education using new discoveries; (2) developing an intellectual framework for these contributions by supplying criteria and templates for the teacher's stories; (3) attracting astronomers, engineers, and technical staff to the project and helping them form productive education partnerships for the future, (4) exploring relevant technologies and networks for authoring and communicating the teacher's stories; (5) enlisting the participation of potential user's of the teacher's stories in defining the products; (6) actually producing and delivering many educationally useful teacher's stories; and (7) reporting the pilot study results with critical evaluation. Technical progress was made by assembling our electronic publishing stations, designing electronic publications based on space science, and developing distribution approaches for electronic products. Progress was made addressing critical issues by developing policies and procedures for securing intellectual property rights and assembling a focus group of teachers to test our ideas and assure the quality of our products. The following useful materials are being produced: the TOPS report; three electronic 'PictureBooks'; one 'ElectronicArticle'; three 'ElectronicReports'; ten 'PrinterPosters'; and the 'FaxForum' with an initial complement of printed materials. We have coordinated with planetary scientists and astronomers

  13. Planetary Sciences: American and Soviet Research (United States)

    Donahue, Thomas M. (Editor); Trivers, Kathleen Kearney (Editor); Abramson, David M. (Editor)


    Papers presented at the US-USSR Workshop on Planetary Sciences are compiled. The purpose of the workshop was to examine the current state of theoretical understanding of how the planets were formed and how they evolved to their present state. The workshop assessed the types of observations and experiments that are needed to advance understanding of the formation and evolution of the solar system based on the current theoretical framework.

  14. Fluvial geomorphology on Earth-like planetary surfaces: A review. (United States)

    Baker, Victor R; Hamilton, Christopher W; Burr, Devon M; Gulick, Virginia C; Komatsu, Goro; Luo, Wei; Rice, James W; Rodriguez, J A P


    Morphological evidence for ancient channelized flows (fluvial and fluvial-like landforms) exists on the surfaces of all of the inner planets and on some of the satellites of the Solar System. In some cases, the relevant fluid flows are related to a planetary evolution that involves the global cycling of a volatile component (water for Earth and Mars; methane for Saturn's moon Titan). In other cases, as on Mercury, Venus, Earth's moon, and Jupiter's moon Io, the flows were of highly fluid lava. The discovery, in 1972, of what are now known to be fluvial channels and valleys on Mars sparked a major controversy over the role of water in shaping the surface of that planet. The recognition of the fluvial character of these features has opened unresolved fundamental questions about the geological history of water on Mars, including the presence of an ancient ocean and the operation of a hydrological cycle during the earliest phases of planetary history. Other fundamental questions posed by fluvial and fluvial-like features on planetary bodies include the possible erosive action of large-scale outpourings of very fluid lavas, such as those that may have produced the remarkable canali forms on Venus; the ability of exotic fluids, such as methane, to create fluvial-like landforms, as observed on Saturn's moon, Titan; and the nature of sedimentation and erosion under different conditions of planetary surface gravity. Planetary fluvial geomorphology also illustrates fundamental epistemological and methodological issues, including the role of analogy in geomorphological/geological inquiry.

  15. New and misclassified planetary nebulae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kohoutek, L.


    Since the 'Catalogue of Galactic Planetary Nebulae' 226 new objects have been classified as planetary nebulae. They are summarized in the form of designations, names, coordinates and the references to the discovery. Further 9 new objects have been added and called 'proto-planetary nebulae', but their status is still uncertain. Only 34 objects have been included in the present list of misclassified planetary nebulae although the number of doubtful cases is much larger. (Auth.)

  16. Dust in planetary nebulae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mathis, J.S.


    The author's review concentrates on theoretical aspects of dust in planetary nebulae (PN). He considers the questions: how much dust is there is PN; what is its composition; what effects does it have on the ionization structure, on the dynamics of the nebula. (Auth.)

  17. On Aryabhata's Planetary Constants


    Kak, Subhash


    This paper examines the theory of a Babylonian origin of Aryabhata's planetary constants. It shows that Aryabhata's basic constant is closer to the Indian counterpart than to the Babylonian one. Sketching connections between Aryabhata's framework and earlier Indic astronomical ideas on yugas and cyclic calendar systems, it is argued that Aryabhata's system is an outgrowth of an earlier Indic tradition.

  18. The planetary scientist's companion

    CERN Document Server

    Lodders, Katharina


    A comprehensive and practical book of facts and data about the Sun, planets, asteroids, comets, meteorites, the Kuiper belt and Centaur objects in our solar system. Also covered are properties of nearby stars, the interstellar medium, and extra-solar planetary systems.

  19. Be steadily on the progress, be in pursuit of brilliance. For deep understanding the development tendency of quality management in nuclear geologic exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Qiuying


    A new knowledge economy era driven by brings forth new ideas in science-technology and marked by quality innovation as an important element has come. At present, a great upsurge of quality management represented by outstanding quality management models such as Liuxigma management, outstanding achievement-effect evaluation and quality management system etc. are spreading throughout the world like a raging fire. Enterprises of nuclear geological exploration must be steadily on the progress, to strengthen quality management, to guarantee the successful fulfillment of tasks in uranium resources exploration by outstanding achievements. (authors)

  20. Structural Geology (United States)

    Weber, John; Frankel, Kurt L.


    Structural geology and continental tectonics were ushered in to the modern quantitative age of geosciences with the arrival of the global plate tectonics paradigm (circa 1968), derived using new data from the oceans' depths, and John Ramsay's 1967 seminal work, Folding and Fracturing of Rocks. Fossen is to be applauded for crafting a unique, high-caliber, and accessible undergraduate textbook on structural geology that faithfully reflects this advance and the subsequent evolution of the discipline. This well-written text draws on Fossen's wealth of professional experience, including his broad and diverse academic research and experience in the petroleum industry. This book is beautifully illustrated, with excellent original color diagrams and with impressive color field photographs that are all keyed to locations and placed into geologic context.

  1. Practical aspects of geological prediction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mallio, W.J.; Peck, J.H.


    Nuclear waste disposal requires that geology be a predictive science. The prediction of future events rests on (1) recognizing the periodicity of geologic events; (2) defining a critical dimension of effect, such as the area of a drainage basin, the length of a fault trace, etc; and (3) using our understanding of active processes the project the frequency and magnitude of future events in the light of geological principles. Of importance to nuclear waste disposal are longer term processes such as continental denudation and removal of materials by glacial erosion. Constant testing of projections will allow the practical limits of predicting geological events to be defined. 11 refs

  2. Venus Quadrangle Geological Mapping: Use of Geoscience Data Visualization Systems in Mapping and Training (United States)

    Head, James W.; Huffman, J. N.; Forsberg, A. S.; Hurwitz, D. M.; Basilevsky, A. T.; Ivanov, M. A.; Dickson, J. L.; Kumar, P. Senthil


    We are currently investigating new technological developments in computer visualization and analysis in order to assess their importance and utility in planetary geological analysis and mapping [1,2]. Last year we reported on the range of technologies available and on our application of these to various problems in planetary mapping [3]. In this contribution we focus on the application of these techniques and tools to Venus geological mapping at the 1:5M quadrangle scale. In our current Venus mapping projects we have utilized and tested the various platforms to understand their capabilities and assess their usefulness in defining units, establishing stratigraphic relationships, mapping structures, reaching consensus on interpretations and producing map products. We are specifically assessing how computer visualization display qualities (e.g., level of immersion, stereoscopic vs. monoscopic viewing, field of view, large vs. small display size, etc.) influence performance on scientific analysis and geological mapping. We have been exploring four different environments: 1) conventional desktops (DT), 2) semi-immersive Fishtank VR (FT) (i.e., a conventional desktop with head-tracked stereo and 6DOF input), 3) tiled wall displays (TW), and 4) fully immersive virtual reality (IVR) (e.g., "Cave Automatic Virtual Environment," or Cave system). Formal studies demonstrate that fully immersive Cave environments are superior to desktop systems for many tasks [e.g., 4].

  3. Proceedings of the 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (United States)


    Lunar Basalts; Chemical and Physical Properties of the Lunar Regolith; Lunar Dust and Transient Surface Phenomena; Lunar Databases and Data Restoration; Meteoritic Samples of the Moon; Chondrites, Their Clasts, and Alteration; Achondrites: Primitive and Not So Primitive; Iron Meteorites; Meteorite Methodology; Antarctic Micrometeorites; HEDs and Vesta; Dust Formation and Transformation; Interstellar Organic Matter; Early Solar System Chronology; Comparative Planetology; Impacts I: Models and Experiments; Impacts II: Craters and Ejecta; Mars: Volcanism; Mars: Tectonics and Dynamics; Martian Stratigraphy: Understanding the Geologic History of Mars Through the Sedimentary Rock Record; Mars: Valleys and Valley Networks; Mars: Aqueous Processes in Valles Marineris and the Southern Highlands; Mars: Aqueous Geomorphology; Martian Gullies: Morphology and Origins; Mars: Dunes, Dust, and Wind; Mars: Remote Sensing; Mars: Geologic Mapping, Photogrammetry, and Cratering; Martian Mineralogy: Constraints from Missions and Laboratory Investigations; Mars Analogs: Chemical and Physical; Mars Analogs: Sulfates and Sulfides; Missions: Approaches, Architectures, Analogs, and Actualities; Not Just Skin Deep: Electron Microscopy, Heat Flow, Radar, and Seismology Instruments and Planetary Data Systems, Techniques, and Interpretation.

  4. Intermediate Scale Laboratory Testing to Understand Mechanisms of Capillary and Dissolution Trapping during Injection and Post-Injection of CO2 in Heterogeneous Geological Formations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Illangasekare, Tissa [Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States); Trevisan, Luca [Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States); Agartan, Elif [Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States); Mori, Hiroko [Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States); Vargas-Johnson, Javier [Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States); Gonzalez-Nicolas, Ana [Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States); Cihan, Abdullah [Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States); Birkholzer, Jens [Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States); Zhou, Quanlin [Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)


    Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) represents a technology aimed to reduce atmospheric loading of CO2 from power plants and heavy industries by injecting it into deep geological formations, such as saline aquifers. A number of trapping mechanisms contribute to effective and secure storage of the injected CO2 in supercritical fluid phase (scCO2) in the formation over the long term. The primary trapping mechanisms are structural, residual, dissolution and mineralization. Knowledge gaps exist on how the heterogeneity of the formation manifested at all scales from the pore to the site scales affects trapping and parameterization of contributing mechanisms in models. An experimental and modeling study was conducted to fill these knowledge gaps. Experimental investigation of fundamental processes and mechanisms in field settings is not possible as it is not feasible to fully characterize the geologic heterogeneity at all relevant scales and gathering data on migration, trapping and dissolution of scCO2. Laboratory experiments using scCO2 under ambient conditions are also not feasible as it is technically challenging and cost prohibitive to develop large, two- or three-dimensional test systems with controlled high pressures to keep the scCO2 as a liquid. Hence, an innovative approach that used surrogate fluids in place of scCO2 and formation brine in multi-scale, synthetic aquifers test systems ranging in scales from centimeter to meter scale developed used. New modeling algorithms were developed to capture the processes controlled by the formation heterogeneity, and they were tested using the data from the laboratory test systems. The results and findings are expected to contribute toward better conceptual models, future improvements to DOE numerical codes, more accurate assessment of storage capacities, and optimized placement strategies. This report presents the experimental and modeling methods

  5. Increasing Underrepresented Students in Geophysics and Planetary Science Through the Educational Internship in Physical Sciences (EIPS) (United States)

    Terrazas, S.; Olgin, J. G.; Enriquez, F.


    The number of underrepresented minorities pursuing STEM fields, specifically in the sciences, has declined in recent times. In response, the Educational Internship in Physical Sciences (EIPS), an undergraduate research internship program in collaboration with The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Geological Sciences Department and El Paso Community College (EPCC), was created; providing a mentoring environment so that students can actively engage in science projects with professionals in their field so as to gain the maximum benefits in an academic setting. This past year, interns participated in planetary themed projects which exposed them to the basics of planetary geology, and worked on projects dealing with introductory digital image processing and synthesized data on two planetary bodies; Pluto and Enceladus respectively. Interns harnessed and built on what they have learned through these projects, and directly applied it in an academic environment in solar system astronomy classes at EPCC. Since the majority of interns are transfer students or alums from EPCC, they give a unique perspective and dimension of interaction; giving them an opportunity to personally guide and encourage current students there on available STEM opportunities. The goal was to have interns gain experience in planetary geology investigations and networking with professionals in the field; further promoting their interests and honing their abilities for future endeavors in planetary science. The efficacy of these activities toward getting interns to pursue STEM careers, enhance their education in planetary science, and teaching key concepts in planetary geophysics are demonstrated in this presentation.

  6. Geologic studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wayland, T.E.; Rood, A.


    The modern Great Divide Basin is the end product of natural forces influenced by the Green River lake system, Laramide tectonism, and intermittent volcanic events. It ranks as one of the most complex structural and stratigtaphic features within the Tertiary basins of Wyoming. Portions of the Great Divide Basin and adjoining areas in Wyoming have been investigated by applying detailed and region exploration methods to known uranium deposits located within the Red Desert portions of the basin. Geologic field investigations conducted by Bendix Field Engineering Corporaton (Bendix) were restricted to reconnaissance observations made during infrequent visits to the project area by various Bendix personnel. Locations of the most comprehensive field activities are shown in Figure II-1. The principal source fo data for geologic studies of the Red Desert project area has been information and materials furnished by industry. Several hundred holes have been drilled by various groups to delineate the uranium deposits. Results from Bendix-drilled holes at selected locations within the project area are summarized in Table II-1. Additional details and gross subsurface characteristics are illustrated in cross sections; pertinent geologic features are illustrated in plan maps. Related details of continental sedimentation that pertain to the Wyoming Basins generally, and the project area specificially, are discussed in subsections of this Geologic Studies section

  7. Planetary seismology and interiors (United States)

    Toksoz, M. N.


    This report briefly summarizes knowledge gained in the area of planetary seismology in the period 1969-1979. Attention is given to the seismic instruments, the seismic environment (noise, characteristics of seismic wave propagation, etc.), and the seismicity of the moon and Mars as determined by the Apollo missions and Viking Lander experiments, respectively. The models of internal structures of the terrestrial planets are discussed, with the earth used for reference.

  8. Geology Fulbrights (United States)

    Fulbright grants in geology for 1988-89 remain open. Specific opportunities are available in Egypt, German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Iceland, Iraq, Kuwait, Morocco, Mozambique, Oman, Poland, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Turkey, U.S.S.R., West Bank, Yemen, and Zimbabwe. Other countries are also open to applications in any discipline, and geology is among their preferred fields.The grants are available until awarded and are open only to U.S. citizens. In Central and South America and French-speaking Africa, knowledge of host-country language is required. For more information, contact the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), 11 Dupont Circle N.W., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036; tel. 202-939-5401.

  9. Mass Wasting In Planetary Environments: Implications For Seismicity (United States)

    Weber, R. C.; Nahm, A. L.; Schmerr, N.


    On Earth, mass wasting events such as rock falls and landslides are well known conse-quences of seismic activity. Through a variety of re-mote sensing techniques, tectonic faults have been pos-itively identified on all four of the inner planets, Earth's Moon, several outer planet satellites, and aster-oids. High-resolution imaging has furthermore ena-bled positive identification of mass wasting events on many of these bodies. On Mars, it has been suggested that fallen boulders may be indicative of pale-omarsquakes. On the Moon, meteor impacts and moonquakes have likewise been suggested as potential triggering mechanisms for mass wasting. Indeed, we know from the Apollo era that the Moon experienc-es a wide variety of seismicity. Seismicity estimates play an important role in creat-ing regional geological characterizations, which are useful not only for understanding a planet's formation and evolution, but also of key importance to site selec-tion for landed missions. Here we investigate the re-gional effects of seismicity in planetary environments with the goal of determining whether surface features such as landslides and boulder trails on the Moon, Mars, and Mercury could be triggered by fault motion. We attempt to quantify the amount of near-source ground shaking necessary to mobilize the mate-rial observed in various instances of mass wasting.

  10. Horizontal stresses induced by vertical processes in planetary lithospheres (United States)

    Banerdt, W. B.


    Understanding the state of stress in the elastic lithosphere is of fundamental importance for planetary geophysics, as it is the link between the observed geologic structures on the surface and the processes which form and modify these structures. As such, it can provide valuable constraints for the difficult problem of determining interior structure and processes. On the Earth, most large scale, organized deformation can be related to lateral tectonics associated with plate dynamics; however, the tectonics on many extraterrestrial bodies (such as the Moon, Mars, and most of the outer-planet satellites) appears to be primarily vertical in nature, and the horizontal stresses induced by vertical motions and loads are expected to dominate the deformation of their lithospheres. The largest stress contributions from vertical loading come from the flexure of the lithosphere, which induces both bending moments and membrane stresses. We are concerned here only with nonflexural changes in the state of stress induced by processes such as sedimentary and volcanic deposition, erosional denudation, and changes in the thermal gradient that induce uplift or subsidence. This analysis is important both for evaluating stresses for specific regions in which the vertical stress history can be estimated, as well as for applying the proper loading conditions to global stress models. It is also of interest for providing a reference state of stress for interpreting stress measurements in the crust of the Earth.

  11. Horizontal stress in planetary lithospheres from vertical processes (United States)

    Banerdt, W. B.


    Understanding the stress states in a lithosphere is of fundamental importance for planetary geophysics. It is closely linked to the processes which form and modify tectonic features on the surface and reflects the behavior of the planet's interior, providing a constraint for the difficult problem of determining interior structure and processes. The tectonics on many extraterrestrial bodies (Moon, Mars, and most of the outer planet satellites) appears to be mostly vertical, and the horizontal stresses induced by vertical motions and loads are expected to dominate the deformation of their lithospheres. Herein, only changes are examined in the state of stress induced by processes such as sedimentary and volcanic deposition, erosional denudation, and changes in the thermal gradient that induce uplift or subsidence. This analysis is important both for evaluating stresses for specific regions in which the vertical stress history can be estimated, as well as for applying the proper loading conditions to global stress models. All references to lithosphere herein should be understood to refer to the elastic lithosphere, that layer which deforms elastically or brittlely when subjected to geologically scaled stresses.

  12. Earth-like Habitats in Planetary Systems


    Fritz, Jörg; Bitsch, Bertram; Kührt, Ekkehard; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Tornow, Carmen; Wünnemann, Kai; Fernandes, Vera A.; Grenfell, Lee J.; Rauer, Heike; Wagner, Roland; Werner, Stephanie C.


    Understanding the concept of habitability is related to an evolutionary knowledge of the particular planet-in-question. Additional indications so-called "systemic aspects" of the planetary system as a whole governs a particular planet's claim on habitability. Here we focus on such systemic aspects and discuss their relevance to the formation of an 'Earth-like' habitable planet. We summarize our results obtained by lunar sample work and numerical models within the framework of the Research All...

  13. INVITED TALK: Dynamics Of Planetary Rings (United States)

    Tiscareno, Matthew S.


    Planetary rings are the only nearby astrophysical disks, and the only disks that have been investigated by spacecraft (especially the Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn). Although there are significant differences between rings and other disks, chiefly the large planet/ring mass ratio that greatly enhances the flatness of rings (aspect ratios as small as 1e-7), understanding of disks in general can be enhanced by understanding the dynamical processes observed at close-range and in real-time in planetary rings. We will review the known ring systems of the four giant planets, as well as the prospects for ring systems yet to be discovered. We will then review planetary rings by type. The A, B, and C rings of Saturn, plus the Cassini Division, comprise our solar system's only dense broad disk and host many phenomena of general application to disks including spiral waves, gap formation, self-gravity wakes, viscous overstability and normal modes, impact clouds, and orbital evolution of embedded moons. Dense narrow rings are found both at Uranus (where they comprise the main rings entirely) and at Saturn (where they are embedded in the broad disk), and are the primary natural laboratory for understanding shepherding and self-stability. Narrow dusty rings, likely generated by embedded source bodies, are surprisingly found to sport azimuthally-confined arcs both at Saturn, Jupiter, and Neptune. Finally, every known ring system includes a substantial component of diffuse dusty rings.

  14. The geologic records of dust in the Quaternary (United States)

    Muhs, Daniel R.


    Study of geologic records of dust composition, sources and deposition rates is important for understanding the role of dust in the overall planetary radiation balance, fertilization of organisms in the world’s oceans, nutrient additions to the terrestrial biosphere and soils, and for paleoclimatic reconstructions. Both glacial and non-glacial processes produce fine-grained particles that can be transported by the wind. Geologic records of dust flux occur in a number of depositional archives for sediments: (1) loess deposits; (2) lake sediments; (3) soils; (4) deep-ocean basins; and (5) ice sheets and smaller glaciers. These archives have several characteristics that make them highly suitable for understanding the dynamics of dust entrainment, transport, and deposition. First, they are often distributed over wide geographic areas, which permits reconstruction of spatial variation of dust flux. Second, a number of dating methods can be applied to sediment archives, which allows identification of specific periods of greater or lesser dust flux. Third, aeolian sediment particle size and composition can be determined so that dust source areas can be ascertained and dust transport pathways can be reconstructed. Over much of the Earth’s surface, dust deposition rates were greater during the last glacial period than during the present interglacial period. A dustier Earth during glacial periods is likely due to increased source areas, greater aridity, less vegetation, lower soil moisture, possibly stronger winds, a decreased intensity of the hydrologic cycle, and greater production of dust-sized particles from expanded ice sheets and glaciers.

  15. Hydrogeological Properties of Geological Elements in Geological Model around KURT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Park, Kyung Woo; Kim, Kyung Soo; Koh, Yong Kwon; Choi, Jong Won


    To develop site characterization technologies for a radioactive waste disposal research in KAERI, the geological and hydrogeological investigations have been carried out since 1997. In 2006, the KURT (KAERI Underground Research Tunnel) was constructed to study a solute migration, a microbiology and an engineered barrier system as well as deeply to understand geological environments in in-situ condition. This study is performed as one of the site characterization works around KURT. Several investigations such as a lineament analysis, a borehole/tunnel survey, a geophyscial survey and logging in borehole, were used to construct the geological model. As a result, the geological model is constructed, which includes the lithological model and geo-structural model in this study. Moreover, from the results of the in-situ hydraulic tests, the hydrogeological properties of elements in geological model were evaluated.

  16. Robotic Planetary Drill Tests (United States)

    Glass, Brian J.; Thompson, S.; Paulsen, G.


    Several proposed or planned planetary science missions to Mars and other Solar System bodies over the next decade require subsurface access by drilling. This paper discusses the problems of remote robotic drilling, an automation and control architecture based loosely on observed human behaviors in drilling on Earth, and an overview of robotic drilling field test results using this architecture since 2005. Both rotary-drag and rotary-percussive drills are targeted. A hybrid diagnostic approach incorporates heuristics, model-based reasoning and vibration monitoring with neural nets. Ongoing work leads to flight-ready drilling software.

  17. On the Geological History of Venus (United States)

    Basilevsky, A. T.; Head, J. W.


    is very similar to those identified by [7, 8]; this allows us to return to that model of regional and global stratigraphy of Venus (Figure 3). This figure is almost identical to Figure 22 in [8] and differs only in the estimate of absolute age of the boundary between the Fortunian and Guineverian periods (1.2T here vs. 1.4T in [8]). The question of the estimation of absolute ages of geologic units is difficult for Venus because the atmosphere is too massive to allow craters smaller than a few kilometers in diameter to be formed on its surface. As a result, the total number of impact craters on Venus is only about 1,000, and this makes it possible to estimate more or less reliably only the mean surface age of Venus, and less reliably the mean ages of several large globally observed geologic units such as pwr, tt or pl. Crater count techniques used for other planetary bodies, which permits absolute dating and time correlations of units occupying relatively small areas, can not be used in this way on Venus. The existing estimates of mean absolute ages of the larger Venusian geologic units, such as pwr, tt or pl [e.g., 13-15], were obtained by counting craters on areally separated outcrops of these units and normalizing sums of crater numbers by the total areas of the unit outcrops. Although the results of such an approach were consistent with stratigraphies based on geologic analysis [e.g., 13-15] this was keeping in mind the possibility that in different part of the planet absolute ages of the same units may be significantly different. Now with the completion of the global geologic mapping of Venus, such inconsistencies are excluded. Another problem in crater-count-based estimations of absolute ages of the geological formations on Venus is related to uncertainties of a number of parameters crucial for reliable modeling to transition from number of craters to millions and billions of years: e.g., 1) the meteoroid flux in the vicinity of the planet Venus, 2) the physics

  18. Collaborative Research. Damage and Burst Dynamics in Failure of Complex Geomaterials. A Statistical Physics Approach to Understanding the Complex Emergent Dynamics in Near Mean-Field Geological Materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rundle, John B. [Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States); Klein, William [Boston Univ., MA (United States)


    We have carried out research to determine the dynamics of failure in complex geomaterials, specifically focusing on the role of defects, damage and asperities in the catastrophic failure processes (now popularly termed “Black Swan events”). We have examined fracture branching and flow processes using models for invasion percolation, focusing particularly on the dynamics of bursts in the branching process. We have achieved a fundamental understanding of the dynamics of nucleation in complex geomaterials, specifically in the presence of inhomogeneous structures.

  19. Scientist Participation in Education and Public Outreach - Using Web Tools to Communicate the Scientific Process and Engage an Audience in Understanding Planetary Science: Examples with Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Data (Invited) (United States)

    Petro, N. E.


    Scientists often speak to the public about their science and the current state of understanding of their field. While many talks (including those by this author) typically feature static plots, figures, diagrams, and the odd movie/animation/visualization (when technology allows), it is now possible, using the web to guide an audience through the thought process of how a scientist tackles certain questions. The presentation will highlight examples of web tools that effectively illustrate how datasets are used to address questions of lunar science. Why would a scientist use precious time during a talk to interact with data, in real time? Why not just show the results and move on? Through experience it is evident that illustrating how data is analyzed, even in a simple form, engages an audience, and demonstrates the thought process when interacting with data. While it is clear that scientists are unlikely to use such a tool to conduct science, it illustrates how a member of the public can engage with mission data. An example is discussed below. When discussing the geology of the Moon, there is an enormous volume of data that can be used to explain what we know (or think we know) and how we know it. For example, the QuickMap interface ( enables interaction with a set of data (images, spectral data, topography, radar data) across the entire Moon ( This webtool enables a speaker the opportunity (given adequate web connectivity) to talk about features, such as a crater, and show it from multiple perspectives (e.g., plan view, oblique, topographically exaggerated) in a logical flow. The tool enables illustration of topographic profiles, 3-D perspectives, and data overlays. Now, one might ask why doing this demonstration in real time is valuable, over a set of static slides. In some cases static slides are best, and doing any real time demos is unfeasible. However, guiding an engaged audience through

  20. Deconstructing geologic slip rates (United States)

    Gold, R. D.


    Discrepancies between geologic and geodetic slip rates are recognized globally. However, understanding the significance of those discrepancies requires a complete inventory of the sources of uncertainty often deeply hidden or ignored in slip-rate estimates. In this presentation, I will examine underappreciated complexities associated with geologic estimates of fault slip rates along strike-slip faults. Slip-rate measurements are made from geomorphic features displaced by faulting and age constraints derived from chronologic or stratigraphic data. Sources of uncertainty associated with offset measurements include measurement errors, ambiguities in feature reconstructions, and distributed faulting and bulk off-fault deformation. Sources of uncertainty associated with age constraints include analytical uncertainties, inheritance in the sample material, post-depositional contamination, and often most critically, ambiguity in how to associate sample ages with the landforms or deposits from which they were collected. Additional sources of uncertainty associated with slip-rate measurements include the time interval over which geologic slip rates are determined (e.g., number of earthquake cycles) and the impact of secular variation in slip. I will use case studies from the San Andreas fault system, the Walker Lane, and Tibet to explore sources of uncertainty in geologic slip rates and highlight practices that can mitigate those uncertainties. I will emphasize the need for bracketing the age of faulted landforms using numerous geochronometers, documenting numerous offset landforms, and sampling a range of magnitudes of slip in a probabilistic framework.

  1. Chemical kinetics and modeling of planetary atmospheres (United States)

    Yung, Yuk L.


    A unified overview is presented for chemical kinetics and chemical modeling in planetary atmospheres. The recent major advances in the understanding of the chemistry of the terrestrial atmosphere make the study of planets more interesting and relevant. A deeper understanding suggests that the important chemical cycles have a universal character that connects the different planets and ultimately link together the origin and evolution of the solar system. The completeness (or incompleteness) of the data base for chemical kinetics in planetary atmospheres will always be judged by comparison with that for the terrestrial atmosphere. In the latter case, the chemistry of H, O, N, and Cl species is well understood. S chemistry is poorly understood. In the atmospheres of Jovian planets and Titan, the C-H chemistry of simple species (containing 2 or less C atoms) is fairly well understood. The chemistry of higher hydrocarbons and the C-N, P-N chemistry is much less understood. In the atmosphere of Venus, the dominant chemistry is that of chlorine and sulfur, and very little is known about C1-S coupled chemistry. A new frontier for chemical kinetics both in the Earth and planetary atmospheres is the study of heterogeneous reactions. The formation of the ozone hole on Earth, the ubiquitous photochemical haze on Venus and in the Jovian planets and Titan all testify to the importance of heterogeneous reactions. It remains a challenge to connect the gas phase chemistry to the production of aerosols.

  2. Planetary Sciences and Exploration Programme

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has taken a number of initiatives to plan for a National. Research Programme in the area of planetary science and exploration. This announcement solicits proposals in the field of planetary science. Universities, research and educational institutions may submit proposals ...

  3. The U.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center (United States)

    Kestay, Laszlo P.; Vaughan, R. Greg; Gaddis, Lisa R.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Hagerty, Justin J.


    In 1960, Eugene Shoemaker and a small team of other scientists founded the field of astrogeology to develop tools and methods for astronauts studying the geology of the Moon and other planetary bodies. Subsequently, in 1962, the U.S. Geological Survey Branch of Astrogeology was established in Menlo Park, California. In 1963, the Branch moved to Flagstaff, Arizona, to be closer to the young lava flows of the San Francisco Volcanic Field and Meteor Crater, the best preserved impact crater in the world. These geologic features of northern Arizona were considered good analogs for the Moon and other planetary bodies and valuable for geologic studies and astronaut field training. From its Flagstaff campus, the USGS has supported the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) space program with scientific and cartographic expertise for more than 50 years.

  4. Multiscale regime shifts and planetary boundaries. (United States)

    Hughes, Terry P; Carpenter, Stephen; Rockström, Johan; Scheffer, Marten; Walker, Brian


    Life on Earth has repeatedly displayed abrupt and massive changes in the past, and there is no reason to expect that comparable planetary-scale regime shifts will not continue in the future. Different lines of evidence indicate that regime shifts occur when the climate or biosphere transgresses a tipping point. Whether human activities will trigger such a global event in the near future is uncertain, due to critical knowledge gaps. In particular, we lack understanding of how regime shifts propagate across scales, and whether local or regional tipping points can lead to global transitions. The ongoing disruption of ecosystems and climate, combined with unprecedented breakdown of isolation by human migration and trade, highlights the need to operate within safe planetary boundaries. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Technology under Planetary Protection Research (PPR) (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Planetary protection involves preventing biological contamination on both outbound and sample return missions to other planetary bodies. Numerous areas of research...

  6. Field Exploration and Life Detection Sampling for Planetary Analogue Research (FELDSPAR): Variability and Correlation in Biomarker and Mineralogy Measurements from Icelandic Mars Analogues (United States)

    Gentry, D.; Amador, E.; Cable, M. L.; Cantrell, T.; Chaudry, N.; Cullen, T.; Duca, Z.; Jacobsen, M.; Kirby, J.; McCaig, H.; hide


    In situ exploration of planetary environments allows biochemical analysis of sub-centimeter-scale samples; however, landing sites are selected a priori based on measurable meter- to kilometer-scale geological features. Optimizing life detection mission science return requires both understanding the expected biomarker distributions across sample sites at different scales and efficiently using first-stage in situ geochemical instruments to justify later-stage biological or chemical analysis. Icelandic volcanic regions have an extensive history as Mars analogue sites due to desiccation, low nutrient availability, and temperature extremes, in addition to the advantages of geological youth and isolation from anthropogenic contamination. Many Icelandic analogue sites are also rugged and remote enough to create the same type of instrumentation and sampling constraints typically faced by robotic exploration.

  7. Solar planetary systems stardust to terrestrial and extraterrestrial planetary sciences

    CERN Document Server

    Bhattacharya, Asit B


    The authors have put forth great efforts in gathering present day knowledge about different objects within our solar system and universe. This book features the most current information on the subject with information acquired from noted scientists in this area. The main objective is to convey the importance of the subject and provide detailed information on the physical makeup of our planetary system and technologies used for research. Information on educational projects has also been included in the Radio Astronomy chapters.This information is a real plus for students and educators considering a career in Planetary Science or for increasing their knowledge about our planetary system

  8. Fluvial geomorphology on Earth-like planetary surfaces: A review (United States)

    Baker, Victor R.; Hamilton, Christopher W.; Burr, Devon M.; Gulick, Virginia C.; Komatsu, Goro; Luo, Wei; Rice, James W.; Rodriguez, J.A.P.


    Morphological evidence for ancient channelized flows (fluvial and fluvial-like landforms) exists on the surfaces of all of the inner planets and on some of the satellites of the Solar System. In some cases, the relevant fluid flows are related to a planetary evolution that involves the global cycling of a volatile component (water for Earth and Mars; methane for Saturn’s moon Titan). In other cases, as on Mercury, Venus, Earth’s moon, and Jupiter’s moon Io, the flows were of highly fluid lava. The discovery, in 1972, of what are now known to be fluvial channels and valleys on Mars sparked a major controversy over the role of water in shaping the surface of that planet. The recognition of the fluvial character of these features has opened unresolved fundamental questions about the geological history of water on Mars, including the presence of an ancient ocean and the operation of a hydrological cycle during the earliest phases of planetary history. Other fundamental questions posed by fluvial and fluvial-like features on planetary bodies include the possible erosive action of large-scale outpourings of very fluid lavas, such as those that may have produced the remarkable canali forms on Venus; the ability of exotic fluids, such as methane, to create fluvial-like landforms, as observed on Saturn’s moon, Titan; and the nature of sedimentation and erosion under different conditions of planetary surface gravity. Planetary fluvial geomorphology also illustrates fundamental epistemological and methodological issues, including the role of analogy in geomorphological/geological inquiry. PMID:29176917

  9. Planetary Magnetic Fields: Planetary Interiors and Habitability W. M. Keck Institute for Space Studies Report (United States)

    Lazio, T. Joseph; Shkolnik, Evgenya; Hallinan, Gregg


    The W. M. Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS) sponsored the "Planetary Magnetic Fields: Planetary Interiors and Habitability" study to review the state of knowledge of extrasolar planetary magnetic fields and the prospects for their detection.There were multiple motivations for this Study. Planetary-scale magnetic fields are a window to a planet's interior and provide shielding of the planet's atmosphere. The Earth, Mercury, Ganymede, and the giant planets of the solar system all contain internal dynamo currents that generate planetary-scale magnetic fields. In turn, these internal dynamo currents arise from differential rotation, convection, compositional dynamics, or a combination of these in objects' interiors. If coupled to an energy source, such as the incident kinetic or magnetic energy from the solar wind or an orbiting satellite, a planet's magnetic field can produce intense electron cyclotron masers in its magnetic polar regions. The most well known example of this process in the solar system is the Jovian decametric emission, but all of the giant planets and the Earth contain similar electron cyclotron masers within their magnetospheres. Extrapolated to extrasolar planets, the remote detection of the magnetic field of an extrasolar planet would provide a means of obtaining constraints on the thermal state, composition, and dynamics of its interior--all of which will be difficult to determine by other means--as well as improved understanding of the basic planetary dynamo process.We review the findings from the Study, including potential mission concepts that emerged and recent developments toward one of the mission concepts, a space-based radio wavelength array. There was an identification of that radio wavelength observations would likely be key to making significant progress in this field.We acknowledge ideas and advice from the participants in the "Planetary Magnetic Fields: Planetary Interiors and Habitability" study organized by the W. M. Keck

  10. Europlanet Research Infrastructure: Planetary Simulation Facilities (United States)

    Davies, G. R.; Mason, N. J.; Green, S.; Gómez, F.; Prieto, O.; Helbert, J.; Colangeli, L.; Srama, R.; Grande, M.; Merrison, J.


    physical properties of ice samples formed under planetary conditions to assess how rheology varies with pressure and temperature and grain size to gain a far better understanding of how tectonics may operate on icy moons. Hot planetary surfaces simulation chamber at DLR The planetary simulation chamber is to study the behaviour of planetary analogue materials on the surface of hot (airless) bodies in the solar system. Samples can be heated up to temperatures of 500°C simulating conditions found on the surface of Mercury and Venus. This enables highly accurate thermal emission measurements using the integrated infrared spectrometer and calibrated sources. Thermal gradients can be applied to samples to simulate diurnal thermal cycles and examine thermal stresses in materials. The chamber can be placed under vacuum or purged with gas. In addition, to the high temperature chamber a number of further planetary simulation chambers are available equipped with LIBS and Raman-spectroscopy equipment. Dust analogue simulation chamber at INAF/OACN This facility produces and characterises dust analogues (arc discharge, laser ablation, grinding of minerals, ices) in a variety of simulation chambers under variable pressure (10-6 - 10-3 mbar), temperature (80 - 330 K) and gas composition. Dust and analogues are characterised by a variety of Spectroscopic (absorption, transmission, diffuse-specular reflectance) and imaging techniques (SEM) and can be subjected to thermal annealing, ion bombardment and UV irradiation. Dust accelerator facility at Max Planck Institüt Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg. This facility allows the investigation of hypervelocity dust impacts onto various materials. Dust grain materials from nano to micron sizes are accelerated using a 2 MV Vande- Graaff to velocities between 1 and 60 km/s comparable to the planetary rings of the giant gas planets and impact ejecta processes on the surface of small bodies (asteroids, comets) as well as moons and planetary surfaces

  11. Testing geoscience data visualization systems for geological mapping and training (United States)

    Head, J. W.; Huffman, J. N.; Forsberg, A. S.; Hurwitz, D. M.; Basilevsky, A. T.; Ivanov, M. A.; Dickson, J. L.; Senthil Kumar, P.


    Traditional methods of planetary geological mapping have relied on photographic hard copy and light-table tracing and mapping. In the last several decades this has given way to the availability and analysis of multiple digital data sets, and programs and platforms that permit the viewing and manipulation of multiple annotated layers of relevant information. This has revolutionized the ability to incorporate important new data into the planetary mapping process at all scales. Information on these developments and approaches can be obtained at http://astrogeology.usgs. gov/ Technology/. The processes is aided by Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (see http://astrogeology. and excellent analysis packages (such as ArcGIS) that permit co-registration, rapid viewing, and analysis of multiple data sets on desktop displays (see webgis/). We are currently investigating new technological developments in computer visualization and analysis in order to assess their importance and utility in planetary geological analysis and mapping. Last year we reported on the range of technologies available and on our application of these to various problems in planetary mapping. In this contribution we focus on the application of these techniques and tools to Venus geological mapping at the 1:5M quadrangle scale. In our current Venus mapping projects we have utilized and tested the various platforms to understand their capabilities and assess their usefulness in defining units, establishing stratigraphic relationships, mapping structures, reaching consensus on interpretations and producing map products. We are specifically assessing how computer visualization display qualities (e.g., level of immersion, stereoscopic vs. monoscopic viewing, field of view, large vs. small display size, etc.) influence performance on scientific analysis and geological mapping. We have been exploring four different environments: 1) conventional

  12. NASA's Planetary Science Missions and Participations (United States)

    Daou, Doris; Green, James L.


    instrument. This was a tremendously successful activity leading to another similar call for instrument proposals for the Europa mission. Europa mission instruments will be used to conduct high priority scientific investigations addressing the science goals for the moon's exploration outlined in the National Resource Council's Planetary Decadal Survey, Vision and Voyages (2011). International partnerships are an excellent, proven way of amplifying the scope and sharing the science results of a mission otherwise implemented by an individual space agency. The exploration of the Solar System is uniquely poised to bring planetary scientists, worldwide, together under the common theme of understanding the origin, evolution, and bodies of our solar neighborhood. In the past decade we have witnessed great examples of international partnerships that made various missions the success they are known for today. The Planetary Science Division at NASA continues to seek cooperation with our strong international partners in support of planetary missions.

  13. Lay and Expert Perceptions of Planetary Protection (United States)

    Race, Margaret S.; MacGregor, Donald G.; Slovic, Paul


    As space scientists and engineers plan new missions to Mars and other planets in our solar system, they will face critical questions about the potential for biological contamination of planetary surfaces. In a society that places ever-increasing importance on the role of public involvement in science and technology policy, questions about risks of biological contamination will be examined and debated in the media, and will lead to the formation of public perceptions of planetary-contamination risks. These perceptions will, over time, form an important input to the development of space policy. Previous research in public and expert perceptions of technological risks and hazards has shown that many of the problems faced by risk-management organizations are the result of differing perceptions of risk (and risk management) between the general public and scientific and technical experts. These differences manifest themselves both as disagreements about the definition (and level) of risk associated with a scientific, technological or industrial enterprise, and as distrust about the ability of risk-management organizations (both public and private) to adequately protect people's health and safety. This report presents the results of a set of survey studies designed to reveal perceptions of planetary exploration and protection from a wide range of respondents, including both members of the general public and experts in the life sciences. The potential value of this research lies in what it reveals about perceptions of risk and benefit that could improve risk-management policies and practices. For example, efforts to communicate with the public about Mars sample return missions could benefit from an understanding of the specific concerns that nonscientists have about such a mission by suggesting areas of potential improvement in public education and information. Assessment of both public and expert perceptions of risk can also be used to provide an advanced signal of

  14. Annual review of earth and planetary sciences. Volume 16 (United States)

    Wetherill, George W.; Albee, Arden L.; Stehli, Francis G.

    Various papers on earth and planetary science topics are presented. The subjects addressed include: role and status of earth science field work; phase relations of prealuminous granitic rocks and their petrogenetic implications; chondritic meteorites and the solar nebula; volcanic winters; mass wasting on continental margins; earthquake ground motions; ore deposits as guides to geologic history of the earth; geology of high-level nuclear waste disposal; and tectonic evolution of the Caribbean. Also discussed are: the earth's rotation; the geophysics of a restless caldera (Long Valley, California); observations of cometary nuclei; geology of Venus; seismic stratigraphy; in situ-produced cosmogenic isotopes in terrestrial rocks; time variations of the earth's magnetic field; deep slabs, geochemical heterogeneity, and the large-scale structure of mantle convection; early proterozoic assembly and growth of Laurentia; concepts and methods of high-resolution event stratigraphy.

  15. Geology and bedrock engineering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)


    This book deals with geology of Korea which includes summary, geology in central part and southern part in Korea and characteristic of geology structure, limestone like geology property of limestone, engineered property of limestone, and design and construction case in limestone area. It also introduces engineered property of the cenozoic, clay rock and shale, geologic and engineered property of phyllite and stratum.

  16. Planetary Protection Constraints For Planetary Exploration and Exobiology (United States)

    Debus, A.; Bonneville, R.; Viso, M.

    According to the article IX of the OUTER SPACE TREATY (London / Washington January 27., 1967) and in the frame of extraterrestrial missions, it is required to preserve planets and Earth from contamination. For ethical, safety and scientific reasons, the space agencies have to comply with the Outer Space Treaty and to take into account the related planetary protection Cospar recommendations. Planetary protection takes also into account the protection of exobiological science, because the results of life detection experimentations could have impacts on planetary protection regulations. The validation of their results depends strongly of how the samples have been collected, stored and analyzed, and particularly of their biological and organic cleanliness. Any risk of contamination by organic materials, chemical coumpounds and by terrestrial microorganisms must be avoided. A large number of missions is presently scheduled, particularly on Mars, in order to search for life or traces of past life. In the frame of such missions, CNES is building a planetary protection organization in order handle and to take in charge all tasks linked to science and engineering concerned by planetary protection. Taking into account CNES past experience in planetary protection related to the Mars 96 mission, its planned participation in exobiological missions with NASA as well as its works and involvement in Cospar activities, this paper will present the main requirements in order to avoid celestial bodies biological contamination, focussing on Mars and including Earth, and to protect exobiological science.

  17. Kingian Co-Evolution of the Water and Mineral/Rock Components for Earth and Mars: Implications for Planetary Habitability (Invited) (United States)

    Baker, V. R.


    Planetary habitability may fluctuate episodically against a background provided by the co-evolution of a planet's mineral/rock (geosphere) components and its water (hydrosphere) in relation to its position in a circumstellar system. The water/rock (geosphere/hydrosphere) co-evolution can be inferred from the geological histories of the terrestrial planets of the solar system, particularly from the very extensive understanding of Earth and Mars. Habitability and water/rock co-evolution have components that are tychistic (i.e., driven by chance) and anancastic (i.e., dynamically driven largely by deterministic forces). They also have a final, end-directed (i.e., teleomatic) aspect that operates in accordance with natural laws. This is a larger perspective on the idea of planetary habitability than is generally associated with an astronomical approach, and it incorporates additional insights from a geological perspective on the issue. The geological histories of Mars and Earth are punctuated with critical, short-term epochs of extreme change, which for Earth are known to be associated with major disruptions of its biosphere. These catastrophic epochs can be described as a type of non-Darwinian evolution that was envisioned by the geologist Clarence King. In an 1877 paper King proposed that accelerated evolutionary change occurs during sudden environmental disruptions. Such Kingian disruptions in mineral/rock and water evolution mark the planetary histories of Mars and Earth, including the early formation and condensation of a steam atmosphere, an impacting cataclysm at about 3.9 to 4 Ga, episodes of concentrated volcanism and tectonism, and associated rapid changes in the linked atmosphere and hydrosphere. These disruptions are closely tied to migrations of water between different planetary reservoirs, the nature of planetary accretion, the origin of a physically coupled atmosphere and ocean, the prospects for initiating plate tectonics, and punctuated greenhouse

  18. California Geological Survey Geologic Map Index (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — All the individual maps from the Geologic Atlas of California and the Regional Geologic map series have been georeferenced for display in a GIS (and viewable online...

  19. California Geological Survey Geologic Map Index (United States)

    California Department of Resources — All the individual maps from the Geologic Atlas of California and the Regional Geologic map series have been georeferenced for display in a GIS (and viewable online...

  20. Kinematics of galactic planetary nebulae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kiosa, M.I.; Khromov, G.S.


    The classical method of determining the components of the solar motion relative to the centroid of the system of planetary nebulae with known radial velocities is investigated. It is shown that this method is insensitive to random errors in the radial velocities and that low accuracy in determining the coordinates of the solar apex and motion results from the insufficient number of planetaries with measured radial velocities. The planetary nebulae are found not to satisfy well the law of differential galactic rotation with circular orbits. This is attributed to the elongation of their galactic orbits. A method for obtaining the statistical parallax of planetary nebulae is considered, and the parallax calculated from the tau components of their proper motion is shown to be the most reliable

  1. In Situ Planetary Geochronology Technology (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This project's purpose was to determine whether a Pulsed Neutron Generator (PNG) could be used in an instrument that could perform in situ age dating of planetary...

  2. Can planetary nebulae rotate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grinin, V.P.


    It is shown that the inclination of spectral lines observed in a number of planetary nebulae when the spectrograph slit is placed along the major axis, which is presently ascribed to nonuniform expansion of the shells, actually may be due to rotation of the nebulae about their minor axes, as Campbell and Moore have suggested in their reports. It is assumed that the rotation of the central star (or, if the core is a binary system, circular motions of gas along quasi-Keplerian orbits) serves as the source of the original rotation of a protoplanetary nebula. The mechanism providing for strengthening of the original rotation in the process of expansion of the shell is the tangential pressure of L/sub α/ radiation due to the anisotropic properties of the medium and radiation field. The dynamic effect produced by them is evidently greatest in the epoch when the optical depth of the nebula in the L/sub c/ continuum becomes on the order of unity in the course of its expansion

  3. Geology Before Pluto: Pre-encounter Considerations (United States)

    Moore, J. M.


    Pluto, its large satellite Charon, and its four small known satellites represent the first trans-Neptunian Kuiper Belt objects populating the outer-most solar system beyond the gas giant planets to be studied in detail from a spacecraft (New Horizons). A complete picture of the solar nebula and solar system formation cannot be confidently formulated until representatives of this group of bodies at the edge of solar space have been examined. The Pluto system is composed of unique, lunar- and intermediate-sized objects that can tell us much about how objects with volatile icy compositions evolve. Modeling of the interior suggests that geologic activity may have been significant to some degree, and observations of frost on the surface could imply the need for a geologic reservoir for the replenishment of these phases. However, these putative indicators of Pluto's geologic history are inconclusive and unspecific. Detailed examination of Pluto's geologic record is the only plausible means of bridging the gap between theory and observation. In this talk I will examine the potential importance of these tentative indications of geologic activity and how specific spacecraft observations have been designed and used to constrain the Pluto system's geologic history. The cameras of New Horizons will provide robust data sets that should be immanently amenable to geological analysis of the Pluto system's landscapes. In this talk, we begin with a brief discussion of the planned observations by the New Horizons cameras that will bear most directly on geological interpretability. Then I will broadly review major geological processes that could potentially operate on the surfaces of Pluto and its moons. I will first survey exogenic processes (i.e., those for which energy for surface modification is supplied externally to the planetary surface): impact cratering, sedimentary processes (including volatile migration), and the work of wind. I will conclude with an assessment of the

  4. Geology Before Pluto: Pre-Encounter Considerations (United States)

    Moore, Jeffrey M.


    Pluto, its large satellite Charon, and its four known satellites represent the first trans-Neptunian Kuiper Belt objects populating the outer-most solar system beyond the gas giant planets to be studied in detail from a spacecraft (New Horizons). A complete picture of the solar nebula, and solar system formation cannot be confidently formulated until representatives of this group of bodies at the edge of solar space have been examined. The Pluto system is composed of unique lunar- and intermediate-sized objects that can tell us much about how objects with volatile icy compositions evolve. Modeling of the interior suggests that geologic activity may have been to some degree, and observations of frost on the surface could imply the need for a geologic reservoir for the replenishment of these phases. However, the putative indicators of Pluto's geologic history are inconclusive and unspecific. Detailed examination of Pluto's geologic record is the only plausible means of bridging the gap between theory and observations. In this talk I will examine the potential importance of these tentative indications of geologic activity and how specific spacecraft observations have been designed and used to constrain the Pluto system's geologic history. The cameras of New Horizons will provide robust data sets that should be immanently amenable to geological analysis of the Pluto System's landscapes. In this talk, we begin with a brief discussion of the planned observations by New Horizons' cameras that will bear most directly on geological interpretability. Then I will broadly review major geological processes that could potentially operate of the surfaces of Pluto and its moons. I will first survey exogenic processes (i.e., those for which energy for surface modification is supplied externally to the planetary surface): impact cratering, sedimentary processes (including volatile migration) and the work of wind. I will conclude with an assessment of prospects for endogenic activity

  5. Key science questions from the second conference on early Mars: geologic, hydrologic, and climatic evolution and the implications for life. (United States)

    Beaty, David W; Clifford, Stephen M; Borg, Lars E; Catling, David C; Craddock, Robert A; Des Marais, David J; Farmer, Jack D; Frey, Herbert V; Haberle, Robert M; McKay, Christopher P; Newsom, Horton E; Parker, Timothy J; Segura, Teresa; Tanaka, Kenneth L


    In October 2004, more than 130 terrestrial and planetary scientists met in Jackson Hole, WY, to discuss early Mars. The first billion years of martian geologic history is of particular interest because it is a period during which the planet was most active, after which a less dynamic period ensued that extends to the present day. The early activity left a fascinating geological record, which we are only beginning to unravel through direct observation and modeling. In considering this time period, questions outnumber answers, and one of the purposes of the meeting was to gather some of the best experts in the field to consider the current state of knowledge, ascertain which questions remain to be addressed, and identify the most promising approaches to addressing those questions. The purpose of this report is to document that discussion. Throughout the planet's first billion years, planetary-scale processes-including differentiation, hydrodynamic escape, volcanism, large impacts, erosion, and sedimentation-rapidly modified the atmosphere and crust. How did these processes operate, and what were their rates and interdependencies? The early environment was also characterized by both abundant liquid water and plentiful sources of energy, two of the most important conditions considered necessary for the origin of life. Where and when did the most habitable environments occur? Did life actually occupy them, and if so, has life persisted on Mars to the present? Our understanding of early Mars is critical to understanding how the planet we see today came to be.

  6. Radio synthesis observations of planetary nebulae. II. A search for sub-arcsecond structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Balick, B.; Terzian, Y.


    Observations of 11 planetary nebulae with spatial resolutions from 0''.2 to 2'' at 2695 and 8085 MHz failed to show any very bright structure smaller than about 2''. The observations are shown to be consistent with the present understanding of the temperatures and density distributions thought to typify most planetary nebulae

  7. NASA Planetary Visualization Tool (United States)

    Hogan, P.; Kim, R.


    NASA World Wind allows one to zoom from satellite altitude into any place on Earth, leveraging the combination of high resolution LandSat imagery and SRTM elevation data to experience Earth in visually rich 3D, just as if they were really there. NASA World Wind combines LandSat 7 imagery with Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) elevation data, for a dramatic view of the Earth at eye level. Users can literally fly across the world's terrain from any location in any direction. Particular focus was put into the ease of usability so people of all ages can enjoy World Wind. All one needs to control World Wind is a two button mouse. Additional guides and features can be accessed though a simplified menu. Navigation is automated with single clicks of a mouse as well as the ability to type in any location and automatically zoom to it. NASA World Wind was designed to run on recent PC hardware with the same technology used by today's 3D video games. NASA World Wind delivers the NASA Blue Marble, spectacular true-color imagery of the entire Earth at 1-kilometer-per-pixel. Using NASA World Wind, you can continue to zoom past Blue Marble resolution to seamlessly experience the extremely detailed mosaic of LandSat 7 data at an impressive 15-meters-per-pixel resolution. NASA World Wind also delivers other color bands such as the infrared spectrum. The NASA Scientific Visualization Studio at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has produced a set of visually intense animations that demonstrate a variety of subjects such as hurricane dynamics and seasonal changes across the globe. NASA World Wind takes these animations and plays them directly on the world. The NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) produces a set of time relevant planetary imagery that's updated every day. MODIS catalogs fires, floods, dust, smoke, storms and volcanic activity. NASA World Wind produces an easily customized view of this information and marks them directly on the globe. When one

  8. The OpenPlanetary initiative (United States)

    Manaud, Nicolas; Rossi, Angelo Pio; Hare, Trent; Aye, Michael; Galluzzi, Valentina; van Gasselt, Stephan; Martinez, Santa; McAuliffe, Jonathan; Million, Chase; Nass, Andrea; Zinzi, Angelo


    "Open" has become attached to several concepts: science, data, and software are some of the most obvious. It is already common practice within the planetary science community to share spacecraft missions data freely and openly [1]. However, this is not historically the case for software tools, source code, and derived data sets, which are often reproduced independently by multiple individuals and groups. Sharing data, tools and overall knowledge would increase scientific return and benefits [e.g. 2], and recent projects and initiatives are helping toward this goal [e.g. 3,4,5,6].OpenPlanetary is a bottom-up initiative to address the need of the planetary science community for sharing ideas and collaborating on common planetary research and data analysis problems, new challenges, and opportunities. It started from an initial participants effort to stay connected and share information related to and beyond the ESA's first Planetary GIS Workshop [7]. It then continued during the 2nd (US) Planetary Data Workshop [8], and aggregated more people.Our objective is to build an online distributed framework enabling open collaborations within the planetary science community. We aim to co-create, curate and publish resource materials and data sets; to organise online events, to support community-based projects development; and to offer a real-time communication channel at and between conferences and workshops.We will present our current framework and resources, developing projects and ideas, and solicit for feedback and participation. OpenPlanetary is intended for research and education professionals: scientists, engineers, designers, teachers and students, as well as the general public that includes enthusiasts and citizen scientists. All are welcome to join and contribute at[1] International Planetary Data Alliance, [2] Nosek et al (2015), [3] Erard S. et al. (2016), EGU2016-17527. [4] Proposal for a PDS

  9. Planetary Transmission Diagnostics (United States)

    Lewicki, David G. (Technical Monitor); Samuel, Paul D.; Conroy, Joseph K.; Pines, Darryll J.


    This report presents a methodology for detecting and diagnosing gear faults in the planetary stage of a helicopter transmission. This diagnostic technique is based on the constrained adaptive lifting algorithm. The lifting scheme, developed by Wim Sweldens of Bell Labs, is a time domain, prediction-error realization of the wavelet transform that allows for greater flexibility in the construction of wavelet bases. Classic lifting analyzes a given signal using wavelets derived from a single fundamental basis function. A number of researchers have proposed techniques for adding adaptivity to the lifting scheme, allowing the transform to choose from a set of fundamental bases the basis that best fits the signal. This characteristic is desirable for gear diagnostics as it allows the technique to tailor itself to a specific transmission by selecting a set of wavelets that best represent vibration signals obtained while the gearbox is operating under healthy-state conditions. However, constraints on certain basis characteristics are necessary to enhance the detection of local wave-form changes caused by certain types of gear damage. The proposed methodology analyzes individual tooth-mesh waveforms from a healthy-state gearbox vibration signal that was generated using the vibration separation (synchronous signal-averaging) algorithm. Each waveform is separated into analysis domains using zeros of its slope and curvature. The bases selected in each analysis domain are chosen to minimize the prediction error, and constrained to have the same-sign local slope and curvature as the original signal. The resulting set of bases is used to analyze future-state vibration signals and the lifting prediction error is inspected. The constraints allow the transform to effectively adapt to global amplitude changes, yielding small prediction errors. However, local wave-form changes associated with certain types of gear damage are poorly adapted, causing a significant change in the

  10. NASA Johnson Space Center's Planetary Sample Analysis and Mission Science (PSAMS) Laboratory: A National Facility for Planetary Research (United States)

    Draper, D. S.


    NASA Johnson Space Center's (JSC's) Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Division, part of the Exploration Integration and Science Directorate, houses a unique combination of laboratories and other assets for conducting cutting edge planetary research. These facilities have been accessed for decades by outside scientists, most at no cost and on an informal basis. ARES has thus provided substantial leverage to many past and ongoing science projects at the national and international level. Here we propose to formalize that support via an ARES/JSC Plane-tary Sample Analysis and Mission Science Laboratory (PSAMS Lab). We maintain three major research capa-bilities: astromaterial sample analysis, planetary process simulation, and robotic-mission analog research. ARES scientists also support planning for eventual human ex-ploration missions, including astronaut geological training. We outline our facility's capabilities and its potential service to the community at large which, taken together with longstanding ARES experience and expertise in curation and in applied mission science, enable multi-disciplinary planetary research possible at no other institution. Comprehensive campaigns incorporating sample data, experimental constraints, and mission science data can be conducted under one roof.

  11. Chemistry of Planetary Atmospheres: Insights and Prospects (United States)

    Yung, Yuk


    Using observations from the Mariners, Pioneers, Vikings, Voyagers, Pioneer Venus, Galileo, Venus Express, Curiosity, Cassini, New Horizons, and numerous observatories both in orbit of Earth and on the ground, I will give a survey of the major chemical processes that control the composition of planetary atmospheres. For the first time since the beginning of the space age, we understand the chemistry of planetary atmospheres ranging from the primitive atmospheres of the giant planets to the highly evolved atmospheres of terrestrial planets and small bodies. Our understanding can be distilled into three important ideas: (1) The stability of planetary atmospheres against escape of their constituents to space, (2) the role of equilibrium chemistry in determining the partitioning of chemical species, and (3) the role of disequilibrium chemistry, which produces drastic departures from equilibrium chemistry. To these three ideas we must also add a fourth: the role of biochemistry at Earth's surface, which makes its atmospheric chemistry unique in the cosmochemical environment. Only in the Earth's atmosphere do strong reducing and oxidizing species coexist to such a degree. For example, nitrogen species in the Earth's atmosphere span eight oxidation states from ammonia to nitric acid. Much of the Earth's atmospheric chemistry consists of reactions initiated by the degradation of biologically produced molecules. Life uses solar energy to drive chemical reactions that would otherwise not occur; it represents a kind of photochemistry that is special to Earth, at least within the Solar System. It remains to be seen how many worlds like Earth there are beyond the Solar System, especially as we are now exploring the exoplanets using Kepler, TESS, HST, Spitzer, soon to be launched missions such as JWST and WFIRST, and ground-based telescopes. The atmospheres of the Solar System provide a benchmark for studying exoplanets, which in turn serve to test and extend our current

  12. Geophysics of Small Planetary Bodies (United States)

    Asphaug, Erik I.


    As a SETI Institute PI from 1996-1998, Erik Asphaug studied impact and tidal physics and other geophysical processes associated with small (low-gravity) planetary bodies. This work included: a numerical impact simulation linking basaltic achondrite meteorites to asteroid 4 Vesta (Asphaug 1997), which laid the groundwork for an ongoing study of Martian meteorite ejection; cratering and catastrophic evolution of small bodies (with implications for their internal structure; Asphaug et al. 1996); genesis of grooved and degraded terrains in response to impact; maturation of regolith (Asphaug et al. 1997a); and the variation of crater outcome with impact angle, speed, and target structure. Research of impacts into porous, layered and prefractured targets (Asphaug et al. 1997b, 1998a) showed how shape, rheology and structure dramatically affects sizes and velocities of ejecta, and the survivability and impact-modification of comets and asteroids (Asphaug et al. 1998a). As an affiliate of the Galileo SSI Team, the PI studied problems related to cratering, tectonics, and regolith evolution, including an estimate of the impactor flux around Jupiter and the effect of impact on local and regional tectonics (Asphaug et al. 1998b). Other research included tidal breakup modeling (Asphaug and Benz 1996; Schenk et al. 1996), which is leading to a general understanding of the role of tides in planetesimal evolution. As a Guest Computational Investigator for NASA's BPCC/ESS supercomputer testbed, helped graft SPH3D onto an existing tree code tuned for the massively parallel Cray T3E (Olson and Asphaug, in preparation), obtaining a factor xIO00 speedup in code execution time (on 512 cpus). Runs which once took months are now completed in hours.

  13. Arecibo Radar Investigations of Planetary and Small-Body Surfaces (United States)

    Taylor, P. A.


    The 305-m William E. Gordon telescope at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico is the most sensitive, most powerful, and most active planetary radar facility in the world. Over the last 50-plus years, the S-band (12.6 cm, 2380 MHz) and P-band (70 cm, 430 MHz) radars at Arecibo have studied solid bodies in the solar system from Mercury to Saturn's rings. Radar provides fine spatial resolution of these bodies surpassed only by dedicated spacecraft while adding the extra dimensions of near-surface, wavelength-scale roughness and penetration to several wavelengths below the surface. For asteroids and comets, this spatial resolution is akin to a spacecraft flyby revealing spin, size, and shape information and geologic features such as ridges, crater-like depressions, and boulders. For planetary bodies, radar can reveal geologic features on the surface such as ancient lava flows or features buried beneath the regolith including lava tubes and water-ice deposits. We will present an overview of how the Arecibo radar systems are utilized in the study of planetary and small-body surfaces and what can be learned without ever leaving the comfort of Earth's surface. The Arecibo Observatory is operated by SRI International under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (AST-1100968) and in alliance with Ana G. Mendez-Universidad Metropolitana (UMET) and the Universities Space Research Association (USRA). The Arecibo Planetary Radar Program is supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Grant Nos. NNX12AF24G and NNX13AQ46G issued through the Near-Earth Object Observations program and operated by USRA in alliance with SRI International and UMET.

  14. Geology and Habitability of Terrestrial Planets

    CERN Document Server

    Fishbaugh, Kathryn E; Raulin, François; Marais, David J; Korablev, Oleg


    Given the fundamental importance of and universal interest in whether extraterrestrial life has developed or could eventually develop in our solar system and beyond, it is vital that an examination of planetary habitability goes beyond simple assumptions such as, "Where there is water, there is life." This book has resulted from a workshop at the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern, Switzerland (5-9 September 2005) that brought together planetary geologists, geophysicists, atmospheric scientists, and biologists to discuss the multi-faceted problem of how the habitability of a planet co-evolves with the geology of the surface and interior, the atmosphere, and the magnetosphere. Each of the six chapters has been written by authors with a range of expertise so that each chapter is itself multi-disciplinary, comprehensive, and accessible to scientists in all disciplines. These chapters delve into what life needs to exist and ultimately to thrive, the early environments of the young terrestrial pl...

  15. Planetary Image Geometry Library (United States)

    Deen, Robert C.; Pariser, Oleg


    The Planetary Image Geometry (PIG) library is a multi-mission library used for projecting images (EDRs, or Experiment Data Records) and managing their geometry for in-situ missions. A collection of models describes cameras and their articulation, allowing application programs such as mosaickers, terrain generators, and pointing correction tools to be written in a multi-mission manner, without any knowledge of parameters specific to the supported missions. Camera model objects allow transformation of image coordinates to and from view vectors in XYZ space. Pointing models, specific to each mission, describe how to orient the camera models based on telemetry or other information. Surface models describe the surface in general terms. Coordinate system objects manage the various coordinate systems involved in most missions. File objects manage access to metadata (labels, including telemetry information) in the input EDRs and RDRs (Reduced Data Records). Label models manage metadata information in output files. Site objects keep track of different locations where the spacecraft might be at a given time. Radiometry models allow correction of radiometry for an image. Mission objects contain basic mission parameters. Pointing adjustment ("nav") files allow pointing to be corrected. The object-oriented structure (C++) makes it easy to subclass just the pieces of the library that are truly mission-specific. Typically, this involves just the pointing model and coordinate systems, and parts of the file model. Once the library was developed (initially for Mars Polar Lander, MPL), adding new missions ranged from two days to a few months, resulting in significant cost savings as compared to rewriting all the application programs for each mission. Currently supported missions include Mars Pathfinder (MPF), MPL, Mars Exploration Rover (MER), Phoenix, and Mars Science Lab (MSL). Applications based on this library create the majority of operational image RDRs for those missions. A

  16. Tsunami geology in paleoseismology (United States)

    Yuichi Nishimura,; Jaffe, Bruce E.


    The 2004 Indian Ocean and 2011 Tohoku-oki disasters dramatically demonstrated the destructiveness and deadliness of tsunamis. For the assessment of future risk posed by tsunamis it is necessary to understand past tsunami events. Recent work on tsunami deposits has provided new information on paleotsunami events, including their recurrence interval and the size of the tsunamis (e.g. [187–189]). Tsunamis are observed not only on the margin of oceans but also in lakes. The majority of tsunamis are generated by earthquakes, but other events that displace water such as landslides and volcanic eruptions can also generate tsunamis. These non-earthquake tsunamis occur less frequently than earthquake tsunamis; it is, therefore, very important to find and study geologic evidence for past eruption and submarine landslide triggered tsunami events, as their rare occurrence may lead to risks being underestimated. Geologic investigations of tsunamis have historically relied on earthquake geology. Geophysicists estimate the parameters of vertical coseismic displacement that tsunami modelers use as a tsunami's initial condition. The modelers then let the simulated tsunami run ashore. This approach suffers from the relationship between the earthquake and seafloor displacement, the pertinent parameter in tsunami generation, being equivocal. In recent years, geologic investigations of tsunamis have added sedimentology and micropaleontology, which focus on identifying and interpreting depositional and erosional features of tsunamis. For example, coastal sediment may contain deposits that provide important information on past tsunami events [190, 191]. In some cases, a tsunami is recorded by a single sand layer. Elsewhere, tsunami deposits can consist of complex layers of mud, sand, and boulders, containing abundant stratigraphic evidence for sediment reworking and redeposition. These onshore sediments are geologic evidence for tsunamis and are called ‘tsunami deposits’ (Figs. 26

  17. The fragility of planetary systems (United States)

    Portegies Zwart, S. F.; Jílková, Lucie


    We specify the range to which perturbations penetrate a planetesimal system. Such perturbations can originate from massive planets or from encounters with other stars. The latter can have an origin in the star cluster in which the planetary system was born, or from random encounters once the planetary system has escaped its parental cluster. The probability of a random encounter, either in a star cluster or in the Galactic field depends on the local stellar density, the velocity dispersion and the time spend in that environment. By adopting order of magnitude estimates, we argue that the majority of planetary systems born in open clusters will have a Parking zone, in which planetesimals are affected by encounters in their parental star cluster but remain unperturbed after the star has left the cluster. Objects found in this range of semimajor axis and eccentricity preserve the memory of the encounter that last affected their orbits, and they can therefore be used to reconstruct this encounter. Planetary systems born in a denser environment, such as in a globular cluster are unlikely to have a Parking zone. We further argue that some planetary systems may have a Frozen zone, in which orbits are not affected either by the more inner massive planets or by external influences. Objects discovered in this zone will have preserved information about their formation in their orbital parameters.

  18. Muon radiography for exploration of Mars geology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Kedar


    Full Text Available Muon radiography is a technique that uses naturally occurring showers of muons (penetrating particles generated by cosmic rays to image the interior of large-scale geological structures in much the same way as standard X-ray radiography is used to image the interior of smaller objects. Recent developments and application of the technique to terrestrial volcanoes have demonstrated that a low-power, passive muon detector can peer deep into geological structures up to several kilometers in size, and provide crisp density profile images of their interior at ten meter scale resolution. Preliminary estimates of muon production on Mars indicate that the near horizontal Martian muon flux, which could be used for muon radiography, is as strong or stronger than that on Earth, making the technique suitable for exploration of numerous high priority geological targets on Mars. The high spatial resolution of muon radiography also makes the technique particularly suited for the discovery and delineation of Martian caverns, the most likely planetary environment for biological activity. As a passive imaging technique, muon radiography uses the perpetually present background cosmic ray radiation as the energy source for probing the interior of structures from the surface of the planet. The passive nature of the measurements provides an opportunity for a low power and low data rate instrument for planetary exploration that could operate as a scientifically valuable primary or secondary instrument in a variety of settings, with minimal impact on the mission's other instruments and operation.

  19. Mars geologic mapping program: Review and highlights (United States)

    Scott, David H.


    The Mars Geologic Mapping (MGM) Program was introduced by NASA in 1987 as a new initiative in the Planetary Geology and Geophysics (PGG) Program. The overall purpose of the program is to support research on topical science problems that address specific questions. Among the objectives of the project are: (1) to produce highly detailed geologic maps that will greatly increase the knowledge of the materials and processes that have contributed to the evolutionary history of Mars; (2) to define areas of special interest for possible future investigation by planned missions (Mars Observer, Mars Sample Return); and (3) to maintain the interest of the planetary community in the development of new concepts and the re-evaluation of Martian geology as new data in usable form become available. Some interesting highlights of the geologic mapping indicate that multiple flood episodes occurred at different times during the Hesperian Period in both Kasei and Maja Valles. Studies of small channels in the Memnonia, Mangala, and Tharsis regions show that fluvial events appear to have occurred during the Amazonian Period at equatorial latitudes. Flood waters occurred during the Amazonian Period at equatorial latitudes. Flood waters from Mangala Valles may have seeped into surficial materials with the subsequent development of numerous sapping channels and debris flows; this suggests that the ancient highland terrain consists of relatively unconsolidated materials. Multiple layers were observed for the first time in the ridged plains lava flows covering large areas of Lunae Planum; some wrinkle ridges in this area are associated with grabens and collapse volcanic units at Hadriaca and Tyrrhena Paterae indicates that the units may have been emplaced by gravity-driven pyroclastic flows. Unlike the north polar layered deposits, those in the south polar region show no angular unconformities or evidence of faulting and folding. Water ice in the south polar layered deposits may be protected

  20. OneGeology - The most appropriate model to achieve access to up-to-date geoscience data using a distributed data system (United States)

    Komac, Marko; Duffy, Tim; Robida, Francois; Harrison, Matt; Allison, Lee


    OneGeology is an initiative of Geological Survey Organisations (GSO) around the globe that dates back to Brighton, UK in 2007. Since then OneGeology has been a leader in developing geological online map data using a new international standard - a geological exchange language known as the 'GeoSciML' (currently version 3.2 exists, which enables instant interoperability of the data). Increased use of this new language allows geological data to be shared and integrated across the planet with other organisations. One of very important goals of OneGeology was a transfer of valuable know-how to the developing world, hence shortening the digital learning curve. In autumn 2013 OneGeology was transformed into a Consortium with a clearly defined governance structure, making its structure more official, its operability more flexible and its membership more open where in addition to GSO also to other type of organisations that manage geoscience data can join and contribute. The next stage of the OneGeology initiative will hence be focused into increasing the openness and richness of that data from individual countries to create a multi-thematic global geological data resource on the rocks beneath our feet. Authoritative information on hazards and minerals will help to prevent natural disasters, explore for resources (water, minerals and energy) and identify risks to human health on a planetary scale. With this new stage also renewed OneGeology objectives were defined and these are 1) to be the provider of geosciences data globally, 2) to ensure exchange of know-how and skills so all can participate, and 3) to use the global profile of 1G to increase awareness of the geosciences and their relevance among professional and general public. We live in a digital world that enables prompt access to vast amounts of open access data. Understanding our world, the geology beneath our feet and environmental challenges related to geology calls for accessibility of geoscience data and OneGeology

  1. Room-temperature semiconductors and scintillators for planetary instruments

    CERN Document Server

    Schweitzer, J S


    Room temperature semiconductors introduce some exciting potential for use in instruments designed for planetary measurements. It is important, however, to consider carefully the different types of measurement environments. In some cases room temperature semiconductors provide significant advantages over scintillators, while in some cases scintillators still have advantages over room temperature semiconductors. A number of instrumentation applications for detecting X-rays and gamma rays are considered. By focusing on the physical properties of both types of detectors, it is possible to better understand how each type of detector can best be used for measurements from satellites and directly on planetary bodies.


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zeng, Li; Jacobsen, Stein B.


    In the past few years, the number of confirmed planets has grown above 2000. It is clear that they represent a diversity of structures not seen in our own solar system. In addition to very detailed interior modeling, it is valuable to have a simple analytical framework for describing planetary structures. The variational principle is a fundamental principle in physics, entailing that a physical system follows the trajectory, which minimizes its action. It is alternative to the differential equation formulation of a physical system. Applying the variational principle to the planetary interior can beautifully summarize the set of differential equations into one, which provides us some insight into the problem. From this principle, a universal mass–radius relation, an estimate of the error propagation from the equation of state to the mass–radius relation, and a form of the virial theorem applicable to planetary interiors are derived.

  3. Planetary life: why and how? (United States)

    Pratt, Andy; Kerr, William


    Understanding life in an astrobiological context requires that we understand why and how life emerged on earth. We report on the elaboration and preliminary testing of our recent model for the origin of life (Pratt, 2011). This model identifies key components, including availability of chemicals and geochemical energy sources, required for the emergence of planetary life. The model is based on the theory (Russell and Kanik, 2010) that life emerged as a mechanism for the dissipation of the intrinsic geochemical energy gradient of the planet. It proposes that life is founded on an ongoing chemical energy flux that can be harnessed more efficiently by autocatalytic networks of reactions than by direct chemical processes. Feedback and selection mechanisms are required to foster the apparently irreducible complexity found in cells. We posit that selective solubilisation in a hydrothermal flow system was a key mechanism that underpinned the emergence of life. Amongst other things, earthly cells are dependent on a combination of organic molecules, iron (for electron-transfer and catalysis) and phosphate (e.g. for digital information). Soluble aqueous systems that include all these components are constrained by precipitation chemistry (de Zwart et al., 2004). We propose that in situ abiological carbon fixation produced organic molecules that, in turn, led to more active carbon fixation catalysts and hence more efficient reduction of carbon oxides. By encapsulating free iron ions, these organic molecules also facilitated the solubilisation of phosphate species which thereby became integrated within this expanding autocatalytic network. We have evaluated the competitive solubility of phosphate species in the presence of iron and organic moieties to test this theory and provide evidence that this could act as positive feedback loop for a form of prebiological evolution that underpinned the emergence of complex cells. References, Pratt, A. J. (2011) Prebiological Evolution and

  4. Alien skies planetary atmospheres from earth to exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Pont, Frédéric J


    Planetary atmospheres are complex and evolving entities, as mankind is rapidly coming to realise whilst attempting to understand, forecast and mitigate human-induced climate change. In the Solar System, our neighbours Venus and Mars provide striking examples of two endpoints of planetary evolution, runaway greenhouse and loss of atmosphere to space. The variety of extra-solar planets brings a wider angle to the issue: from scorching "hot jupiters'' to ocean worlds, exo-atmospheres explore many configurations unknown in the Solar System, such as iron clouds, silicate rains, extreme plate tectonics, and steam volcanoes. Exoplanetary atmospheres have recently become accessible to observations. This book puts our own climate in the wider context of the trials and tribulations of planetary atmospheres. Based on cutting-edge research, it uses a grand tour of the atmospheres of other planets to shine a new light on our own atmosphere, and its relation with life.

  5. Projected future climate changes in the context of geological and geomorphological hazards. (United States)

    Liggins, Felicity; Betts, Richard A; McGuire, Bill


    On palaeoclimate time scales, enhanced levels of geological and geomorphological activity have been linked to climatic factors, including examples of processes that are expected to be important in current and future anthropogenic climate change. Planetary warming leading to increased rainfall, ice-mass loss and rising sea levels is potentially relevant to geospheric responses in many geologically diverse regions. Anthropogenic climate change, therefore, has the potential to alter the risk of geological and geomorphological hazards through the twenty-first century and beyond. Here, we review climate change projections from both global and regional climate models in the context of geohazards. In assessing the potential for geospheric responses to climate change, it appears prudent to consider regional levels of warming of 2 degrees C above average pre-industrial temperature as being potentially unavoidable as an influence on processes requiring a human adaptation response within this century. At the other end of the scale when considering changes that could be avoided by reduction of emissions, scenarios of unmitigated warming exceeding 4 degrees C in the global average include much greater local warming in some regions. However, considerable further work is required to better understand the uncertainties associated with these projections, uncertainties inherent not only in the climate modelling but also in the linkages between climate change and geospheric responses.

  6. Circumstellar Gas in Young Planetary Debris Disks (United States)

    Roberge, A.

    Circumstellar (CS) disks orbiting young stars fall into two categories: primordial disks, composed of unprocessed interstellar dust and gas, and debris disks, produced by the destruction of solid planetary bodies. In the first class, the most abundant gas is H_2; in the second, it appears that the H_2 gas has disappeared, possibly through incorporation into gas giant planets. The lifetime of H_2 gas in a CS disk is therefore of great importance, as it dictates the timescale for the formation of giant planets. FUSE observations of H_2 in CS disk systems have shown that FUV absorption spectroscopy may sensitively probe for small amounts of gas along the line of sight to the star. Most importantly, the FUSE non-detection of H_2 gas in the Beta Pictoris disk suggests that the primordial gas lifetime is less than about 12 Myr, and that gas giant planets must form very quickly. However, this suggestion is based on one system, and needs to be tested in additional systems with a range of ages, especially since there are indications that age is not the only factor in the evolution of a CS disk. We propose for FUSE observations of 3 additional debris disk systems, Fomalhaut, HD3003, and HD2884. Fomalhaut is an intermediate age debris disk, one of the Fabulous Four CS disks first discovered in 1984. The other two disks are younger, with ages similar to that of Beta Pic. All three stars are brighter in the FUV than Beta Pic, permitting us to sensitively probe for traces of H_2 gas. We will also measure the amount of secondary atomic gas produced from planetary bodies in these disks, in an effort to understand the entire evolution of CS gas in young planetary systems.

  7. Summary and abstracts of the Planetary Data Workshop, June 2012 (United States)

    Gaddis, Lisa R.; Hare, Trent; Beyer, Ross


    The recent boom in the volume of digital data returned by international planetary science missions continues to both delight and confound users of those data. In just the past decade, the Planetary Data System (PDS), NASA’s official archive of scientific results from U.S. planetary missions, has seen a nearly 50-fold increase in the amount of data and now serves nearly half a petabyte. In only a handful of years, this volume is expected to approach 1 petabyte (1,000 terabytes or 1 quadrillion bytes). Although data providers, archivists, users, and developers have done a creditable job of providing search functions, download capabilities, and analysis and visualization tools, the new wealth of data necessitates more frequent and extensive discussion among users and developers about their current capabilities and their needs for improved and new tools. A workshop to address these and other topics, “Planetary Data: A Workshop for Users and Planetary Software Developers,” was held June 25–29, 2012, at Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Flagstaff, Arizona. A goal of the workshop was to present a summary of currently available tools, along with hands-on training and how-to guides, for acquiring, processing and working with a variety of digital planetary data. The meeting emphasized presentations by data users and mission providers during days 1 and 2, and developers had the floor on days 4 and 5 using an “unconference” format for day 5. Day 3 featured keynote talks by Laurence Soderblom (U.S. Geological Survey, USGS) and Dan Crichton (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, JPL) followed by a panel discussion, and then research and technical discussions about tools and capabilities under recent or current development. Software and tool demonstrations were held in break-out sessions in parallel with the oral session. Nearly 150 data users and developers from across the globe attended, and 22 National Aeronautics and space Administration (NASA) and non-NASA data providers

  8. SPEX: The spectropolarimeter for planetary EXploration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Snik, F.; Rietjens, J.H.H.; Harten, G. van; Stam, D.M.; Keller, C.U.; Smit, J.M.; Laan, E.C.; Verlaan, A.L.; Horst, R. ter; Navarro, R.; Wielinga, K.; Moon, S.G.; Voors, R.


    SPEX (Spectropolarimeter for Planetary EXploration) is an innovative, compact instrument for spectropolarimetry, and in particular for detecting and characterizing aerosols in planetary atmospheres. With its ∼1-liter volume it is capable of full linear spectropolarimetry, without moving parts. The

  9. Red giants as precursors of planetary nebulae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Renzini, A.


    It is generally accepted that Planetary Nebulae are produced by asymptotic giant-branch stars. Therefore, several properties of planetary nebulae are discussed in the framework of the current theory of stellar evolution. (Auth.)

  10. The role of impact cratering in planetary environmental change and implications for the search for life in the solar system (Invited) (United States)

    Osinski, G. R.


    Beginning in the late 18th century with the work of James Hutton, uniformitarianism emerged as a central tenet of the natural sciences and remained so well into the 20th century. Central to the idea of uniformitarianism is the concept of gradualism whereby processes throughout time occur at the same, or similar rates. In the 20th century, the idea that asteroids and comets have struck, and continue to strike, planetary bodies throughout geological time, has revolutionized our understanding of Solar System history and evolution. Indeed, it is now widely recognized that impact cratering is one of the most important and fundamental geological process in the Solar System. It is also now apparent that impact events have profoundly affected the origin and evolution of Earth, its environment, and the habitability of our planet. The extreme physical conditions (e.g., 10's of thousands of K and 100's of GPa), the concentrated nature of the energy release at a single point on a planetary surface, and the virtually instantaneous nature of the impact process sets apart impact events from all other geological processes. It should not be surprising then that such a rapid geological process can cause rapid environmental change. The destructive geological, environmental, and biological effects of meteorite impact events are well studied and well known. This is largely due to the discovery of the ~180 km diameter Chicxulub impact structure, Mexico, and its link to the mass extinction event that marks the end of the Cretaceous Period 65 Myr. ago. While the main driver for this mass extinction event remains debated, a long list of possible causes of environmental change have been proposed, including: heat from the impact explosion, tsunamis, earthquakes, global forest fires, dust injection in the upper atmosphere, production of vast quantities of N2O, and release of CO2 and sulfur species from the target rocks. Any one of these effects could potentially cause the annihilation of a

  11. Planetary and Light Motions From Newtoinian Theory: An Amusing Exercise


    Nandi, K. K.; Migranov, N. G.; Evans, J. C.; Amedeker, M. K.


    We attempt to see how closely we can formally obtain the planetary and light path equations of General Relativity by employing certain operations on the familiar Newtonian equation. This article is intended neither as an alternative to nor as a tool for grasping Einstein's General Relativity. Though the exercise is understandable by readers at large, it is especially recommended to the teachers of Relativity for an appreciative understanding of its peculiarity as well as its pedagogical value...

  12. GTR Component of Planetary Precession

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    detection of gravitational waves has only augmented their en- thusiasm about the General Theory of Relativity ... the GTR advance of the perihelion of planetary motion about the sun. 1. Introduction. When you throw an ... cury's orbit was estimated to advance by about 565 seconds of an arc per Earth-century. It is also now ...

  13. Geologic Mapping Results for Ceres from NASA's Dawn Mission (United States)

    Williams, D. A.; Mest, S. C.; Buczkowski, D.; Scully, J. E. C.; Raymond, C. A.; Russell, C. T.


    NASA's Dawn Mission included a geologic mapping campaign during its nominal mission at dwarf planet Ceres, including production of a global geologic map and a series of 15 quadrangle maps to determine the variety of process-related geologic materials and the geologic history of Ceres. Our mapping demonstrates that all major planetary geologic processes (impact cratering, volcanism, tectonism, and gradation (weathering-erosion-deposition)) have occurred on Ceres. Ceres crust, composed of altered and NH3-bearing silicates, carbonates, salts and 30-40% water ice, preserves impact craters and all sizes and degradation states, and may represent the remains of the bottom of an ancient ocean. Volcanism is manifested by cryovolcanic domes, such as Ahuna Mons and Cerealia Facula, and by explosive cryovolcanic plume deposits such as the Vinalia Faculae. Tectonism is represented by several catenae extending from Ceres impact basins Urvara and Yalode, terracing in many larger craters, and many localized fractures around smaller craters. Gradation is manifested in a variety of flow-like features caused by mass wasting (landslides), ground ice flows, as well as impact ejecta lobes and melts. We have constructed a chronostratigraphy and geologic timescale for Ceres that is centered around major impact events. Ceres geologic periods include Pre-Kerwanan, Kerwanan, Yalodean/Urvaran, and Azaccan (the time of rayed craters, similar to the lunar Copernican). The presence of geologically young cryovolcanic deposits on Ceres surface suggests that there could be warm melt pockets within Ceres shallow crust and the dwarf planet remain geologically active.

  14. Planetary imaging with amateur astronomical instruments (United States)

    Papathanasopoulos, k.; Giannaris, G.


    Planetary imaging can be varied by the types and size of instruments and processing. With basic amateur telescopes and software, can be captured images of our planetary system, mainly Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, but also solar eclipses, solar flares, and many more. Planetary photos can be useful for professional astronomers, and how amateur astronomers can play a role on that field.

  15. NASA Lunar and Planetary Mapping and Modeling (United States)

    Day, B. H.; Law, E.


    NASA's Lunar and Planetary Mapping and Modeling Portals provide web-based suites of interactive visualization and analysis tools to enable mission planners, planetary scientists, students, and the general public to access mapped lunar data products from past and current missions for the Moon, Mars, and Vesta. New portals for additional planetary bodies are being planned. This presentation will recap significant enhancements to these toolsets during the past year and look forward to the results of the exciting work currently being undertaken. Additional data products and tools continue to be added to the Lunar Mapping and Modeling Portal (LMMP). These include both generalized products as well as polar data products specifically targeting potential sites for the Resource Prospector mission. Current development work on LMMP also includes facilitating mission planning and data management for lunar CubeSat missions, and working with the NASA Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office's Lunar Apollo Sample database in order to help better visualize the geographic contexts from which samples were retrieved. A new user interface provides, among other improvements, significantly enhanced 3D visualizations and navigation. Mars Trek, the project's Mars portal, has now been assigned by NASA's Planetary Science Division to support site selection and analysis for the Mars 2020 Rover mission as well as for the Mars Human Landing Exploration Zone Sites. This effort is concentrating on enhancing Mars Trek with data products and analysis tools specifically requested by the proposing teams for the various sites. Also being given very high priority by NASA Headquarters is Mars Trek's use as a means to directly involve the public in these upcoming missions, letting them explore the areas the agency is focusing upon, understand what makes these sites so fascinating, follow the selection process, and get caught up in the excitement of exploring Mars. The portals also serve as

  16. The International Planetary Data Alliance (IPDA) (United States)

    Stein, Thomas; Gopala Krishna, Barla; Crichton, Daniel J.


    projects and coordinates international collaboration. In executing its mission, the IPDA conducts a number of focused projects to enable interoperability, construction of compatible archives, and the operation of the IPDA as a whole. These projects have helped to establish the IPDA and to move the collaboration forward. A key project that is currently underway is the implementation of the PDS4 data standard. Given the international focus, it has been critical that the PDS and the IPDA collaborate on its development. Also, many other projects have been conducted successfully, including the IPDA Requirements Document, Data Dictionary Modelling, ESA Registry Integration, the Tools Registry, and several demonstrations of interoperability protocols applied to specific missions and data sets (PDS4/PDAP (Planetary Data Access Protocol), Venus Express Interoperability). The IPDA has grown significantly since its first meetings back in November 2006. The steering committee is composed today of 28 members from 24 countries or international organizations. In addition, a technical expert group composed of 20 members from participating countries provides supportive input on technical and compatibility issues. A number of IPDA projects are ongoing, including the creation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) template for international missions; the investigation of IVOA/IPDA (International Virtual Observatory Alliance-IVOA) interaction; PDS4 implementation project; the development of international registries to enable registration and search of data, tools and services; and Chandrayaan-1 interoperability project with PDAP. In addition, the IPDA continues with outreach activities, being present or represented at national and international levels and at meetings such as COSPAR, AGU, EPSC, and EGU. Further information on IPDA activities, standards, and tools are available at the web page Tool and service developers are encouraged to register their products

  17. Geological Services Laboratory (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — Researchers use computed tomography (CT) scanners at NETL’s Geological Services Laboratory in Morgantown, WV, to peer into geologic core samples to determine how...

  18. Geophysics & Geology Inspected. (United States)

    Neale, E. R. W.


    Summarizes findings of a recently published report of the Canadian Geoscience Council, which includes the following topics regarding college geology: facilities; teaching; undergraduate enrollments; postgraduate enrollments; geologic research; and integration of Canadian geoscience with other countries. (CS)

  19. Geology of Uruguay review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez Rifas, C.


    This work is about the Uruguay geology review.This country has been a devoted to breeding cattle and agriculture.The evolution of geological knowledge begun with Dr. Karl Walther who published 53 papers between 1909 and 1948.

  20. The role of biology in planetary evolution: cyanobacterial primary production in low‐oxygen Proterozoic oceans (United States)

    Bryant, Donald A.; Macalady, Jennifer L.


    Summary Understanding the role of biology in planetary evolution remains an outstanding challenge to geobiologists. Progress towards unravelling this puzzle for Earth is hindered by the scarcity of well‐preserved rocks from the Archean (4.0 to 2.5 Gyr ago) and Proterozoic (2.5 to 0.5 Gyr ago) Eons. In addition, the microscopic life that dominated Earth's biota for most of its history left a poor fossil record, consisting primarily of lithified microbial mats, rare microbial body fossils and membrane‐derived hydrocarbon molecules that are still challenging to interpret. However, it is clear from the sulfur isotope record and other geochemical proxies that the production of oxygen or oxidizing power radically changed Earth's surface and atmosphere during the Proterozoic Eon, pushing it away from the more reducing conditions prevalent during the Archean. In addition to ancient rocks, our reconstruction of Earth's redox evolution is informed by our knowledge of biogeochemical cycles catalysed by extant biota. The emergence of oxygenic photosynthesis in ancient cyanobacteria represents one of the most impressive microbial innovations in Earth's history, and oxygenic photosynthesis is the largest source of O 2 in the atmosphere today. Thus the study of microbial metabolisms and evolution provides an important link between extant biota and the clues from the geologic record. Here, we consider the physiology of cyanobacteria (the only microorganisms capable of oxygenic photosynthesis), their co‐occurrence with anoxygenic phototrophs in a variety of environments and their persistence in low‐oxygen environments, including in water columns as well as mats, throughout much of Earth's history. We examine insights gained from both the rock record and cyanobacteria presently living in early Earth analogue ecosystems and synthesize current knowledge of these ancient microbial mediators in planetary redox evolution. Our analysis supports the hypothesis that anoxygenic

  1. The NASA Regional Planetary Image Facility (RPIF) Network: A Key Resource for Accessing and Using Planetary Spatial Data (United States)

    Hagerty, J. J.


    visualizing planetary data and products (e.g., 3D printing and virtual reality platforms/experiences). We anticipate that in a few years virtual reality tools will be an integral part of data analysis, providing more intuitive understanding of multiple complex data sets.

  2. Unstable Planetary Systems Emerging Out of Gas Disks (United States)

    Matsumura, Soko; Thommes, Edward W.; Chatterjee, Sourav; Rasio, Frederic A.


    The discovery of over 400 extrasolar planets allows us to statistically test our understanding of the formation and dynamics of planetary systems via numerical simulations. Traditional N-body simulations of multiple-planet systems without gas disks have successfully reproduced the eccentricity (e) distribution of the observed systems by assuming that the planetary systems are relatively closely packed when the gas disk dissipates, so that they become dynamically unstable within the stellar lifetime. However, such studies cannot explain the small semimajor axes a of extrasolar planetary systems, if planets are formed, as the standard planet formation theory suggests, beyond the ice line. In this paper, we numerically study the evolution of three-planet systems in dissipating gas disks, and constrain the initial conditions that reproduce the observed a and e distributions simultaneously. We adopt initial conditions that are motivated by the standard planet formation theory, and self-consistently simulate the disk evolution and planet migration, by using a hybrid N-body and one-dimensional gas disk code. We also take into account eccentricity damping, and investigate the effect of saturation of corotation resonances on the evolution of planetary systems. We find that the a distribution is largely determined in a gas disk, while the e distribution is determined after the disk dissipation. We also find that there may be an optimum disk mass which leads to the observed a-e distribution. Our simulations generate a larger fraction of planetary systems trapped in mean-motion resonances (MMRs) than the observations, indicating that the disk's perturbation to the planetary orbits may be important to explain the observed rate of MMRs. We also find a much lower occurrence of planets on retrograde orbits than the current observations of close-in planets suggest.

  3. Techniques for Engaging the Public in Planetary Science (United States)

    Shupla, Christine; Shaner, Andrew; Smith Hackler, Amanda


    Public audiences are often curious about planetary science. Scientists and education and public engagement specialists can leverage this interest to build scientific literacy. This poster will highlight research-based techniques the authors have tested with a variety of audiences, and are disseminating to planetary scientists through trainings.Techniques include:Make it personal. Audiences are interested in personal stories, which can capture the excitement, joy, and challenges that planetary scientists experience in their research. Audiences can learn more about the nature of science by meeting planetary scientists and hearing personal stories about their motivations, interests, and how they conduct research.Share relevant connections. Most audiences have very limited understanding of the solar system and the features and compositions of planetary bodies, but they enjoy learning about those objects they can see at night and factors that connect to their culture or local community.Demonstrate concepts. Some concepts can be clarified with analogies, but others can be demonstrated or modeled with materials. Demonstrations that are messy, loud, or that yield surprising results are particularly good at capturing an audience’s attention, but if they don’t directly relate to the key concept, they can serve as a distraction.Give them a role. Audience participation is an important engagement technique. In a presentation, scientists can invite the audience to respond to questions, pause to share their thoughts with a neighbor, or vote on an answer. Audiences can respond physically to prompts, raising hands, pointing, or clapping, or even moving to different locations in the room.Enable the audience to conduct an activity. People learn best by doing and by teaching others; simple hands-on activities in which the audience is discovering something themselves can be extremely effective at engaging audiences.This poster will cite examples of each technique, resources that

  4. Employing Geodatabases for Planetary Mapping Conduct - Requirements, Concepts and Solutions (United States)

    vanGasselt, Stephan; Nass, A.


    Planetary geologic mapping has become complex in terms of merging and co-registering a variety of different datasets for analysis and mapping. But it has also become more convenient when it comes to conducting actual (geoscientific) mapping with the help of desktop Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The complexity and variety of data, however, are major issues that need to be taken care of in order to provide mappers with a consistent and easy-to-use mapping basis. Furthermore, a high degree of functionality and interoperability of various commercial and open-source GIS and remote sensing applications allow mappers to organize map data, map components and attribute data in a more sophisticated and intuitional way when compared to workflows 15 years ago. Integration of mapping results of different groups becomes an awkward task as each mapper follows his/her own style, especially if mapping conduct is not coordinated and organized programmatically. Problems of data homogenization start with various interpretations and implementations of planetary map projections and reference systems which form the core component of any mapping and analysis work. If the data basis is inconsistent, mapping results in terms of objects georeference become hard to integrate. Apart from data organization and referencing issues, which are important on the mapping as well as the data-processing side of every project, the organization of planetary geologic map units and attributes, as well as their representation within a common GIS environment, are key components that need to be taken care of in a consistent and persistent way.

  5. The planetary biology of cytochrome P450 aromatases. (United States)

    Gaucher, Eric A; Graddy, Logan G; Li, Tang; Simmen, Rosalia C M; Simmen, Frank A; Schreiber, David R; Liberles, David A; Janis, Christine M; Benner, Steven A


    Joining a model for the molecular evolution of a protein family to the paleontological and geological records (geobiology), and then to the chemical structures of substrates, products, and protein folds, is emerging as a broad strategy for generating hypotheses concerning function in a post-genomic world. This strategy expands systems biology to a planetary context, necessary for a notion of fitness to underlie (as it must) any discussion of function within a biomolecular system. Here, we report an example of such an expansion, where tools from planetary biology were used to analyze three genes from the pig Sus scrofa that encode cytochrome P450 aromatases-enzymes that convert androgens into estrogens. The evolutionary history of the vertebrate aromatase gene family was reconstructed. Transition redundant exchange silent substitution metrics were used to interpolate dates for the divergence of family members, the paleontological record was consulted to identify changes in physiology that correlated in time with the change in molecular behavior, and new aromatase sequences from peccary were obtained. Metrics that detect changing function in proteins were then applied, including KA/KS values and those that exploit structural biology. These identified specific amino acid replacements that were associated with changing substrate and product specificity during the time of presumed adaptive change. The combined analysis suggests that aromatase paralogs arose in pigs as a result of selection for Suoidea with larger litters than their ancestors, and permitted the Suoidea to survive the global climatic trauma that began in the Eocene. This combination of bioinformatics analysis, molecular evolution, paleontology, cladistics, global climatology, structural biology, and organic chemistry serves as a paradigm in planetary biology. As the geological, paleontological, and genomic records improve, this approach should become widely useful to make systems biology statements about

  6. The planetary biology of cytochrome P450 aromatases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaucher Eric A


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Joining a model for the molecular evolution of a protein family to the paleontological and geological records (geobiology, and then to the chemical structures of substrates, products, and protein folds, is emerging as a broad strategy for generating hypotheses concerning function in a post-genomic world. This strategy expands systems biology to a planetary context, necessary for a notion of fitness to underlie (as it must any discussion of function within a biomolecular system. Results Here, we report an example of such an expansion, where tools from planetary biology were used to analyze three genes from the pig Sus scrofa that encode cytochrome P450 aromatases–enzymes that convert androgens into estrogens. The evolutionary history of the vertebrate aromatase gene family was reconstructed. Transition redundant exchange silent substitution metrics were used to interpolate dates for the divergence of family members, the paleontological record was consulted to identify changes in physiology that correlated in time with the change in molecular behavior, and new aromatase sequences from peccary were obtained. Metrics that detect changing function in proteins were then applied, including KA/KS values and those that exploit structural biology. These identified specific amino acid replacements that were associated with changing substrate and product specificity during the time of presumed adaptive change. The combined analysis suggests that aromatase paralogs arose in pigs as a result of selection for Suoidea with larger litters than their ancestors, and permitted the Suoidea to survive the global climatic trauma that began in the Eocene. Conclusions This combination of bioinformatics analysis, molecular evolution, paleontology, cladistics, global climatology, structural biology, and organic chemistry serves as a paradigm in planetary biology. As the geological, paleontological, and genomic records improve, this approach should

  7. From red giants to planetary nebulae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kwok, S.


    The transition from red giants to planetary nebulae is studied by comparing the spectral characteristics of red giant envelopes and planetary nebulae. Observational and theoretical evidence both suggest that remnants of red giant envelopes may still be present in planetary nebula systems and should have significant effects on their formation. The dynamical effects of the interaction of stellar winds from central stars of planetary nebulae with the remnant red giant envelopes are evaluated and the mechanism found to be capable of producing the observed masses and momenta of planetary nebulae. The observed mass-radii relation of planetary nebulae may also be best explained by the interacting winds model. The possibility that red giant mass loss, and therefore the production of planetary nebulae, is different between Population I and II systems is also discussed

  8. Shape, structure, and morphology in planetary nebulae (United States)

    Shaw, Richard A.


    A revival over the past two decades in planetary nebula (PN) morphological studies springs from a combination of factors, including the advent of wide-area, high dynamic range detectors; the growing archives of high resolution images from the X-ray to the sub-mm; and the advent of sophisticated models of the co-evolution of PNe and their central stars. Yet the story of PN formation from their immediate precursors, the AGB stars, is not yet fully written. PN morphology continues to inspire, provide context for physical interpretation, and serve as an ultimate standard of comparison for many investigations in this area of astrophysics. After a brief review of the remarkable successes of PN morphology, I summarize how this tool has been employed over the last half-decade to advance our understanding of PNe.

  9. Teaching, Learning, and Planetary Exploration (United States)

    Brown, Robert A.


    This is the final report of a program that examined the fundamentals of education associated with space activities, promoted educational policy development in appropriate forums, and developed pathfinder products and services to demonstrate the utility of advanced communication technologies for space-based education. Our focus was on space astrophysics and planetary exploration, with a special emphasis on the themes of the Origins Program, with which the Principal Investigator (PI) had been involved from the outset. Teaching, Learning, and Planetary Exploration was also the core funding of the Space Telescope Science Institute's (ST ScI) Special Studies Office (SSO), and as such had provided basic support for such important NASA studies as the fix for Hubble Space Telescope (HST) spherical aberration, scientific conception of the HST Advanced Camera, specification of the Next-Generation Space Telescope (NGST), and the strategic plan for the second decade of the HST science program.

  10. The PSA: Planetary Science Archive (United States)

    Barthelemy, M.; Martinez, S.; Heather, D.; Vazquez, J. L.; Arviset, C.; Osuna, P.; PSA development Team


    Scientific and engineering data from ESA's planetary missions are made accessible to the world-wide scientific community via the Planetary Science Archive (PSA). The PSA consists of online services incorporating search, preview, download, notification and delivery basket functionality. Besides data from the GIOTTO spacecraft and several ground-based cometary observations, the PSA contains data from the Mars Express, Venus Express, Rosetta, SMART-1 and Huygens missions. The focus of the PSA activities is on the long-term preservation of data and knowledge from ESA's planetary missions. Scientific users can access the data online using several interfaces: - The Advanced Search Interface allows complex parameter based queries, providing the end user with a facility to complete very specific searches on meta-data and geometrical parameters. By nature, this interface requires careful use and heavy interaction with the end-user to input and control the relevant search parameters. - The Map-based Interface is currently operational only for Mars Express HRCS and OMEGA data. This interface allows an end-user to specify a region-of-interest by dragging a box onto a base map of Mars. From this interface, it is possible to directly visualize query results. The Map-based and Advanced interfaces are linked and cross-compatible. If a user defines a region-of-interest in the Map-based interface, the results can be refined by entering more detailed search parameters in the Advanced interface. - The FTP Browser Interface is designed for more experienced users, and allows for direct browsing and access of the data set content through ftp-tree search. Each dataset contains documentation and calibration information in addition to the scientific or engineering data. All data are prepared by the corresponding instrument teams, mostly located in Europe. PSA supports the instrument teams in the full archiving process, from the definition of the data products, meta-data and product labels

  11. The geological attitude

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fuller, J.G.C.M.


    This paper discusses geological activity which takes place mainly in response to industrial and social pressures. Past geological reaction to these pressures profoundly altered popular conceptions of time, the Church, man, and the balance of nature. The present-day circumstances of geology are not essentially different from those of the past. Petroleum geology in North American illustrates the role of technology in determining the style and scope of geological work. Peaks of activity cluster obviously on the introduction from time to time of new instrumental capabilities (geophysical apparatus, for example), although not infrequently such activity is testing concepts or relationships perceived long before. Organic metamorphism and continental drift provide two examples. The petroleum industry now faces the dilemma of satisfying predicted demands for fuel, without doing irreparable injury to its environment of operation. Awareness of man's place in nature, which is a fundamental perception of geology, governs the geological attitude

  12. Numerical models of planetary dynamos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glatzmaier, G.A.; Roberts, P.H.


    We describe a nonlinear, axisymmetric, spherical-shell model of planetary dynamos. This intermediate-type dynamo model requires a prescribed helicity field (the alpha effect) and a prescribed buoyancy force or thermal wind (the omega effect) and solves for the axisymmetric time-dependent magnetic and velocity fields. Three very different time dependent solutions are obtained from different prescribed sets of alpha and omega fields

  13. Stream Lifetimes Against Planetary Encounters (United States)

    Valsecchi, G. B.; Lega, E.; Froeschle, Cl.


    We study, both analytically and numerically, the perturbation induced by an encounter with a planet on a meteoroid stream. Our analytical tool is the extension of pik s theory of close encounters, that we apply to streams described by geocentric variables. The resulting formulae are used to compute the rate at which a stream is dispersed by planetary encounters into the sporadic background. We have verified the accuracy of the analytical model using a numerical test.

  14. Planetary rovers and data fusion


    Masuku, Anthony Dumisani


    This research will investigate the problem of position estimation for planetary rovers. Diverse algorithmic filters are available for collecting input data and transforming that data to useful information for the purpose of position estimation process. The terrain has sandy soil which might cause slipping of the robot, and small stones and pebbles which can affect trajectory. The Kalman Filter, a state estimation algorithm was used for fusing the sensor data to improve the p...

  15. Evolution of planetary nebula nuclei

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shaw, R.A.


    The evolution of planetary nebula nuclei (PNNs) is examined with the aid of the most recent available stellar evolution calculations and new observations of these objects. Their expected distribution in the log L-log T plane is calculated based upon the stellar evolutionary models of Paczynski, Schoenberner and Iben, the initial mass function derived by Miller and Scalo, and various assumptions concerning mass loss during post-main sequence evolution. The distribution is found to be insensitive both to the assumed range of main-sequence progenitor mass and to reasonable variations in the age and the star forming history of the galactic disk. Rather, the distribution is determined by the strong dependence of the rate of stellar evolution upon core mass, the steepness of the initial mass function, and to a lesser extent the finite lifetime of an observable planetary nebula. The theoretical distributions are rather different than any of those inferred from earlier observations. Possible observational selection effects that may be responsible are examined, as well as the intrinsic uncertainties associated with the theoretical model predictions. An extensive photometric and smaller photographic survey of southern hemisphere planetary nebulae (PNs) is presented

  16. The planetary spatial data infrastructure for the OSIRIS-REx mission (United States)

    DellaGiustina, D. N.; Selznick, S.; Nolan, M. C.; Enos, H. L.; Lauretta, D. S.


    The primary objective of the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission is to return a pristine sample of carbonaceous material from primitive asteroid (101955) Bennu. Understanding the geospatial context of Bennu is critical to choosing a sample-site and also linking the nature of the sample to the global properties of Bennu and the broader asteroid population. We established a planetary spatial data infrastructure (PSDI) support the primary objective of OSIRIS-REx. OSIRIS-REx is unique among planetary missions in that all remote sensing is performed to support the sample return objective. Prior to sampling, OSIRIS-REx will survey Bennu for nearly two years to select and document the most valuable primary and backup sample sites. During this period, the mission will combine coordinated observations from five science instruments into four thematic maps: deliverability, safety, sampleability, and scientific value. The deliverability map assesses the probability that the flight dynamics team can deliver the spacecraft to the desired location. The safety map indicates the probability that physical hazards are present at the sample-site. The sampleability map quantifies the probability that a sample can be successfully collected from the surface. Finally, the scientific value map shows the probability that the collected sample contains organics and volatiles and also places the sample site in a definitive geological context relative to Bennu's history. The OSIRIS-REx Science Processing and Operations Center (SPOC) serves as the operational PSDI for the mission. The SPOC is tasked with intake of all data from the spacecraft and other ground sources and assimilating these data into a single comprehensive system for processing and presentation. The SPOC centralizes all geographic data of Bennu in a relational database and ensures that standardization and provenance are maintained throughout proximity

  17. Soft-Bodied Fossils Are Not Simply Rotten Carcasses – Toward a Holistic Understanding of Exceptional Fossil Preservation:Exceptional Fossil Preservation Is Complex and Involves the Interplay of Numerous Biological and Geological Processes


    Parry, Luke A.; Smithwick, Fiann; Nordén, Klara K.; Saitta, Evan T.; Lozano-Fernandez, Jesus; Tanner, Alastair R.; Caron, Jean Bernard; Edgecombe, Gregory D.; Briggs, Derek E.G.; Vinther, Jakob


    Exceptionally preserved fossils are the product of complex interplays of biological and geological processes including burial, autolysis and microbial decay, authigenic mineralization, diagenesis, metamorphism, and finally weathering and exhumation. Determining which tissues are preserved and how biases affect their preservation pathways is important for interpreting fossils in phylogenetic, ecological, and evolutionary frameworks. Although laboratory decay experiments reveal important aspect...

  18. Geologic map of Io (United States)

    Williams, David A.; Keszthelyi, Laszlo P.; Crown, David A.; Yff, Jessica A.; Jaeger, Windy L.; Schenk, Paul M.; Geissler, Paul E.; Becker, Tammy L.


    Io, discovered by Galileo Galilei on January 7–13, 1610, is the innermost of the four Galilean satellites of the planet Jupiter (Galilei, 1610). It is the most volcanically active object in the Solar System, as recognized by observations from six National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) spacecraft: Voyager 1 (March 1979), Voyager 2 (July 1979), Hubble Space Telescope (1990–present), Galileo (1996–2001), Cassini (December 2000), and New Horizons (February 2007). The lack of impact craters on Io in any spacecraft images at any resolution attests to the high resurfacing rate (1 cm/yr) and the dominant role of active volcanism in shaping its surface. High-temperature hot spots detected by the Galileo Solid-State Imager (SSI), Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS), and Photopolarimeter-Radiometer (PPR) usually correlate with darkest materials on the surface, suggesting active volcanism. The Voyager flybys obtained complete coverage of Io's subjovian hemisphere at 500 m/pixel to 2 km/pixel, and most of the rest of the satellite at 5–20 km/pixel. Repeated Galileo flybys obtained complementary coverage of Io's antijovian hemisphere at 5 m/pixel to 1.4 km/pixel. Thus, the Voyager and Galileo data sets were merged to enable the characterization of the whole surface of the satellite at a consistent resolution. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) produced a set of four global mosaics of Io in visible wavelengths at a spatial resolution of 1 km/pixel, released in February 2006, which we have used as base maps for this new global geologic map. Much has been learned about Io's volcanism, tectonics, degradation, and interior since the Voyager flybys, primarily during and following the Galileo Mission at Jupiter (December 1995–September 2003), and the results have been summarized in books published after the end of the Galileo Mission. Our mapping incorporates this new understanding to assist in map unit definition and to provide a global synthesis

  19. Maps of geologically informative Pb isotope parameters (United States)

    Albarede, F.; Delile, H.; Bouchet, R. A.; Blichert-Toft, J.


    The development of large seismic arrays and the large throughput of MC-ICP-MS are providing new impetus to the integration of seismic tomography data (VP, VS, attenuation, shear-wave splitting), geophysical maps (heat flow), and geochemical maps with geology. Synoptic representation of geochemical data started nearly 50 years ago with Hurley and others, who demonstrated that time-integrated parent/daughter ratios (Rb/Sr, U/Pb, Sm/Nd) and apparent crustal residence times inferred from the isotope compositions of radiogenic elements in felsic magmas and metamorphic rocks could be used to identify tectonic provinces. Geochemical parameters derived from such long-lived radioactive isotopic systems are far less noisy than raw trace element ratios in the same rocks: for example, measured uranium concentrations are severely biased by the transit of samples through the water table during erosive exhumation. The U-Th-Pb isotope system is particularly powerful. However, georeferenced geochemical databases are still incomplete. We recently began to map at the continental scale the Pb isotope compositions into axes with geologically informative content: the two-stage Pb model age, which dates the closure of the U-Pb chronometer, and the time-integrated U/Pb (mu) and Th/U (kappa) ratios of the Pb source [1]. Maps of model ages essentially depict the maximum extension of the ~600°C isotherm. Because rocks from granulite facies terranes tend to have Th/U higher than the planetary value of 3.88, maps of kappa ratios track the rise of lower crustal material and its melts. We compiled maps of the above-mentioned Pb parameters from the archeological OXALID database (Western Europe) [2] and localized its samples and from Mamani et al.'s [3] database for the Central Andes. For the Western US, we used NAVDAT ( for Cenozoic continental felsic igneous rocks and added ore data from the literature (Bouchet et al., this meeting). In all cases, we found that the

  20. Collisional stripping of planetary crusts (United States)

    Carter, Philip J.; Leinhardt, Zoë M.; Elliott, Tim; Stewart, Sarah T.; Walter, Michael J.


    Geochemical studies of planetary accretion and evolution have invoked various degrees of collisional erosion to explain differences in bulk composition between planets and chondrites. Here we undertake a full, dynamical evaluation of 'crustal stripping' during accretion and its key geochemical consequences. Crusts are expected to contain a significant fraction of planetary budgets of incompatible elements, which include the major heat producing nuclides. We present smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations of collisions between differentiated rocky planetesimals and planetary embryos. We find that the crust is preferentially lost relative to the mantle during impacts, and we have developed a scaling law based on these simulations that approximates the mass of crust that remains in the largest remnant. Using this scaling law and a recent set of N-body simulations of terrestrial planet formation, we have estimated the maximum effect of crustal stripping on incompatible element abundances during the accretion of planetary embryos. We find that on average approximately one third of the initial crust is stripped from embryos as they accrete, which leads to a reduction of ∼20% in the budgets of the heat producing elements if the stripped crust does not reaccrete. Erosion of crusts can lead to non-chondritic ratios of incompatible elements, but the magnitude of this effect depends sensitively on the details of the crust-forming melting process on the planetesimals. The Lu/Hf system is fractionated for a wide range of crustal formation scenarios. Using eucrites (the products of planetesimal silicate melting, thought to represent the crust of Vesta) as a guide to the Lu/Hf of planetesimal crust partially lost during accretion, we predict the Earth could evolve to a superchondritic 176Hf/177Hf (3-5 parts per ten thousand) at present day. Such values are in keeping with compositional estimates of the bulk Earth. Stripping of planetary crusts during accretion can lead to

  1. Concept selection for a planetary reflection-seismology system with multiple end-user requirements and mission constraints

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Batenburg, P.A.W.; Gill, E.K.A.; Drijkoningen, G.G.; Toxopeus, G.J.


    A study was performed to determine the feasibility of reflection seismology for planetary geology taking into account present-day technology advances. An approach based on end-user requirements was applied to assure the scientific usefulness of the results. Thirty applications of a

  2. Crossing the Boundaries in Planetary Atmospheres - From Earth to Exoplanets (United States)

    Simon-Miller, Amy A.; Genio, Anthony Del


    The past decade has been an especially exciting time to study atmospheres, with a renaissance in fundamental studies of Earths general circulation and hydrological cycle, stimulated by questions about past climates and the urgency of projecting the future impacts of humankinds activities. Long-term spacecraft and Earth-based observation of solar system planets have now reinvigorated the study of comparative planetary climatology. The explosion in discoveries of planets outside our solar system has made atmospheric science integral to understanding the diversity of our solar system and the potential habitability of planets outside it. Thus, the AGU Chapman Conference Crossing the Boundaries in Planetary Atmospheres From Earth to Exoplanets, held in Annapolis, MD from June 24-27, 2013 gathered Earth, solar system, and exoplanet scientists to share experiences, insights, and challenges from their individual disciplines, and discuss areas in which thinking broadly might enhance our fundamental understanding of how atmospheres work.

  3. Studies of the Origin of Compact Planetary Systems (United States)

    Nesvorny, David

    The majority of planets discovered by the Kepler telescope are super-Earth and miniNeptunes in close-in multiplanet systems. The orbits are often closely packed together, typically non-resonant, and expected to be nearly circular and nearly co-planar. The prevalence of these systems in the Kepler dataset suggests that they may represent the main channel of planetary formation in the Galaxy. It is unsettling that we do not know how these planetary systems form. This is one of the most fundamental unanswered questions in planetary science. Here we propose to study several formation models, including a new model in which planets efficiently form by accretion of small bodies (pebbles, boulders) drifting to the inner parts of the protoplanetary disk by aerodynamic gas drag. Our main goal is to understand the dynamics of growing protoplanets as they gravitationally interact among themselves and with the gas disk. The research will be conducted with a numerical code, FargoSyMBA, that we developed to this purpose. The new code is based on the hydrodynamical code known as Fargo, which we interfaced with an efficient N-body integrator known as SyMBA. The specific result that we will obtain in the work proposed here is how the number, masses and orbits of planets in the assembled systems depend on model parameters, and how these properties compare with observations. The general impact of the proposed work will be significant in that it will help us to better understand how planetary systems form, and what is the role of migration in their assembly. This is one of the central research themes in planetary science. Relevance to NASA Strategic Goals and the Exoplanets Research Program The proposed research is fundamental to understanding the formation and early evolution of exoplanetary systems. This is a central theme of NASA's Strategic Goals and the Exoplanets Research program. Specifically, the NRA for the Exoplanets Research program states that the program "solicits basic

  4. Planetary and light motions from Newtonian theory: an amusing exercise

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nandi, K K; Migranov, N G; Evans, J C; Amedeker, M K


    We attempt to see how closely we can formally obtain the planetary and light path equations of general relativity by employing certain operations on the familiar Newtonian equation. This paper is intended neither as an alternative to nor as a tool for grasping Einstein's general relativity. Though the exercise can be understood by readers at large, it is especially recommended to teachers of relativity for an appreciative understanding of its peculiarity as well as its pedagogical value in the teaching of differential equations

  5. Environmental geology and hydrology (United States)

    Nakić, Zoran; Mileusnić, Marta; Pavlić, Krešimir; Kovač, Zoran


    Environmental geology is scientific discipline dealing with the interactions between humans and the geologic environment. Many natural hazards, which have great impact on humans and their environment, are caused by geological settings. On the other hand, human activities have great impact on the physical environment, especially in the last decades due to dramatic human population growth. Natural disasters often hit densely populated areas causing tremendous death toll and material damage. Demand for resources enhanced remarkably, as well as waste production. Exploitation of mineral resources deteriorate huge areas of land, produce enormous mine waste and pollute soil, water and air. Environmental geology is a broad discipline and only selected themes will be presented in the following subchapters: (1) floods as natural hazard, (2) water as geological resource and (3) the mining and mineral processing as types of human activities dealing with geological materials that affect the environment and human health.

  6. Geology of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soderblom, L.A.


    The geology of Mars and the results of the Mariner 4, 6/7, and 9 missions and the Viking mission are reviewed. The Mars chronology and geologic modification are examined, including chronological models for the inactive planet, the active planet, and crater flux. The importance of surface materials is discussed and a multispectral map of Mars is presented. Suggestions are given for further studies of the geology of Mars using the Viking data. 5 references

  7. Institute of Geophysics, Planetary Physics, and Signatures (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Institute of Geophysics, Planetary Physics, and Signatures at Los Alamos National Laboratory is committed to promoting and supporting high quality, cutting-edge...

  8. Sealed Planetary Return Canister (SPRC), Phase I (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Sample return missions have primary importance in future planetary missions. A basic requirement is that samples be returned in pristine, uncontaminated condition,...

  9. Polarimetry of stars and planetary systems

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kolokolova, Ludmilla; Hough, James; Levasseur-Regourd, Anny-Chantal


    ... fields of polarimetric exploration, including proto-planetary and debris discs, icy satellites, transneptunian objects, exoplanets and the search for extraterrestrial life -- unique results produced...

  10. Sealed Planetary Return Canister (SPRC), Phase II (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Sample return missions have primary importance in future planetary missions. A basic requirement is that samples be returned in pristine, uncontaminated condition,...

  11. Public Participation in Planetary Exploration (United States)

    Friedman, Louis


    In the past several years The Planetary Society has created several innovative opportunities for general public participation in the exploration of the solar system and the search for extraterrestrial life. The conduct of such exploration has traditionally been the province of a few thousand, at most, of professionally involved scientists and engineers. Yet the rationale for spending resources required by broad and far-reaching exploration involves a greater societal interest - it frequently being noted that the rationale cannot rely on science alone. This paper reports on the more notable of the opportunities for general public participation, in particular: 1) Visions of Mars: a CD containing the works of science fiction about Mars, designed to be placed on Mars as the first library to be found by eventual human explorers; 2) MAPEX: a Microelectronics And Photonics Experiment, measuring the radiation environment for future human explorers of Mars, and containing a electron beam lithograph of names of all the members of The Planetary Society at a particular time; 3) Naming of spacecraft: Involvement in the naming of spacecraft: Magellan, Sojourner; 4) The Mars Microphone: the first privately funded instrument to be sent to another world; 5) Red Rover Goes to Mars: the first commercial-education partnership on a planetary mission; 6) Student designed nanoexperiments: to fly on a Mars lander; and 7) SETI@home: a tool permitting millions to contribute to research and data processing in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. A brief description of each of the projects will be given, and the opportunity it provided for public participation described. The evolving complexity of these projects suggest that more opportunities will be found, and that the role of public participation can increase at the same time as making substantive contributions to the flight missions. It will be suggested that these projects presage the day that planetary exploration will be truly

  12. Planetary Radars Operating Centre PROC (United States)

    Catallo, C.; Flamini, E.; Seu, R.; Alberti, G.


    Planetary exploration by means of radar systems, mainly using Ground Penetrating Radars (GPR) plays an important role in Italy. Numerous scientific international space programs are currently carried out jointly with ESA and NASA by Italian Space Agency, the scientific community and the industry. Three important experiments under Italian leadership ( designed and manufactured by the Italian industry), provided by ASI either as contribution to ESA programs either within a NASA/ASI joint venture framework, are now operating: MARSIS on-board Mars Express, SHARAD on-board Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and CASSINI Radar on-board Cassini spacecraft. In order to support all the scientific communities, institutional customers and experiment teams operation three Italian dedicated operational centers have been realized, namely SHOC, (Sharad Operating Centre), MOC (Marsis Operating Center) and CASSINI PAD ( Processing Altimetry Data). Each center is dedicated to a single instrument management and control, data processing and distribution. Although they had been conceived to operate autonomously and independently one from each other, synergies and overlaps have been envisaged leading to the suggestion of a unified center, the Planetary Radar Processing Center (PROC). PROC is conceived in order to include the three operational centers, namely SHOC, MOC and CASSINI PAD, either from logistics point of view and from HW/SW capabilities point of view. The Planetary Radar Processing Center shall be conceived as the Italian support facility to the scientific community for on-going and future Italian planetary exploration programs. Therefore, scalability, easy use and management shall be the design drivers. The paper describes how PROC is designed and developed, to allow SHOC, MOC and CASSINI PAD to operate as before, and to offer improved functionalities to increase capabilities, mainly in terms of data exchange, comparison, interpretation and exploitation. Furthermore, in the frame of

  13. Updating the planetary time scale: focus on Mars (United States)

    Tanaka, Kenneth L.; Quantin-Nataf, Cathy


    Formal stratigraphic systems have been developed for the surface materials of the Moon, Mars, Mercury, and the Galilean satellite Ganymede. These systems are based on geologic mapping, which establishes relative ages of surfaces delineated by superposition, morphology, impact crater densities, and other relations and features. Referent units selected from the mapping determine time-stratigraphic bases and/or representative materials characteristic of events and periods for definition of chronologic units. Absolute ages of these units in some cases can be estimated using crater size-frequency data. For the Moon, the chronologic units and cratering record are calibrated by radiometric ages measured from samples collected from the lunar surface. Model ages for other cratered planetary surfaces are constructed primarily by estimating cratering rates relative to that of the Moon. Other cratered bodies with estimated surface ages include Venus and the Galilean satellites of Jupiter. New global geologic mapping and crater dating studies of Mars are resulting in more accurate and detailed reconstructions of its geologic history.

  14. Quality assurance for geologic investigations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delvin, W.L.; Gustafson, L.D.


    A quality assurance handbook was written to provide guidance in the application of quality assurance to geologic work activities associated with the National Waste Terminal Storage (NWTS) Program. It is intended to help geoscientists and NWTS program managers in applying quality assurance to their work activitie and projects by showing how technical and quality assurance practices are integrated to provide control within those activities and projects. The use of the guidance found in this handbook should help provide consistency in the interpretation of quality assurance requirements across the various geologic activities within the NWTS Program. This handbook also can assist quality assurance personnel in understanding the relationships between technical and quality assurance practices. This paper describes the handbook

  15. Origins of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona (United States)

    Cruikshank, Dale P.; Hartmann, William K.


    The roots of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) extend deep into the rich fabric of G. P. Kuiper’s view of the Earth as a planet and planetary systems as expected companions to most stars, as well as the post-war emergent technology of infrared detectors suitable for astronomy. These concepts and events began with Kuiper’s theoretical work at Yerkes Observatory on the origin of the Solar System, his discovery of two planetary satellites and observational work with his near-infrared spectrometer on the then-new McDonald 82-inch telescope in the mid- to late-1940s. A grant for the production of a photographic atlas of the Moon in the mid-1950s enabled him to assemble the best existing images of the Moon and acquire new photographs. This brought E. A. Whitaker and D. W. G. Arthur to Yerkes. Others who joined in the lunar work were geologist Carl S. Huzzen and grad student E. P. Moore, as well as undergrad summer students A. B. Binder and D. P. Cruikshank (both in 1958). The Atlas was published in 1959, and work began on an orthographic lunar atlas. Kuiper’s view of planetary science as an interdisciplinary enterprise encompassing astronomy, geology, and atmospheric physics inspired his vision of a research institution and an academic curriculum tuned to the combination of all the scientific disciplines embraced in a comprehensive study of the planets. Arrangements were made with the University of Arizona (UA) to establish LPL in affiliation with the widely recognized Inst. of Atmospheric Physics. Kuiper moved to the UA in late 1960, taking the lunar experts, graduate student T. C. Owen (planetary atmospheres), and associate B. M. Middlehurst along. G. van Biesbroeck also joined the migration to Tucson; Binder and Cruikshank followed along as new grad students. Astronomy grad student W. K. Hartmann came into the academic program at UA and the research group at LPL in 1961. Senior faculty affiliating with LPL in the earliest years were T. Gehrels, A. B

  16. Europa Clipper Mission Concept Preliminary Planetary Protection Approach (United States)

    Jones, Melissa; Schubert, Wayne; Newlin, Laura; Cooper, Moogega; Chen, Fei; Kazarians, Gayane; Ellyin, Raymond; Vaishampayan, Parag; Crum, Ray


    The science objectives of the proposed Europa Clipper mission consist of remotely characterizing any water within and beneath Europa's ice shell, investigating the chemistry of the surface and ocean, and evaluating geological processes that may permit Europa's ocean to possess the chemical energy necessary for life. The selected payload supporting the science objectives includes: Plasma Instrument for Magnetic Sounding (PIMS), Interior Characterization of Europa using Magnetometry (ICEMAG), Mapping Imaging Spectrometer for Europa (MISE), Europa Imaging System (EIS), Radar for Europa Assessment and Sounding: Ocean to Near-surface (REASON), Europa Thermal Emission Imaging System (E-THEMIS), MAss SPectrometer for Planetary EXploration/Europa (MASPEX), Ultraviolet Spectrograph/Europa (UVS), and SUrface DUst Mass Analyzer (SUDA). Launch is currently baselined as 2022. Pending the yet to be selected launch vehicle, the spacecraft would either arrive to the Jovian system on a direct trajectory in 2025 or an Earth-Venus-Earth-Earth gravity assist interplanetary trajectory arriving in 2030. The operational concept consists of multiple low-altitude flybys of Europa to obtain globally distributed regional coverage of the Europan surface. According to COSPAR Policy, it is currently anticipated that the Europa Clipper mission would be classified as a Category III mission. That is, the mission is to a body "of significant interest relative to the process of chemical evolution and/or the origin of life or for which scientific opinion provides a significant chance of contamination which could jeopardize a future biological experiment." Therefore, the expected driving planetary protection requirement for the mission is that the probability of inadvertent contamination of an ocean or other liquid water body shall be less than 1x10-4 per mission. This requirement applies until final disposition of the spacecraft, however in practice, would only apply until the spacecraft is

  17. Energetic Techniques For Planetary Defense (United States)

    Barbee, B.; Bambacus, M.; Bruck Syal, M.; Greenaugh, K. C.; Leung, R. Y.; Plesko, C. S.


    Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are asteroids and comets whose heliocentric orbits tend to approach or cross Earth's heliocentric orbit. NEOs of various sizes periodically collide with Earth, and efforts are currently underway to discover, track, and characterize NEOs so that those on Earth-impacting trajectories are discovered far enough in advance that we would have opportunities to deflect or destroy them prior to Earth impact, if warranted. We will describe current efforts by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to assess options for energetic methods of deflecting or destroying hazardous NEOs. These methods include kinetic impactors, which are spacecraft designed to collide with an NEO and thereby alter the NEO's trajectory, and nuclear engineering devices, which are used to rapidly vaporize a layer of NEO surface material. Depending on the amount of energy imparted, this can result in either deflection of the NEO via alteration of its trajectory, or robust disruption of the NEO and dispersal of the remaining fragments. We have studied the efficacies and limitations of these techniques in simulations, and have combined the techniques with corresponding spacecraft designs and mission designs. From those results we have generalized planetary defense mission design strategies and drawn conclusions that are applicable to a range of plausible scenarios. We will present and summarize our research efforts to date, and describe approaches to carrying out planetary defense missions with energetic NEO deflection or disruption techniques.

  18. Interactive investigations into planetary interiors (United States)

    Rose, I.


    Many processes in Earth science are difficult to observe or visualize due to the large timescales and lengthscales over which they operate. The dynamics of planetary mantles are particularly challenging as we cannot even look at the rocks involved. As a result, much teaching material on mantle dynamics relies on static images and cartoons, many of which are decades old. Recent improvements in computing power and technology (largely driven by game and web development) have allowed for advances in real-time physics simulations and visualizations, but these have been slow to affect Earth science education.Here I demonstrate a teaching tool for mantle convection and seismology which solves the equations for conservation of mass, momentum, and energy in real time, allowing users make changes to the simulation and immediately see the effects. The user can ask and answer questions about what happens when they add heat in one place, or take it away from another place, or increase the temperature at the base of the mantle. They can also pause the simulation, and while it is paused, create and visualize seismic waves traveling through the mantle. These allow for investigations into and discussions about plate tectonics, earthquakes, hot spot volcanism, and planetary cooling.The simulation is rendered to the screen using OpenGL, and is cross-platform. It can be run as a native application for maximum performance, but it can also be embedded in a web browser for easy deployment and portability.

  19. Visual lunar and planetary astronomy

    CERN Document Server

    Abel, Paul G


    With the advent of CCDs and webcams, the focus of amateur astronomy has to some extent shifted from science to art. The object of many amateur astronomers is now to produce “stunning images” that, although beautiful, are not intended to have scientific merit. Paul Abel has been addressing this issue by promoting visual astronomy wherever possible – at talks to astronomical societies, in articles for popular science magazines, and on BBC TV’s The Sky at Night.   Visual Lunar and Planetary Astronomy is a comprehensive modern treatment of visual lunar and planetary astronomy, showing that even in the age of space telescopes and interplanetary probes it is still possible to contribute scientifically with no more than a moderately priced commercially made astronomical telescope.   It is believed that imaging and photography is somehow more objective and more accurate than the eye, and this has led to a peculiar “crisis of faith” in the human visual system and its amazing processing power. But by anal...

  20. AEGIS geologic simulation model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Foley, M.G.


    The Geologic Simulation Model (GSM) is used by the AEGIS (Assessment of Effectiveness of Geologic Isolation Systems) program at the Pacific Northwest Laboratory to simulate the dynamic geology and hydrology of a geologic nuclear waste repository site over a million-year period following repository closure. The GSM helps to organize geologic/hydrologic data; to focus attention on active natural processes by requiring their simulation; and, through interactive simulation and calibration, to reduce subjective evaluations of the geologic system. During each computer run, the GSM produces a million-year geologic history that is possible for the region and the repository site. In addition, the GSM records in permanent history files everything that occurred during that time span. Statistical analyses of data in the history files of several hundred simulations are used to classify typical evolutionary paths, to establish the probabilities associated with deviations from the typical paths, and to determine which types of perturbations of the geologic/hydrologic system, if any, are most likely to occur. These simulations will be evaluated by geologists familiar with the repository region to determine validity of the results. Perturbed systems that are determined to be the most realistic, within whatever probability limits are established, will be used for the analyses that involve radionuclide transport and dose models. The GSM is designed to be continuously refined and updated. Simulation models are site specific, and, although the submodels may have limited general applicability, the input data equirements necessitate detailed characterization of each site before application

  1. Geology of the seashore


    Institute, Marine


    There are many different types of beaches around Ireland. By looking at the geology of the seashore, students can study its rocks, soil, and minerals and learn about its origins. The geology of the seashore also offers a natural environment for many species and plants to live.

  2. Global Journal of Geological Sciences

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Global Journal of Geological Sciences is aimed at promoting research in all areas of Geological Sciences including geochemistry, geophysics, engineering geology, hydrogeology, petrology, mineralogy, geochronology, tectonics, mining, structural geology, marine geology, space science etc. Visit the Global Journal Series ...

  3. Implementation of cartographic symbols for planetary mapping in geographic information systems (United States)

    Nass, A.; van Gasselt, S.; Jaumann, R.; Asche, H.


    The steadily growing international interest in the exploration of planets in our Solar System and many advances in the development of space-sensor technology have led to the launch of a multitude of planetary missions to Mercury, Venus, the Earth's moon, Mars and various Outer-Solar System objects, such as the Jovian and Saturnian satellites. Camera instruments carried along on these missions image surfaces in different wavelength ranges and under different viewing angles, permitting additional data to be derived, such as spectral data or digital terrain models. Such data enable researchers to explore and investigate the development of planetary surfaces by analyzing and interpreting the inventory of surface units and structures. Results of such work are commonly abstracted and represented in thematic, mostly geological and geomorphological, maps. In order to facilitate efficient collaboration among different planetary research disciplines, mapping results need to be prepared, described, managed, archived, and visualized in a uniform way. These tasks have been increasingly carried out by means of computer-based geographic information systems (GIS or GI systems) which have come to be widely employed in the field of planetary research since the last two decades. In this paper we focus on the simplification of mapping processes, putting specific emphasis on a cartographically correct visualization of planetary mapping data using GIS-based environments. We present and discuss the implementation of a set of standardized cartographic symbols for planetary mapping based on the Digital Cartographic Standard for Geologic Map Symbolization as prepared by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) for the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC). Furthermore, we discuss various options to integrate this symbol catalog into generic GI systems, and more specifically into the Environmental Systems Research Institute's (ESRI) ArcGIS environment, and focus on requirements for

  4. Visualization of Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion (United States)

    Lu, Meishu; Su, Jun; Wang, Weiguo; Lu, Jianlong


    For this article, we use a 3D printer to print a surface similar to universal gravitation for demonstrating and investigating Kepler's laws of planetary motion describing the motion of a small ball on the surface. This novel experimental method allows Kepler's laws of planetary motion to be visualized and will contribute to improving the…

  5. Preparing Planetary Scientists to Engage Audiences (United States)

    Shupla, C. B.; Shaner, A. J.; Hackler, A. S.


    While some planetary scientists have extensive experience sharing their science with audiences, many can benefit from guidance on giving presentations or conducting activities for students. The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) provides resources and trainings to support planetary scientists in their communication efforts. Trainings have included sessions for students and early career scientists at conferences (providing opportunities for them to practice their delivery and receive feedback for their poster and oral presentations), as well as separate communication workshops on how to engage various audiences. LPI has similarly begun coaching planetary scientists to help them prepare their public presentations. LPI is also helping to connect different audiences and their requests for speakers to planetary scientists. Scientists have been key contributors in developing and conducting activities in LPI education and public events. LPI is currently working with scientists to identify and redesign short planetary science activities for scientists to use with different audiences. The activities will be tied to fundamental planetary science concepts, with basic materials and simple modifications to engage different ages and audience size and background. Input from the planetary science community on these efforts is welcome. Current results and resources, as well as future opportunities will be shared.

  6. Introduction to the special issue: Planetary geomorphology (United States)

    Burr, Devon M.; Howard, Alan D.


    Planetary geomorphology is the study of extraterrestrial landscapes. In recognition of the promise for productive interaction between terrestrial and planetary geomorphologists, the 45th annual Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium (BGS) focused on Planetary Geomorphology. The aim of the symposium was to bring planetary and terrestrial geomorphologists together for symbiotic and synthetic interactions that would enrich both subdisciplines. In acknowledgment of the crucial role of terrestrial field work in planetary geomorphology and of the BGS tradition, the symposium began with a field trip to the Appalachian Mountains, followed by a dinner talk of recent results from the Mars Surface Laboratory. On Saturday and Sunday, the symposium was organized around major themes in planetary geomorphology, starting with the geomorphic processes that are most common in our Solar System-impact cratering, tectonism, volcanism-to set the stage for other geomorphic processes, including aeolian, fluvial, lacustrine, and glacial/polar. On Saturday evening, the banquet talk provided an historical overview of planetary geomorphology, including its roots in the terrestrial geosciences. The symposium concluded with a full-afternoon tutorial on planetary geomorphologic datasets. This special issue of Geomorphology consists of papers by invited authors from the 2014 BGS, and this introduction provides some context for these papers.

  7. Interoperability in the Planetary Science Archive (PSA) (United States)

    Rios Diaz, C.


    The protocols and standards currently being supported by the recently released new version of the Planetary Science Archive at this time are the Planetary Data Access Protocol (PDAP), the EuroPlanet- Table Access Protocol (EPN-TAP) and Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards. We explore these protocols in more detail providing scientifically useful examples of their usage within the PSA.

  8. Optical observations of southern planetary nebula candidates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    VandeSteene, GC; Sahu, KC; Pottasch, [No Value


    We present H alpha+[NII] images and low resolution spectra of 16 IRAS-selected, southern planetary nebula candidates previously detected in the radio continuum. The H alpha+[NII] images are presented as finding charts. Contour plots are shown for the resolved planetary nebulae. From these images

  9. Planetary Systems Detection, Formation and Habitability of Extrasolar Planets

    CERN Document Server

    Ollivier, Marc; Casoli, Fabienne; Encrenaz, Thérèse; Selsis, Franck


    Over the past ten years, the discovery of extrasolar planets has opened a new field of astronomy, and this area of research is rapidly growing, from both the observational and theoretical point of view. The presence of many giant exoplanets in the close vicinity of their star shows that these newly discovered planetary systems are very different from the solar system. New theoretical models are being developed in order to understand their formation scenarios, and new observational methods are being implemented to increase the sensitivity of exoplanet detections. In the present book, the authors address the question of planetary systems from all aspects. Starting from the facts (the detection of more than 300 extraterrestrial planets), they first describe the various methods used for these discoveries and propose a synthetic analysis of their global properties. They then consider the observations of young stars and circumstellar disks and address the case of the solar system as a specific example, different fr...

  10. Probing Shocks of the Young Planetary Nebula NGC 7027 (United States)

    Montez, Rodolfo


    The rapid evolution of the planetary nebula NGC 7027 provides a rare glimpse at the evolution of the shocks. We propose a detailed spatial and spectroscopic study of the shock conditions in NGC 7027 that will enhance and bridge our understanding of the shocks seen in other planetary nebula. Comparison between the Cycle 1 observation and a new Cycle 15 observation will (i) confirm the presence of the two components in the extended X-ray emission, (ii) measure the changes (spatial and spectral) in the components, and, (iii) provide a valuable trove of tests and inputs for shock conditions and hydrodynamical simulations. We rely on the unprecedented spatial resolution and soft-sensitivity of Chandra.

  11. Plate tectonics and planetary habitability: current status and future challenges. (United States)

    Korenaga, Jun


    Plate tectonics is one of the major factors affecting the potential habitability of a terrestrial planet. The physics of plate tectonics is, however, still far from being complete, leading to considerable uncertainty when discussing planetary habitability. Here, I summarize recent developments on the evolution of plate tectonics on Earth, which suggest a radically new view on Earth dynamics: convection in the mantle has been speeding up despite its secular cooling, and the operation of plate tectonics has been facilitated throughout Earth's history by the gradual subduction of water into an initially dry mantle. The role of plate tectonics in planetary habitability through its influence on atmospheric evolution is still difficult to quantify, and, to this end, it will be vital to better understand a coupled core-mantle-atmosphere system in the context of solar system evolution. © 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.

  12. Global Journal of Geological Sciences: Editorial Policies

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Focus and Scope. Global Journal of Geological Sciences is aimed at promoting research in all areas of geological Sciences including Petrology, Mineralogy, geophysics, hydrogeology, Engineering geology, Petroleum geology, Palaeontology, environmental geology, Economic geology, etc.

  13. Planetary CubeSats Come of Age (United States)

    Sherwood, Brent; Spangelo, Sara; Frick, Andreas; Castillo-Rogez, Julie; Klesh, Andrew; Wyatt, E. Jay; Reh, Kim; Baker, John


    Jet Propulsion Laboratory initiatives in developing and formulating planetary CubeSats are described. Six flight systems already complete or underway now at JPL for missions to interplanetary space, the Moon, a near-Earth asteroid, and Mars are described at the subsystem level. Key differences between interplanetary nanospacecraft and LEO CubeSats are explained, as well as JPL's adaptation of vendor components and development of system solutions to meet planetary-mission needs. Feasible technology-demonstration and science measurement objectives are described for multiple modes of planetary mission implementation. Seven planetary-science demonstration mission concepts, already proposed to NASA by Discovery-2014 PIs partnered with JPL, are described for investigations at Sun-Earth L5, Venus, NEA 1999 FG3, comet Tempel 2, Phobos, main-belt asteroid 24 Themis, and metal asteroid 16 Psyche. The JPL staff and facilities resources available to PIs for analysis, design, and development of planetary nanospacecraft are catalogued.

  14. Shining a light on planetary processes using synchrotron techniques (United States)

    Brand, H. E. A.; Kimpton, J. A.


    The Australian Synchrotron is a world-class national research facility that uses accelerator technology to produce X-rays and infrared for research. It is available for researchers from all institutions and disciplines. This contribution is intended to inform the community of the current capabilities at the facility using examples drawn from planetary research across the beamlines. Examples will include: formation of jarosite minerals with a view to Mars; studies of Micrometeorites; and large volume CT imaging of geological samples. A suite of new beamlines has been proposed for the growth of the facility and one of these, ADS, the Advanced Diffraction and Scattering beamline, is intended to be a high energy X-ray diffraction beamline capable of reaching extreme conditions and carrying out challenging in situ experiments. There is an opportunity to develop complex new sample environments which could be of relevance to shock metamorphic processes and this will form part of the discussion.

  15. The diversity of planetary system from formation/composition population synthesis models (United States)

    Alibert, Yann; thiabaud, amaury; marboeuf, ulysses; swoboda, david; benz, willy; mezger, klaus; leya, ingo


    Extrasolar planetary systems show an extreme diversity in mass and orbital architecture. Explaining this diversity is one of the key challenges for theoretical models and requires understanding the formation, composition and evolution of planetary systems from the stage of the protoplanetary disk up to the full mature planetary system. Such an effort needs the development of end-to-end, necessarily simplified, formation models used in a population synthesis approach. We present in this contribution such planetary system formation and composition models. Our planetary system formation models include the following effects: planetary growth by capture of solids and gas, protoplanetary disk structure and evolution, planet-planet and planet-disk interactions. In addition, we compute the composition of the solids and gas in the protoplanetary disk and their evolution with time. The formation and composition models allow therefore the determination of the composition of planets in terms of refractory elements (Mg, Si, Fe, etc…) as well as volatile compounds (water, CO2, CO, NH3, etc…), in a way that is self-consistent with the formation process of the different members of the planetary system. We will show the results of these formation/composition models, and will compare the diversity of observed and synthetic planetary systems. Considering the solar system, we will show how different formation scenarios translate into different planetary compositions. Finally, we will demonstrate how the simultaneous determination of mass and radius of a statistical number of warm to cold earth to neptune mass bodies at different ages can be used to constrain the composition (in particular the volatile content) of planets, and how the same observations (mass, radius, period) can be used in order to select planets that are best suited for follow-up habitability studies.

  16. A Global Geologic Map of Europa (United States)

    Janelle Leonard, Erin; Patthoff, Donald Alex; Senske, David A.; Collins, Geoffrey


    Understanding the global scale geology of Europa is paramount to gaining insight into the potential habitability of this icy world. To this end, work is ongoing to complete a global geological map at the scale of 1:15 million that incorporates data at all resolutions collected by the Voyager and Galileo missions. The results of this work will aid the Europa Clipper mission, now in formulation, by providing a framework for collaborative and synergistic science investigations.To understand global geologic and tectonic relations, a total of 10 geologic units have been defined. These include: Low Albedo Ridge Material (lam)—low albedo material that irregularly surrounds large (>20 km) ridge structures; Ridged plains (pr)—distributed over all latitudes and characterized by subparallel to cross-cutting ridges and troughs visible at high resolution (chh)—disrupted terrain with a relatively uniform low albedo, patchy/variegated albedo, and uniform high albedo appearance respectively; Knobby Chaos (chk) - disrupted terrain with rough and blocky texture occurring in the high latitudes.In addition to the geologic units, our mapping also includes structural features—Ridges, Cycloids, Undifferentiated Linea, Crater Rims, Depression Margins, Dome Margins and Troughs. We also introduce a point feature (at the global scale), Microchaos, to denote small (<10 km) patches of discontinuous chaos material. The completed map will constrain the distribution of different Europa terrains and provide a general stratigraphic framework to assess the geologic history of Europa from the regional to the global scale.

  17. Soft-Bodied Fossils Are Not Simply Rotten Carcasses - Toward a Holistic Understanding of Exceptional Fossil Preservation: Exceptional Fossil Preservation Is Complex and Involves the Interplay of Numerous Biological and Geological Processes. (United States)

    Parry, Luke A; Smithwick, Fiann; Nordén, Klara K; Saitta, Evan T; Lozano-Fernandez, Jesus; Tanner, Alastair R; Caron, Jean-Bernard; Edgecombe, Gregory D; Briggs, Derek E G; Vinther, Jakob


    Exceptionally preserved fossils are the product of complex interplays of biological and geological processes including burial, autolysis and microbial decay, authigenic mineralization, diagenesis, metamorphism, and finally weathering and exhumation. Determining which tissues are preserved and how biases affect their preservation pathways is important for interpreting fossils in phylogenetic, ecological, and evolutionary frameworks. Although laboratory decay experiments reveal important aspects of fossilization, applying the results directly to the interpretation of exceptionally preserved fossils may overlook the impact of other key processes that remove or preserve morphological information. Investigations of fossils preserving non-biomineralized tissues suggest that certain structures that are decay resistant (e.g., the notochord) are rarely preserved (even where carbonaceous components survive), and decay-prone structures (e.g., nervous systems) can fossilize, albeit rarely. As we review here, decay resistance is an imperfect indicator of fossilization potential, and a suite of biological and geological processes account for the features preserved in exceptional fossils. © 2017 The Authors. BioEssays Published by WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Fundamentals of Structural Geology (United States)

    Pollard, David D.; Fletcher, Raymond C.


    Fundamentals of Structural Geology provides a new framework for the investigation of geological structures by integrating field mapping and mechanical analysis. Assuming a basic knowledge of physical geology, introductory calculus and physics, it emphasizes the observational data, modern mapping technology, principles of continuum mechanics, and the mathematical and computational skills, necessary to quantitatively map, describe, model, and explain deformation in Earth's lithosphere. By starting from the fundamental conservation laws of mass and momentum, the constitutive laws of material behavior, and the kinematic relationships for strain and rate of deformation, the authors demonstrate the relevance of solid and fluid mechanics to structural geology. This book offers a modern quantitative approach to structural geology for advanced students and researchers in structural geology and tectonics. It is supported by a website hosting images from the book, additional colour images, student exercises and MATLAB scripts. Solutions to the exercises are available to instructors. The book integrates field mapping using modern technology with the analysis of structures based on a complete mechanics MATLAB is used to visualize physical fields and analytical results and MATLAB scripts can be downloaded from the website to recreate textbook graphics and enable students to explore their choice of parameters and boundary conditions The supplementary website hosts color images of outcrop photographs used in the text, supplementary color images, and images of textbook figures for classroom presentations The textbook website also includes student exercises designed to instill the fundamental relationships, and to encourage the visualization of the evolution of geological structures; solutions are available to instructors

  19. Geological heritage of Morocco

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elhadi, H.; Tahiri, A.


    Full text: The soil and subsoil of Morocco are rich in geological phenomena that bear the imprint of a history that goes back in time more than 2000 million years. Very many sites geologically remarkable exposed in accessible outcrops, with good quality remain unknown to the general public and therefore deserve to be vulgarized. It is a memory to acquaint to the present generations but also to preserve for future generations. In total, a rich geological heritage in many ways: Varied landscapes, international stratotypes, various geological structures, varied rocks, mineral associations, a huge procession of fossiles, remnants of oceanic crust (ophiolites) among oldests ones in the world (800my), etc... For this geological heritage, an approach of an overall inventory is needed, both regionally and nationally, taking into account all the skills of the earth sciences. This will put the item on the natural (geological) potentialities as a lever for sustainable regional development. For this, it is necessary to implement a strategy of ''geoconservation'' for the preservation and assessment of the geological heritage.

  20. OneGeology-Europe - The Challenges and progress of implementing a basic geological infrastructure for Europe (United States)

    Asch, Kristine; Tellez-Arenas, Agnes


    OneGeology-Europe is making geological spatial data held by the geological surveys of Europe more easily discoverable and accessible via the internet. This will provide a fundamental scientific layer to the European Plate Observation System Rich geological data assets exist in the geological survey of each individual EC Member State, but they are difficult to discover and are not interoperable. For those outside the geological surveys they are not easy to obtain, to understand or to use. Geological spatial data is essential to the prediction and mitigation of landslides, subsidence, earthquakes, flooding and pollution. These issues are global in nature and their profile has also been raised by the OneGeology global initiative for the International Year of Planet Earth 2008. Geology is also a key dataset in the EC INSPIRE Directive, where it is also fundamental to the themes of natural risk zones, energy and mineral resources. The OneGeology-Europe project is delivering a web-accessible, interoperable geological spatial dataset for the whole of Europe at the 1:1 million scale based on existing data held by the European geological surveys. Proof of concept will be applied to key areas at a higher resolution and some geological surveys will deliver their data at high resolution. An important role is developing a European specification for basic geological map data and making significant progress towards harmonising the dataset (an essential first step to addressing harmonisation at higher data resolutions). It is accelerating the development and deployment of a nascent international interchange standard for geological data - GeoSciML, which will enable the sharing and exchange of the data within and beyond the geological community within Europe and globally. The geological dataset for the whole of Europe is not a centralized database but a distributed system. Each geological survey implements and hosts an interoperable web service, delivering their national harmonized

  1. Luminosity function for planetary nebulae and the number of planetary nebulae in local group galaxies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jacoby, G.H.


    Identifications of 19 and 34 faint planetary nebulae have been made in the central regions of the SMC and LMC, respectively, using on-line/off-line filter photography at [O III] and Hα. The previously known brighter planetary nebulae in these fields, eight in both the SMC and the LMC, were also identified. On the basis of the ratio of the numbers of faint to bright planetary nebulae in these fields and the numbers of bright planetary nebulae in the surrounding fields, the total numbers of planetary nebulae in the SMC and LMC are estimated to be 285 +- 78 and 996 +- 253, respectively. Corrections have been applied to account for omissions due to crowding confusion in previous surveys, spatial and detectability incompleteness, and obscuration by dust.Equatorial coordinates and finding charts are presented for all the identified planetary nebulae. The coordinates have uncertainties smaller than 0.''6 relative to nearby bright stars, thereby allowing acquisition of the planetary nebulae by bling offsetting.Monochromatic fluxes are derived photographically and used to determine the luminosity function for Magellanic Cloud planetary nebulae as faint as 6 mag below the brightest. The luminosity function is used to estimate the total numbers of planetary nebulae in eight Local Group galaxies in which only bright planetary nebulae have been identified. The dervied luminosity specific number of planetary nebulae per unit luminosity is nearly constant for all eight galaxies, having a value of 6.1 x 10 -7 planetary nebulae L -1 /sub sun/. The mass specific number, based on the three galaxies with well-determined masses, is 2.1 x 10 -7 planetary nebulae M -1 /sub sun/. With estimates for the luminosity and mass of our Galaxy, its total number of planetary nebulae is calculated to be 10,000 +- 4000, in support of the Cudworth distance scale

  2. Interferometric observations of planetary nebulae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Atherton, P.D.


    Studies of the velocity field of planetary nebulae can be used to derive important information concerning their structure and dynamics. A description is given of the design, construction and operation of a servo-controlled Fabry Perot Interferometer, for the Cassegrain focus, which was built to perform these studies. New evidence is presented concerning the structure and internal motions of NGC 3242, NGC 6720 and NGC 7027. A technique is described which uses the velocity field to map variations in the electron temperature and density along the line of sight as well as across the face of the nebula. It is shown how a Fabry Perot may be used in conjunction with multi-element array detectors to facilitate this technique. Finally some extensions to the technique of capacitance micrometry are discussed which allow the operation of a single air-spaced etalon over a wide range of capacitor gaps

  3. Visualization Tools for Planetary Data (United States)

    DeWolfe, Alexandria; Larsen, Kristopher; Brain, David; Chaffin, Michael; Harter, Bryan; Putnam, Brian


    We have developed a set of software tools for displaying and analyzing data from the MAVEN and MMS missions. In order to better visualize the science data and models, we have constructed 3D visualizations of MAVEN orbiting Mars and MMS orbiting Earth using the CesiumJS library. These visualizations allow viewing of not only spacecraft orientation and position over time, but also scientific data from the spacecraft, and atmospheric models as well. We have also developed a Python toolkit which replicates the functionality of the widely-used IDL "tplot" toolkit for analyzing planetary atmospheric data. We use the bokeh and matplotlib libraries to generate interactive line plots and spectrograms, providing additional functionality beyond the capabilities of IDL graphics. These Python tools are generalized to work with missions beyond MAVEN, and our open-source software is available on Github.

  4. Planetary accretion in circumstellar disks (United States)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Stewart, Glen R.


    The formation of terrestrial planets and the cores of Jovian planets is reviewed in the framework of the planetesimal hypothesis, wherein planets are assumed to grow via the pairwise accumulation of small solid bodies. Emphasis is placed on the dynamics of solid body accretion from kilometer size planetesimals to terrestrial type planets. This stage of planetary growth is least dependent on the characteristics of the evolutionary state of the central star. It is concluded that the evolution of the planetesimal size distribution is determined by the gravitationally enhanced collision cross-section, which favors collisions between planetesimals with smaller velocities. Runaway growth of the largest planetesimal in each accretion zone appears to be a likely outcome. The subsequent accumulation of the resulting protoplanets leads to a large degree of radial mixing in the terrestrial planet region, and giant impacts are probable.

  5. Sonic anemometry of planetary atmospheres (United States)

    Cuerva, Alvaro; Sanz-Andrés, Angel; Lorenz, Ralph D.


    Sonic anemometers are robust, fast and reliable wind sensors which are able to measure the complete wind speed vector at high sampling rates. All these characteristics make sonic anemometers to be ideal candidates for atmospheric applications. Since sonic anemometers have not moving parts and they can be designed to have loss mass and power consumption, they have become adequate for planetary exploration purposes, both for atmosphere studies and for flying robot control. However, some challenges must be undertaken before implementing their use. Problems such as sound attenuation in different atmospheres, sensor/air acoustic impedance matching as well as flow/fluid dependence of sonic measurements have to be considered when these sensors are used in other atmospheres.

  6. Glossary of Geology (United States)

    Jackson, Julia A.

    The Glossary has expanded coverage particularly in such active fields as carbonate sedimentology, environmental geology and geophysics, GIS, GPS, hydrology and hydraulics, marine and coastal geology, organic geochemistry, paleoecology, seismology, stratigraphic nomenclature, speleology and karst, and structural geology and tectonics. Many definitions provide a syllabification guide and background information. Thus a reader will learn the difference between look-alike pairs, such as sylvanite (a mineral) and sylvinite (a rock); the origin of terms; the meaning of abbreviations and acronyms common in the geosciences vocabulary; the dates many terms were first used; the meaning of certain prefixes; and the preferred term of two or more synonyms.

  7. The International Planetary Data Alliance (United States)

    Stein, T.; Arviset, C.; Crichton, D. J.


    The International Planetary Data Alliance (IPDA) is an association of partners with the aim of improving the quality of planetary science data and services to the end users of space based instrumentation. The specific mission of the IPDA is to facilitate global access to, and exchange of, high quality scientific data products managed across international boundaries. Ensuring proper capture, accessibility and availability of the data is the task of the individual member space agencies. The IPDA was formed in 2006 with the purpose of adopting standards and developing collaborations across agencies to ensure data is captured in common formats. Member agencies include: Armenian Astronomical Society, China National Space Agency (CNSA), European Space Agency (ESA), German Aerospace Center (DLR), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Italian Space Agency (ASI), Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), National Air and Space Administration (NASA), National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), Space Research Institute (IKI), UAE Space Agency, and UK Space Agency. The IPDA Steering Committee oversees the execution of projects and coordinates international collaboration. The IPDA conducts a number of focused projects to enable interoperability, construction of compatible archives, and the operation of the IPDA as a whole. These projects have helped to establish the IPDA and to move the collaboration forward. A key project that is currently underway is the implementation of the PDS4 data standard. Given the international focus, it has been critical that the PDS and the IPDA collaborate on its development. Also, other projects have been conducted successfully, including developing the IPDA architecture and corresponding requirements, developing shared registries for data and tools across international boundaries, and common templates for supporting agreements for archiving and sharing data for international missions. Several projects demonstrating interoperability across

  8. Geological workshop for primary schools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nina Rman


    Full Text Available Systematical teaching of geology is (yet not established in primary and secondary school in Slovenia. In primaryschool, geological topics are divided among numerous subjects and levels therefore they receive more attention onlyif alternative courses or geological circles are realized. With help of the Geological Survey of Slovenia we have beensuccessfully performing a geological workshop for primary school pupils aiming to popularize geology. With it pupilsare acquainted with methodologies for identification of rocks, minerals, fossils and properties of water.

  9. Geological Factors and Health Problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Prieto García


    Full Text Available Geological factors, such as damages, can cause health determinants in people, which were a little-studied and if they have been raised on occasion, usually referred to no communicable diseases. The aim of this work, which is a more or less updated bibliography, has been to develop a holistic idea for a better understanding of a problem and force latent or potential risk that they can carry and consider scientific basis infectious diseases especially complex.  In essence, the focus of ecosystem health that should be considered in terrestrial ecosystems. It also provides the basic elements for the development of new research in this field.

  10. Iowa Bedrock Geology (United States)

    Iowa State University GIS Support and Research Facility — The bedrock geologic map portrays the current interpretation of the distribution of various bedrock stratigraphic units present at the bedrock surface. The bedrock...

  11. Assessing correlations between geological hazards and health outcomes: Addressing complexity in medical geology. (United States)

    Wardrop, Nicola Ann; Le Blond, Jennifer Susan


    The field of medical geology addresses the relationships between exposure to specific geological characteristics and the development of a range of health problems: for example, long-term exposure to arsenic in drinking water can result in the development of skin conditions and cancers. While these relationships are well characterised for some examples, in others there is a lack of understanding of the specific geological component(s) triggering disease onset, necessitating further research. This paper aims to highlight several important complexities in geological exposures and the development of related diseases that can create difficulties in the linkage of exposure and health outcome data. Several suggested approaches to deal with these complexities are also suggested. Long-term exposure and lengthy latent periods are common characteristics of many diseases related to geological hazards. In combination with long- or short-distance migrations over an individual's life, daily or weekly movement patterns and small-scale spatial heterogeneity in geological characteristics, it becomes problematic to appropriately assign exposure measurements to individuals. The inclusion of supplementary methods, such as questionnaires, movement diaries or Global Positioning System (GPS) trackers can support medical geology studies by providing evidence for the most appropriate exposure measurement locations. The complex and lengthy exposure-response pathways involved, small-distance spatial heterogeneity in environmental components and a range of other issues mean that interdisciplinary approaches to medical geology studies are necessary to provide robust evidence. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  12. Geologic and Seismologic Investigation (United States)


    Utah, Embankment Criteria and Performance Report, August 1994 2. Caliente Creek Stream Group Investigation California, Draft Feasibility Report. June...trenching and soil-stratigraphic investigations east of Sacramento, north of the study area ( Tierra Engineering Consultants, 1983) at Folsom Dam showed...Geologic Map of California, Olaf P. Jenkins edition, Mariposa Sheet: California Division qf Mines and Geology, Scale 1:250,000. Tierra Entgineering

  13. Thermoluminescence studies in geology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sankaran, A.V.; Sunta, C.M.; Nambi, K.S.V.; Bapat, V.N.


    Even though the phenomenon of thermoluminescence is well studied, particularly over last 3 decades, its potentialities in the field of geology have not been adequately evaluated. In this report several useful applications of TL in mineralogy, petrogenesis, stratigraphy, tectonics, ore-prospecting and other branches have been identified with particular emphasis to the Indian scene. Important areas in the country that may provide the basic material for such studies are indicated at the end along with brief geological or mineralogical accounts. (auth.)

  14. Molecular Dications in Planetary Atmospheric Escape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Falcinelli


    Full Text Available Fundamental properties of multiply charged molecular ions, such as energetics, structure, stability, lifetime and fragmentation dynamics, are relevant to understand and model the behavior of gaseous plasmas as well as ionosphere and astrophysical environments. Experimental determinations of the Kinetic Energy Released (KER for ions originating from dissociations reactions, induced by Coulomb explosion of doubly charged molecular ions (molecular dications produced by double photoionization of CO2, N2O and C2H2 molecules of interest in planetary atmospheres, are reported. The KER measurement as a function of the ultraviolet (UV photon energy in the range of 28–65 eV was extracted from the electron-ion-ion coincidence spectra obtained by using tunable synchrotron radiation coupled with ion imaging techniques at the ELETTRA Synchrotron Light Laboratory Trieste, Italy. These experiments, coupled with a computational analysis based on a Monte Carlo trajectory simulation, allow assessing the probability of escape for simple ionic species in the upper atmosphere of Mars, Venus and Titan. The measured KER in the case of H+, C+, CH+, CH2+, N+, O+, CO+, N2+ and NO+ fragment ions range between 1.0 and 5.5 eV, being large enough to allow these ionic species to participate in the atmospheric escape from such planets into space. In the case of Mars, we suggest a possible explanation for the observed behavior of the O+ and CO22+ ion density profiles.

  15. Planetary Environments: Scientific Issues and Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Encrenaz Th.


    Full Text Available What are the planetary environments where conditions are best suited for habitability? A first constraint is provided by the presence of liquid water. This condition allows us to define two kinds of media: (1 the atmospheres of solid (exoplanets with a temperature typically ranging between 0°C and 100°C, and (2 the interiors of icy bodies (outer satellites or possibly exosatellites where the pressure and temperature would fit the liquid phase region of the water phase diagram. In the case of Mars, significant progress has been achieved about our understanding of the history of liquid water in the past, thanks to the findings of recent space missions. The study of the outer satellites is also benefiting from the on-going operation of the Cassini mission. In the case of exopl nets, new discoveries are continuously reported, especially with the Kepler mission, in operation since 2009. With the emergence of transit spectroscopy, a new phase of exoplanets’ exploration has started, their characterization, opening the new field of exoplanetology. In the future, new perspectives appear regarding the exploration of Mars, the giant planets and exoplanets, with the ultimate goal of characterizing the atmospheres of temperate exoplanets.

  16. An online planetary exploration tool: ;Country Movers; (United States)

    Gede, Mátyás; Hargitai, Henrik


    Results in astrogeologic investigations are rarely communicated towards the general public by maps despite the new advances in planetary spatial informatics and new spatial datasets in high resolution and more complete coverage. Planetary maps are typically produced by astrogeologists for other professionals, and not by cartographers for the general public. We report on an application designed for students, which uses cartography as framework to aid the virtual exploration of other planets and moons, using the concepts of size comparison and travel time calculation. We also describe educational activities that build on geographic knowledge and expand it to planetary surfaces.

  17. Gravitational effects on planetary neutron flux spectra (United States)

    Feldman, W. C.; Drake, D. M.; O'Dell, R. D.; Brinkley, F. W., Jr.; Anderson, R. C.


    The effects of gravity on the planetary neutron flux spectra for planet Mars, and the lifetime of the neutron, were investigated using a modified one-dimensional diffusion accelerated neutral-particle transport code, coupled with a multigroup cross-section library tailored specifically for Mars. The results showed the presence of a qualitatively new feature in planetary neutron leakage spectra in the form of a component of returning neutrons with kinetic energies less than the gravitational binding energy (0.132 eV for Mars). The net effect is an enhancement in flux at the lowest energies that is largest at and above the outermost layer of planetary matter.

  18. Modeling Snow Regime in Cores of Small Planetary Bodies (United States)

    Boukaré, C. E.; Ricard, Y. R.; Parmentier, E.; Parman, S. W.


    Observations of present day magnetic field on small planetary bodies such as Ganymede or Mercury challenge our understanding of planetary dynamo. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the origin of magnetic fields. Among the proposed scenarios, one family of models relies on snow regime. Snow regime is supported by experimental studies showing that melting curves can first intersect adiabats in regions where the solidifying phase is not gravitationaly stable. First solids should thus remelt during their ascent or descent. The effect of the snow zone on magnetic field generation remains an open question. Could magnetic field be generated in the snow zone? If not, what is the depth extent of the snow zone? How remelting in the snow zone drive compositional convection in the liquid layer? Several authors have tackled this question with 1D-spherical models. Zhang and Schubert, 2012 model sinking of the dense phase as internally heated convection. However, to our knowledge, there is no study on the convection structure associated with sedimentation and phase change at planetary scale. We extend the numerical model developped in [Boukare et al., 2017] to model snow dynamics in 2D Cartesian geometry. We build a general approach for modeling double diffusive convection coupled with solid-liquid phase change and phase separation. We identify several aspects that may govern the convection structure of the solidifying system: viscosity contrast between the snow zone and the liquid layer, crystal size, rate of melting/solidification and partitioning of light components during phase change.

  19. Cigeomag December 2012 - A better understanding of the project of industrial centre of geological storage: Science and knowledge, where are we? The geological medium is a guarantee of the storage safety; numerical simulation, essential support to experimentations; an international research field

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dupuis, Marie-Claude; Farin, Sebastien; Comte, Annabelle; Armand, Gilles; Crusset, Didier; Landais, Patrick; Lebon, Patrick; Plas, Frederic; Schumacher, Stephan; Bertrand, Domitille; Seghers, Elodie; Muzerelle, Sophie


    Within the frame of the public debate organized about the project of creation of a deep reversible disposal for radioactive wastes in Meuse/Haute-Marne, this publication proposes an overview of researches performed since 1991 when the ANDRA was commissioned to study the feasibility of such a disposal for the most radioactive French wastes. This publication deals with the different themes studied by the ANDRA and how, with which means and tools they have been and are addressed. More precisely, it also describes and comments how the geological medium is a guarantee for the storage safety, how waste behaviour is studied in detail, how the storage behaviour must be considered as a whole, how numerical simulation is an essential tool for experimentations, how an underground laboratory allows an as real as possible experimentation of deep storage, how the environment about Cigeo will be controlled and surveyed during at least 100 years, and how researches are performed through numerous international collaborations

  20. Planetary polarisation measurements with small telescopes (United States)

    Masding, Philip; Rossi, Loic; Miles, Phil


    image as a function of the angle of the polariser. The coefficients of the multivariate fit are used to calculate the polarisation and its direction (the phase angle of the curve). Statistical analysis of the results gives a one standard deviation confidence interval for the polarisation. Initial results for Jupiter show the strong polarisation at the poles and variation in the belts and zones. The confidence interval is typically less than 1 percent. Analysis of the results is at an early stage but has the potential to help our understanding of the structure and composition of planetary atmospheres. In addition the involvement of amateur astronomers allows for plenty of available telescope time and the potential for long term monitoring of possible variations in polarisation patterns.

  1. Collecting, Managing, and Visualizing Data during Planetary Surface Exploration (United States)

    Young, K. E.; Graff, T. G.; Bleacher, J. E.; Whelley, P.; Garry, W. B.; Rogers, A. D.; Glotch, T. D.; Coan, D.; Reagan, M.; Evans, C. A.; Garrison, D. H.


    While the Apollo lunar surface missions were highly successful in collecting valuable samples to help us understand the history and evolution of the Moon, technological advancements since 1969 point us toward a new generation of planetary surface exploration characterized by large volumes of data being collected and used to inform traverse execution real-time. Specifically, the advent of field portable technologies mean that future planetary explorers will have vast quantities of in situ geochemical and geophysical data that can be used to inform sample collection and curation as well as strategic and tactical decision making that will impact mission planning real-time. The RIS4E SSERVI (Remote, In Situ and Synchrotron Studies for Science and Exploration; Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute) team has been working for several years to deploy a variety of in situ instrumentation in relevant analog environments. RIS4E seeks both to determine ideal instrumentation suites for planetary surface exploration as well as to develop a framework for EVA (extravehicular activity) mission planning that incorporates this new generation of technology. Results from the last several field campaigns will be discussed, as will recommendations for how to rapidly mine in situ datasets for tactical and strategic planning. Initial thoughts about autonomy in mining field data will also be presented. The NASA Extreme Environments Mission Operations (NEEMO) missions focus on a combination of Science, Science Operations, and Technology objectives in a planetary analog environment. Recently, the increase of high-fidelity marine science objectives during NEEMO EVAs have led to the ability to evaluate how real-time data collection and visualization can influence tactical and strategic planning for traverse execution and mission planning. Results of the last few NEEMO missions will be discussed in the context of data visualization strategies for real-time operations.

  2. Coupled laboratory and numerical studies of impacts into planetary regolith (United States)

    Dove, A.; Li, Y.; Curtis, J.; Colwell, J. E.


    We present the initial results from coupled experimental and numerical study of the response of particles to low-velocity impacts. In this study, laboratory experiments are used to validate and tune a new DEM capable of handling complex particle shapes for simulation of the behavior of planetary regolith. These studies have fundamental applications to granular material science, as well as broader applications to the response to low-energy impacts of surface layers on other planetary bodies, including planetesimals, asteroids, small moons, and planetary ring particles. Knowledge of the velocities and mass distributions of dust knocked off of planetary surfaces is necessary to understand the evolution of the upper layers of the soil, the plasma environment, and to develop mitigation strategies for transported dust. In addition, the fine particles in the regolith pose an engineering and safety hazard for equipment, experiments, and astronauts working in severe environments. Our laboratory experiments consist of impacting a spherical impactor into a bed of particles and tracking the subsequent mass loss and trajectories of the ejected particles. We begin with spherical particles and then we will expand to elongated rods, flake-like particles, and well-characterized aggregates. Complementary discrete element method (DEM) simulations are validated by these experimental studies; in the DEM simulations, the non-spherical nature of these particles will be described using a glued-sphere approach. An initial comparison between the particle ejection velocities observed in the experiments and simulations for spherical particles is shown in the figure. Discrepancies at low velocities are due to the fact that the trajectories of particles with such low ejection speeds are not observable in this setup. The simulations will then be used to gain physical insight and to evaluate a broader range of scenarios than can be easily explored experimentally, such as conditions similar to

  3. Considering the Ethical Implications of Space Exploration and Potential Impacts on Planetary Environments and Possible Indigenous Life (United States)

    Race, Margaret

    Since the early days of the Outer Space Treaty, a primary concern of planetary protection policy has been to avoid contamination of planetary environments by terrestrial microbes that could compromise current or subsequent scientific investigations, particularly those searching for indigenous life. Over the past decade robotic missions and astrobiological research have greatly increased our understanding of diverse planetary landscapes and altered our views about the survivability of terrestrial organisms in extreme environments. They have also expanded notions about the prospect for finding evidence of extraterrestrial life. Recently a number of different groups, including the COSPAR Planetary Protection Workshop in Montreal (January 2008), have questioned whether it is advisable to re-examine current biological planetary protection policy in light of the ethical implications and responsibilities to preserve planetary environments and possible indigenous life. This paper discusses the issues and concerns that have led to recent recommendations for convening an international workshop specifically to discuss planetary protection policy and practices within a broader ethical and practical framework, and to consider whether revisions to policy and practices should be made. In addition to including various international scientific and legal organizations and experts in such a workshop, it will be important to find ways to involve the public in these discussions about ethical aspects of planetary exploration.

  4. Extension of Einstein's Planetary Theory Based on Generalized ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this article, the generalized Einstein's radial equation of motion in the equatorial plane of the Sun is transformed to obtain additional correction terms to all order of C2 to Einstein's planetary equation of motion and hence to the planetary parameters. Keywords: Radial Equation; Planetary Equation; Planetary parameters ...

  5. Observatory for Planetary Investigations from the Stratosphere (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Observatory for Planetary Investigation from the Stratosphere (OPIS) project demonstrated the ability of the Wallops Arc Second Pointing (WASP) system to provide...

  6. Planetary Impacts by Clustered Quark Matter Strangelets


    Labun, Lance; Rafelski, Jan


    We propose a model of clustered u-d-s quark matter that leads to stable bulk strange quark matter. We discuss qualitatively consequences of impacts by sub-planetary mass strangelets on rocky solar system bodies.

  7. Soft x-ray Planetary Imager (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The project is to prototype a soft X-ray Imager for planetary applications that has the sensitivity to observe solar system sources of soft  X-ray emission. A strong...

  8. Subsurface Prospecting by Planetary Drones, Phase I (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The proposed program innovates subsurface prospecting by planetary drones to seek a solution to the difficulty of robotic prospecting, sample acquisition, and sample...

  9. Artificial Intelligence in planetary spectroscopy (United States)

    Waldmann, Ingo


    The field of exoplanetary spectroscopy is as fast moving as it is new. Analysing currently available observations of exoplanetary atmospheres often invoke large and correlated parameter spaces that can be difficult to map or constrain. This is true for both: the data analysis of observations as well as the theoretical modelling of their atmospheres.Issues of low signal-to-noise data and large, non-linear parameter spaces are nothing new and commonly found in many fields of engineering and the physical sciences. Recent years have seen vast improvements in statistical data analysis and machine learning that have revolutionised fields as diverse as telecommunication, pattern recognition, medical physics and cosmology.In many aspects, data mining and non-linearity challenges encountered in other data intensive fields are directly transferable to the field of extrasolar planets. In this conference, I will discuss how deep neural networks can be designed to facilitate solving said issues both in exoplanet atmospheres as well as for atmospheres in our own solar system. I will present a deep belief network, RobERt (Robotic Exoplanet Recognition), able to learn to recognise exoplanetary spectra and provide artificial intelligences to state-of-the-art atmospheric retrieval algorithms. Furthermore, I will present a new deep convolutional network that is able to map planetary surface compositions using hyper-spectral imaging and demonstrate its uses on Cassini-VIMS data of Saturn.

  10. Sonar equations for planetary exploration. (United States)

    Ainslie, Michael A; Leighton, Timothy G


    The set of formulations commonly known as "the sonar equations" have for many decades been used to quantify the performance of sonar systems in terms of their ability to detect and localize objects submerged in seawater. The efficacy of the sonar equations, with individual terms evaluated in decibels, is well established in Earth's oceans. The sonar equations have been used in the past for missions to other planets and moons in the solar system, for which they are shown to be less suitable. While it would be preferable to undertake high-fidelity acoustical calculations to support planning, execution, and interpretation of acoustic data from planetary probes, to avoid possible errors for planned missions to such extraterrestrial bodies in future, doing so requires awareness of the pitfalls pointed out in this paper. There is a need to reexamine the assumptions, practices, and calibrations that work well for Earth to ensure that the sonar equations can be accurately applied in combination with the decibel to extraterrestrial scenarios. Examples are given for icy oceans such as exist on Europa and Ganymede, Titan's hydrocarbon lakes, and for the gaseous atmospheres of (for example) Jupiter and Venus.

  11. Electron densities in planetary nebulae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stanghellini, L.; Kaler, J.B.


    Electron densities for 146 planetary nebulae have been obtained for analyzing a large sample of forbidden lines by interpolating theoretical curves obtained from solutions of the five-level atoms using up-to-date collision strengths and transition probabilities. Electron temperatures were derived from forbidden N II and/or forbidden O III lines or were estimated from the He II 4686 A line strengths. The forbidden O II densities are generally lower than those from forbidden Cl III by an average factor of 0.65. For data sets in which forbidden O II and forbidden S II were observed in common, the forbidden O II values drop to 0.84 that of the forbidden S II, implying that the outermost parts of the nebulae might have elevated densities. The forbidden Cl II and forbidden Ar IV densities show the best correlation, especially where they have been obtained from common data sets. The data give results within 30 percent of one another, assuming homogeneous nebulae. 106 refs

  12. Developing Zircon as a Probe of Planetary Impact History (United States)

    Wielicki, Matthew


    The identification of Meteor Crater in Arizona as an extraterrestrial impact by Eugene Shoemaker provided the first evidence of this geologic phenomenon and opened the door to a new field of research that has eventually lead to the identification of over ~150 terrestrial impact structures. Subsequently impacts have been evoked in the formation of the moon, delivery of volatiles and bio-precursors to early Earth, creation of habitats for the earliest life and, in more recent times, major mass extinction events. However, understanding the impact flux to the Earth-Moon system has been complicated by the constant weathering and erosion at Earth's surface and the complex nature of impactite samples such that only a hand full of terrestrial craters have been accurately and precisely dated. Currently 40Ar/39Ar step-heating analysis of impactite samples is commonly used to infer impact ages but can be problematic due to the presence of relic clasts, incomplete 40Ar outgassing or excess 40Ar, and recoil and shock effects. The work presented here attempts to develop zircon geochronology to probe planetary impact histories as an alternative to current methods and provides another tool by which to constrain the bolide flux to the Earth-Moon system. Zircon has become the premier geo-chronometer in earth science and geochemical investigation of Hadean zircon from Western Australia has challenged the long-standing, popular conception that the near-surface Hadean Earth was an uninhabitable and hellish world; Zircons may preserve environmental information regarding their formation and thus provide a rare window into conditions on early Earth. Isotopic and petrologic analyses of these ancient grains have been interpreted to suggest that early Earth was more habitable than previously envisioned, with water oceans, continental crust, and possibly even plate tectonics. The Hadean is also suspected to be a time of major planetary bombardment however identifying impact signatures within

  13. The role of biology in planetary evolution: cyanobacterial primary production in low-oxygen Proterozoic oceans. (United States)

    Hamilton, Trinity L; Bryant, Donald A; Macalady, Jennifer L


    Understanding the role of biology in planetary evolution remains an outstanding challenge to geobiologists. Progress towards unravelling this puzzle for Earth is hindered by the scarcity of well-preserved rocks from the Archean (4.0 to 2.5 Gyr ago) and Proterozoic (2.5 to 0.5 Gyr ago) Eons. In addition, the microscopic life that dominated Earth's biota for most of its history left a poor fossil record, consisting primarily of lithified microbial mats, rare microbial body fossils and membrane-derived hydrocarbon molecules that are still challenging to interpret. However, it is clear from the sulfur isotope record and other geochemical proxies that the production of oxygen or oxidizing power radically changed Earth's surface and atmosphere during the Proterozoic Eon, pushing it away from the more reducing conditions prevalent during the Archean. In addition to ancient rocks, our reconstruction of Earth's redox evolution is informed by our knowledge of biogeochemical cycles catalysed by extant biota. The emergence of oxygenic photosynthesis in ancient cyanobacteria represents one of the most impressive microbial innovations in Earth's history, and oxygenic photosynthesis is the largest source of O2 in the atmosphere today. Thus the study of microbial metabolisms and evolution provides an important link between extant biota and the clues from the geologic record. Here, we consider the physiology of cyanobacteria (the only microorganisms capable of oxygenic photosynthesis), their co-occurrence with anoxygenic phototrophs in a variety of environments and their persistence in low-oxygen environments, including in water columns as well as mats, throughout much of Earth's history. We examine insights gained from both the rock record and cyanobacteria presently living in early Earth analogue ecosystems and synthesize current knowledge of these ancient microbial mediators in planetary redox evolution. Our analysis supports the hypothesis that anoxygenic photosynthesis

  14. Life in the Universe - Astronomy and Planetary Science Research Experience for Undergraduates at the SETI Institute (United States)

    Chiar, J.; Phillips, C. B.; Rudolph, A.; Bonaccorsi, R.; Tarter, J.; Harp, G.; Caldwell, D. A.; DeVore, E. K.


    The SETI Institute hosts an Astrobiology Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Beginning in 2013, we partnered with the Physics and Astronomy Dept. at Cal Poly Pomona, a Hispanic-serving university, to recruit underserved students. Over 11 years, we have served 155 students. We focus on Astrobiology since the Institute's mission is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe. Our REU students work with mentors at the Institute - a non-profit organization located in California's Silicon Valley-and at the nearby NASA Ames Research Center. Projects span research on survival of microbes under extreme conditions, planetary geology, astronomy, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), extrasolar planets and more. The REU program begins with an introductory lectures by Institute scientists covering the diverse astrobiology subfields. A week-long field trip to the SETI Institute's Allen Telescope Array (Hat Creek Radio Astronomy Observatory in Northern California) and field experiences at hydrothermal systems at nearby Lassen Volcanic National Park immerses students in radio astronomy and SETI, and extremophile environments that are research sites for astrobiologists. Field trips expose students to diverse environments and allow them to investigate planetary analogs as our scientists do. Students also participate in local trips to the California Academy of Sciences and other nearby locations of scientific interest, and attend the weekly scientific colloquium hosted by the SETI Institute at Microsoft, other seminars and lectures at SETI Institute and NASA Ames. The students meet and present at a weekly journal club where they hone their presentation skills, as well as share their research progress. At the end of the summer, the REU interns present their research projects at a session of the Institute's colloquium. As a final project, students prepare a 2-page formal abstract and 15-minute

  15. Galaxy dynamics with the Planetary Nebula Spectrograph


    Napolitano, N. R.; Romanowsky, A. J.; Douglas, N. G.; Capaccioli, M.; Arnaboldi, M.; Kuijken, K.; Merrifield, M. R.; Freeman, K. C.; Gerhard, O.


    The Planetary Nebula Spectrograph is a dedicated instrument for measuring radial velocity of individual Planetary Nebulae (PNe) in galaxies. This new instrument is providing crucial data with which to probe the structure of dark halos in the outskirts of elliptical galaxies in particular, which are traditionally lacking of easy interpretable kinematical tracers at large distance from the center. Preliminary results on a sample of intermediate luminosity galaxies have shown little dark matter ...

  16. International Planetary Data Alliance (IPDA) Information Model (United States)

    Hughes, John Steven; Beebe, R.; Guinness, E.; Heather, D.; Huang, M.; Kasaba, Y.; Osuna, P.; Rye, E.; Savorskiy, V.


    This document is the third deliverable of the International Planetary Data Alliance (IPDA) Archive Data Standards Requirements Identification project. The goal of the project is to identify a subset of the standards currently in use by NASAs Planetary Data System (PDS) that are appropriate for internationalization. As shown in the highlighted sections of Figure 1, the focus of this project is the Information Model component of the Data Architecture Standards, namely the object models, a data dictionary, and a set of data formats.

  17. Geological Time, Biological Events and the Learning Transfer Problem (United States)

    Johnson, Claudia C.; Middendorf, Joan; Rehrey, George; Dalkilic, Mehmet M.; Cassidy, Keely


    Comprehension of geologic time does not come easily, especially for students who are studying the earth sciences for the first time. This project investigated the potential success of two teaching interventions that were designed to help non-science majors enrolled in an introductory geology class gain a richer conceptual understanding of the…

  18. Teaching Teaching & Understanding Understanding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)


    "Teaching Teaching & Understanding Understanding" is a 19-minute award-winning short-film about teaching at university and higher-level educational institutions. It is based on the "Constructive Alignment" theory developed by Prof. John Biggs. The film delivers a foundation for understanding what...

  19. Automatic Feature Extraction from Planetary Images (United States)

    Troglio, Giulia; Le Moigne, Jacqueline; Benediktsson, Jon A.; Moser, Gabriele; Serpico, Sebastiano B.


    With the launch of several planetary missions in the last decade, a large amount of planetary images has already been acquired and much more will be available for analysis in the coming years. The image data need to be analyzed, preferably by automatic processing techniques because of the huge amount of data. Although many automatic feature extraction methods have been proposed and utilized for Earth remote sensing images, these methods are not always applicable to planetary data that often present low contrast and uneven illumination characteristics. Different methods have already been presented for crater extraction from planetary images, but the detection of other types of planetary features has not been addressed yet. Here, we propose a new unsupervised method for the extraction of different features from the surface of the analyzed planet, based on the combination of several image processing techniques, including a watershed segmentation and the generalized Hough Transform. The method has many applications, among which image registration and can be applied to arbitrary planetary images.

  20. Geologic map of Mars (United States)

    Tanaka, Kenneth L.; Skinner, James A.; Dohm, James M.; Irwin, Rossman P.; Kolb, Eric J.; Fortezzo, Corey M.; Platz, Thomas; Michael, Gregory G.; Hare, Trent M.


    This global geologic map of Mars, which records the distribution of geologic units and landforms on the planet's surface through time, is based on unprecedented variety, quality, and quantity of remotely sensed data acquired since the Viking Orbiters. These data have provided morphologic, topographic, spectral, thermophysical, radar sounding, and other observations for integration, analysis, and interpretation in support of geologic mapping. In particular, the precise topographic mapping now available has enabled consistent morphologic portrayal of the surface for global mapping (whereas previously used visual-range image bases were less effective, because they combined morphologic and albedo information and, locally, atmospheric haze). Also, thermal infrared image bases used for this map tended to be less affected by atmospheric haze and thus are reliable for analysis of surface morphology and texture at even higher resolution than the topographic products.

  1. Geology at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)



    Both advocates and critics disagree on the significance and interpretation of critical geological features which bear on the safety and suitability of Yucca Mountain as a site for the construction of a high-level radioactive waste repository. Critics believe that there is sufficient geological evidence to rule the site unsuitable for further investigation. Some advocates claim that there is insufficient data and that investigations are incomplete, while others claim that the site is free of major obstacles. We have expanded our efforts to include both the critical evaluations of existing geological and geochemical data and the collection of field data and samples for the purpose of preparing scientific papers for submittal to journals. Summaries of the critical reviews are presented in this paper

  2. Geology of Io (United States)

    Greeley, R.; Craddock, R. A.; Crown, D. A.; Leshin, L. A.; Schaber, G. G.


    Geologic mapping of the Jovian satellite Io has been completed at 1:15,000,000 scale for an area lying between +40 and -90 deg latitude and 230 and 45 deg longitude, which includes portions of the Ruwa Patera quadrangle (Ji2) and the Lerna Region (Ji4) and the westernmost section of the Colchis Region (Ji3). Image resolution in the mapped area is commonly 0.5 to 2 km/pxl. High resolution areas (less than .5 km/pxl) are located near the south pole (Lerna Region) and in eastern Ruwa Patera quadrangle. Geologic maps for the Ruwa Patera quadrangle (Ji2) and the Lerna Region (Ji4) have been produced at 1:5,000,000 scale. The present effort reexamines the previously mapped areas and synthesizes the geology of Io on a global scale.

  3. The geology of Ganymede (United States)

    Shoemaker, E. M.; Lucchitta, B. K.; Wilhelms, D. E.; Plescia, J. B.; Squyres, S. W.

    A broad outline of the geologic history of Ganymede is presented, obtained from a first attempt to map the geology on a global scale and to interpret the characteristics of the observed geologic units. Features of the ancient cratered terrain such as craters and palimpsests, furrows and troughs, are discussed. The grooved terrain is described, including its sulci and cells, and the age relation of these units is considered along with the structure and origin of this terrain. The Gilgamesh Basin and Western Equatorial Basin in the post grooved terrain are treated, as are the bright and dark ray craters and the regolith. The development of all these regions and features is discussed in context. For the regolith, this includes the effect of water migration, sputtering, and thermal annealing. The histories of the ancient cratered terrain, the grooved terrain, and the post grooved terrain are presented.

  4. Geological fakes and frauds (United States)

    Ruffell, Alastair; Majury, Niall; Brooks, William E.


    Some geological fakes and frauds are carried out solely for financial gain (mining fraud), whereas others maybe have increasing aesthetic appeal (faked fossils) or academic advancement (fabricated data) as their motive. All types of geological fake or fraud can be ingenious and sophisticated, as demonstrated in this article. Fake gems, faked fossils and mining fraud are common examples where monetary profit is to blame: nonetheless these may impact both scientific theory and the reputation of geologists and Earth scientists. The substitution or fabrication of both physical and intellectual data also occurs for no direct financial gain, such as career advancement or establishment of belief (e.g. evolution vs. creationism). Knowledge of such fakes and frauds may assist in spotting undetected geological crimes: application of geoforensic techniques helps the scientific community to detect such activity, which ultimately undermines scientific integrity.

  5. Geological Corrections in Gravimetry (United States)

    Mikuška, J.; Marušiak, I.


    Applying corrections for the known geology to gravity data can be traced back into the first quarter of the 20th century. Later on, mostly in areas with sedimentary cover, at local and regional scales, the correction known as gravity stripping has been in use since the mid 1960s, provided that there was enough geological information. Stripping at regional to global scales became possible after releasing the CRUST 2.0 and later CRUST 1.0 models in the years 2000 and 2013, respectively. Especially the later model provides quite a new view on the relevant geometries and on the topographic and crustal densities as well as on the crust/mantle density contrast. Thus, the isostatic corrections, which have been often used in the past, can now be replaced by procedures working with an independent information interpreted primarily from seismic studies. We have developed software for performing geological corrections in space domain, based on a-priori geometry and density grids which can be of either rectangular or spherical/ellipsoidal types with cells of the shapes of rectangles, tesseroids or triangles. It enables us to calculate the required gravitational effects not only in the form of surface maps or profiles but, for instance, also along vertical lines, which can shed some additional light on the nature of the geological correction. The software can work at a variety of scales and considers the input information to an optional distance from the calculation point up to the antipodes. Our main objective is to treat geological correction as an alternative to accounting for the topography with varying densities since the bottoms of the topographic masses, namely the geoid or ellipsoid, generally do not represent geological boundaries. As well we would like to call attention to the possible distortions of the corrected gravity anomalies. This work was supported by the Slovak Research and Development Agency under the contract APVV-0827-12.

  6. Dust Dynamics Near Planetary Surfaces (United States)

    Colwell, Joshua; Hughes, Anna; Grund, Chris

    Observations of a lunar "horizon glow" by several Surveyor spacecraft in the 1960s opened the study of the dynamics of charged dust particles near planetary surfaces. The surfaces of the Moon and other airless planetary bodies in the solar system (asteroids, and other moons) are directly exposed to the solar wind and ionizing solar ultraviolet radiation, resulting in a time-dependent electric surface potential. Because these same objects are also exposed to bombardment by micrometeoroids, the surfaces are usually characterized by a power-law size distribution of dust that extends to sub-micron-sized particles. Individual particles can acquire a charge different from their surroundings leading to electrostatic levitation. Once levitated, particles may simply return to the surface on nearly ballistic trajectories, escape entirely from the moon or asteroid if the initial velocity is large, or in some cases be stably levitated for extended periods of time. All three outcomes have observable consequences. Furthermore, the behavior of charged dust near the surface has practical implications for planned future manned and unmanned activities on the lunar surface. Charged dust particles also act as sensitive probes of the near-surface plasma environment. Recent numerical modeling of dust levitation and transport show that charged micron-sized dust is likely to accumulate in topographic lows such as craters, providing a mechanism for the creation of dust "ponds" observed on the asteroid 433 Eros. Such deposition can occur when particles are supported by the photoelectron sheath above the dayside and drift over shadowed regions of craters where the surface potential is much smaller. Earlier studies of the lunar horizon glow are consistent with those particles being on simple ballistic trajectories following electrostatic launching from the surface. Smaller particles may be accelerated from the lunar surface to high altitudes consistent with observations of high altitude

  7. Prototype of Web-based Geological Data Sharing System using Free and Open Source Software (United States)

    Nonogaki, S.; Masumoto, S.; Nemoto, T.


    Two-dimensional (2D) geological data, such as geological maps and geological cross-sections, have been shared to the public on the Web, due to its importance in understanding subsurface geological conditions. However, ordinary people cannot figure out subsurface geological conditions only from these 2D data. The purpose of this study is to share various types of geological data to the public in easy-to-understand style on the Web. For this purpose, we developed a prototype of web-based geological data sharing system using free and open source software. As a result, the developed system allows the users (1) to map locations of borehole logs with a geological map, (2) to search database for borehole logs by keywords, (3) to browse a surface-based geological model within arbitrary range, and (4) to generate a geological cross-section along arbitrary lines. The geological map and surface-based geological model have been constructed based on borehole logs beforehand. The geological cross-section can be generated from the surface-based geological model on-demand. In this system, all functions can be performed through a Web browser. In addition, a distribution of borehole logs and the surface-based geological model can be visualized in three-dimension (3D). The 3D visualization of geological data on the Web assists users in understanding subsurface geological conditions quickly and correctly with or without previous knowledge of geology. In conclusion, the developed system contributes to create better environments for promoting utilization of geological data. This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP16K21677.

  8. Turning Planetary Theory Upside Down (United States)


    The discovery of nine new transiting exoplanets is announced today at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting (NAM2010). When these new results were combined with earlier observations of transiting exoplanets astronomers were surprised to find that six out of a larger sample of 27 were found to be orbiting in the opposite direction to the rotation of their host star - the exact reverse of what is seen in our own Solar System. The new discoveries provide an unexpected and serious challenge to current theories of planet formation. They also suggest that systems with exoplanets of the type known as hot Jupiters are unlikely to contain Earth-like planets. "This is a real bomb we are dropping into the field of exoplanets," says Amaury Triaud, a PhD student at the Geneva Observatory who, with Andrew Cameron and Didier Queloz, leads a major part of the observational campaign. Planets are thought to form in the disc of gas and dust encircling a young star. This proto-planetary disc rotates in the same direction as the star itself, and up to now it was expected that planets that form from the disc would all orbit in more or less the same plane, and that they would move along their orbits in the same direction as the star's rotation. This is the case for the planets in the Solar System. After the initial detection of the nine new exoplanets [1] with the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP, [2]), the team of astronomers used the HARPS spectrograph on the 3.6-metre ESO telescope at the La Silla observatory in Chile, along with data from the Swiss Euler telescope, also at La Silla, and data from other telescopes to confirm the discoveries and characterise the transiting exoplanets [3] found in both the new and older surveys. Surprisingly, when the team combined the new data with older observations they found that more than half of all the hot Jupiters [4] studied have orbits that are misaligned with the rotation axis of their parent stars. They even found that six exoplanets in this

  9. Site characterizations around KURT area-Geologic model (Version 1)-

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Park, Kyung Woo; Kim, Kyung Su; Koh, Yong Kwon; Kim, Geon Young


    To characterize the geologic elements around study area for high-level radioactive waste disposal research in KAERI, the several geological investigations such as geophysical surveys and borehole drillings were carried out since 1997. Especially, the KURT (KAERI Underground Research Tunnel) was constructed to understand the deep geological environments in 2006. At recent, the deep boreholes, which have 500m depth at left research module inside the KURT and 1,000m depth outside the KURT, were drilled around the KURT area to confirm and validate the geological model. The objective of this research is to construct the first version of geological model around KURT area in the point of hydro-geological view. The data in this study are based on the surface geological investigation and borehole investigations drilled in until 2005. At results, total 4 geological elements are obtained from geological analysis, which are a subsurface weathered zone, log-angled fractures zone, fracture zones and bedrock. And, the geometries of these elements are also plotted by three-dimensional model. The first version of geological model which is built in this study will be supported to construct the hydrogeological model and geochemical model

  10. Cold Fire: The Geology and Geophysics of Enceladus (United States)

    McKinnon, W. B.


    The mythological Enceladus is buried beneath Mt. Etna, and is responsible for its tremors and volcanism. Enceladus, the 500-km-wide moon of Saturn, is no less active, but the source of its geological vigor is one of the great challenges of contemporary planetary science. Data from Cassini has revolutionized our view of this world. It is rock-rich, 56-59% rock by mass, yet its surface is nearly pure water ice. Most of Enceladus has been resurfaced, and active plumes of vapor and micron-sized ice particles are erupting from a set of semi- parallel fissures ("tiger stripes") at its south pole. Thermal emission from the south polar terrain (SPT) of 5.8 ± 1.9 GW is measured directly. The SPT is also ringed with distinctive compressional fold and/or thrust belts. Enceladus is thus the icy satellite equivalent to Io, in terms of phenomena and data type, i.e., traditional visual imaging and infrared spectroscopy are augmented by heat flow determination; in addition, Cassini can and has flown through the plume and measured its composition. The source of Enceladus' thermal output must be tidal heating associated with its 2:1 e-type mean-motion resonance with larger Dione. The magnitude of its heat output can be explained by a suitably dissipative interior, but one that in all likelihood is differentiated and contains an internal ocean ("aquasphere"), because solid-body dissipation is inadequate. Its present heat flow cannot be maintained over geologic time, however, which implies that Enceladus' eccentricity is time variable (presently decreasing) and/or that the source of Saturn's dissipation (its ` Q') has also varied (decreased) over geologic time. Where in Enceladus is tidal strain energy dissipated, and why is it concentrated in one geographic locale? Is it in the rock core, the overlying warm (in a homologous sense) ice mantle, or in the cold lithosphere, along vertical, "tiger-rific" shear zones, or some combination? Core dissipation is unlikely to be quantitatively

  11. Volcanic Degassing and the Atmosphere of Planetary Suites (United States)

    Gaillard, F.; Scaillet, B.


    How unique the Earth is requires an urgent definition in front of the myriad of spatial observations revealing extra solar planets with variable spectral signatures. In the close solar system, high water abundance, atmospheric pressure at 1 bar and an O2-rich atmosphere constitute the main features of the Earth surface. This contrasts with dry Venus and its nearly 100 bar of reduced atmosphere dominated by CO2. This also contrasts with Mars, once flowed by water, today dominated by sulphate deposits, with 0.01 bar of atmospheric pressure and its oxidized surface. Such diversity in the physic and chemistry of planetary surfaces constitutes our most robust observation and benchmark for deciphering the remote exoplanets and defining the possible development of clement conditions for extra-terrestrial life. Volcanic degassing is a fundamental planetary process that conveys igneous volatiles species regulating important physical and chemical features of the exosphere. Understanding the planetary chemical fix supplied by volcanoes and how it can vary is therefore critical for a better definition of systems favorable to life emergence. We show that the atmospheric pressure, defining the minimum pressure of volcanic degassing, is the chief parameter controlling the composition of volcanic gases. On Venus, volcanic degassing occurring at minimum pressure of 100 bar can only be composed of CO2, whereas water and sulfur remain dissolved in the lavas. This explains the dry Venusian atmosphere. Degassing at 1 bar (minimum) on Earth produces mixtures dominated by water, explaining the Earth's wet surface. On Mars, gases produced at less than 0.05 bar contain more sulfur than water and Jupiter moon, Io, emits, in vacuum, gases that are dominated by sulfite. The composition of volcanic gases is therefore merely regulated by the atmospheric pressure. The latter is, in turn, mainly controlled by the size of the planet, even if little certitude exists about the most influential

  12. Using Primary Literature for Teaching Undergraduate Planetary Sciences (United States)

    Levine, J.


    Articles from the primary scientific literature can be a valuable teaching tool in undergraduate classrooms. At Colgate University, I emphasize selected research articles in an upper-level undergraduate course in planetary sciences. In addition to their value for conveying specific scientific content, I find that they also impart larger lessons which are especially apt in planetary sciences and allied fields. First, because of the interdisciplinary nature of planetary sciences, students discover that contributions to outstanding problems may arrive from unexpected directions, so they need to be aware of the multi-faceted nature of scientific problems. For instance, after millennia of astrometric attempts, the scale of the Solar System was determined with extraordinary precision with emerging radar technology in the 1960's. Second, students learn the importance of careful work, with due attention to detail. After all, the timescales of planetary formation are encoded in systematic isotopic variations of a few parts in 10,000; in students' own experiences with laboratory data they might well overlook such a small effect. Third, students identify the often-tortuous connections between measured and inferred quantities, which corrects a common student misconception that all quantities of interest (e.g., the age of a meteorite) can be measured directly. Fourth, research articles provide opportunities for students to practice the interpretation of graphical data, since figures often represent a large volume of data in succinct form. Fifth, and perhaps of greatest importance, by considering the uncertainties inherent in reported data, students come to recognize the limits of scientific understanding, the extent to which scientific conclusions are justified (or not), and the lengths to which working scientists go to mitigate their uncertainties. These larger lessons are best mediated by students' own encounters with the articles they read, but require instructors to make

  13. Spectral Feature Analysis of Minerals and Planetary Surfaces in an Introductory Planetary Science Course (United States)

    Urban, Michael J.


    Using an ALTA II reflectance spectrometer, the USGS digital spectral library, graphs of planetary spectra, and a few mineral hand samples, one can teach how light can be used to study planets and moons. The author created the hands-on, inquiry-based activity for an undergraduate planetary science course consisting of freshman to senior level…

  14. Geological impacts on nutrition (United States)

    This chapter reviews the nutritional roles of mineral elements, as part of a volume on health implications of geology. The chapter addresses the absorption and post-absorptive utilization of the nutritionally essential minerals, including their physiological functions and quantitative requirements....

  15. Geology of Venus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Basilevsky, A.T.; Head, J.W. III.


    This paper summarizes the emerging picture of the surface of Venus provided by high-resolution earth-based radar telescopes and orbital radar altimetry and imaging systems. The nature and significance of the geological processes operating there are considered. The types of information needed to complete the picture are addressed. 71 references

  16. Geological history of uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Niini, Heikki


    Uranium is widely distributed in continental geological environments. The order of magnitude of uranium abundance in felsitic igneous rocks is 2-15 ppm, whereas it is less than 1 ppm in mafic rocks. Sedimentary rocks show a large range: from less than 0.1 ppm U in certain evaporites to over 100 ppm in phosphate rocks and organogenic matter. The content of U in seawater varies from 0.0005 to 0.005 ppm. The isotopic ratio U-238/U-235 is presently 137.5+-0.5, having gradually increased during geological time. The third natural isotope is U-234. On the basis of three fundamental economic criteria for ore reserves assessment (geological assurance, technical feasibility, and the grade and quantity of the deposits), the author finally comes to the following conclusions: Although the global uranium ores are not geologically renewable but continuously mined, they still, due to exploration and technical development, will tend to progressively increase for centuries to come

  17. Palynology and environmental geology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Manten, A.A.


    A brief survey of the possibilities and problems of palynology as a contributor to the progress of palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology and palaeoecology is presented. Also shown is how these fields and other branches of the earth sciences which contribute to environmental geology may, in their turn,

  18. Remnants of Lost Geology (United States)


    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] In eastern Arabia Terra, remnants of a once vast layered terrain are evident as isolated buttes, mesas, and deeply-filled craters. The origin of the presumed sediments that created the layers is unknown, but those same sediments, now eroded, may be the source of the thick mantle of dust that covers much of Arabia Terra today.Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude 20.5, Longitude 50 East (310 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.

  19. Precession effects on a liquid planetary core (United States)

    Liu, Min; Li, Li-Gang


    Motivated by the desire to understand the rich dynamics of precessionally driven flow in a liquid planetary core, we investigate, through numerical simulations, the precessing fluid motion in a rotating cylindrical annulus, which simultaneously possesses slow precession. The same problemhas been studied extensively in cylinders, where the precessing flow is characterized by three key parameters: the Ekman number E, the Poincaré number Po and the radius-height aspect ratio Γ. While in an annulus, there is another parameter, the inner-radius-height aspect ratio ϒ, which also plays an important role in controlling the structure and evolution of the flow. By decomposing the nonlinear solution into a set of inertial modes, we demonstrate the properties of both weakly and moderately precessing flows. It is found that, when the precessional force is weak, the flow is stable with a constant amplitude of kinetic energy. As the precessional force increases, our simulation suggests that the nonlinear interaction between the boundary effects and the inertial modes can trigger more turbulence, introducing a transitional regime of rich dynamics to disordered flow. The inertial mode u 111, followed by u 113 or u 112, always dominates the precessing flow when 0.001 ≤ Po ≤ 0.05, ranging from weak to moderate precession. Moreover, the precessing flow in an annulus shows more stability than in a cylinder which is likely to be caused by the effect of the inner boundary that restricts the growth of resonant and non-resonant inertial modes. Furthermore, the mechanism of triadic resonance is not found in the transitional regime from a laminar to disordered flow.

  20. Toward predictive scenarios of planetary migration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baruteau, Clement


    The recent detection of extra-solar planets has provided an exciting opportunity to test our theories of planet formation and evolution. An impressive result is the significant proportion of giant planets located much closer to their star than Mercury is from our own Sun. These planets should have formed further out in the protoplanetary disc, thus one needs to explain how they could move closer to their host star. Remarkably enough, such an explanation was proposed well before the discovery of the first exo-planet. It considered the interaction between a planet and the protoplanetary disc, which leads to a decrease of the planet's semi-major axis. This is known as planetary migration. Many studies have shown that the migration timescale of low-mass planets is much shorter than the lifetime of the disc. All planets should therefore have migrated to the vicinity of their host star. This is at least in contradiction with the locations of the planets in our Solar System. In order to elaborate predictive scenarios of planet formation and evolution, it is of primary interest to refine our understanding of disc-planet interactions. The inclusion of the disc self-gravity is an illustration of this. With analytical and numerical arguments, I show that discarding the self-gravity leads to a significant overestimate of the differential Lindblad torque for migrating low-mass planets. Another aspect explored in this thesis is the impact of the gas thermodynamics on migration. I show that the thermodynamic evolution of the disc induces an additional contribution to the corotation torque, which may dramatically slow down or even reverse the migration of low-mass planets. (author) [fr

  1. Morpho-kinematic modeling of planetary nebulae (United States)

    Chan, Tsz-Pan (Henry)


    The Planetary Nebulae (PNe) are the transition phase between asymptotic giant branch (AGB) star and white dwarfs for stars with masses between 1 and 8 M⊙. They were originally thought to be well-studied and can be explained with simple models. With the advance of imaging technology especially on Space Telescope (HST), the shapes of PNe have been found to be much more complex than we assumed to be. We aimed to investigate on the basic but mysterious intrinsic three-dimensional structures using the newly developed modeling software. Astronomers usually use the morphological classification on group and classify different properties of PNe. Over the past century many attempts have been made for this classification to seek for explaining and understanding the threedimensional structure that is responsible for the observed images. There have been two beliefs in explaining the variety of shapes of PNe and among them the most amazing one is that the morphologies can be accounted by different orientations of a single structure (Khromov & Kohoutek, 1968). Motivated by the study of Ring Nebula on its intrinsic structure, we investigated the possibility that different types of morphology in PNe can be explained by a single model. We used the newly developed modeling code SHAPE (Steffen et al., 2006), which cooperates the use of spatial information as well as its kinematics, and aimed to quantitatively investigate the basic structure inside PNe. We investigated two classical nebulae: NGC 2346 and NGC 2440. We proposed a simple but adequate model for these nebulae. Stimulated optical images and the p-v arrays were derived by the modeling code SHAPE to make comparison with the observed data to seek for the correctness of the model. Hubble velocity field and inverse square law density distribution were assumed throughout the modeling process. This model provides insights in seeking further adequate intrinsic structure of PNe.

  2. Field Geology for Environment Awareness (United States)

    Andrez, Marilia


    The objective of this project is to show the scientific and educational potential of natural environment of Lisbon region through increase of excitement for plate tectonics subjects to high school students. It is expected the students be able to understand the main concepts of the plate tectonics, stratigraphy, paleontology and paleoenvironmental interpretations, explain in the field nearby Lisbon. The richness of Guincho beach geodiversity and "Sintra Syenite Complex" valuate the geological patrimony. Combining these entities and educational purposes will raise awareness to sustainable attitudes favoring the preservation of natural patrimony by the students. The subjects approached in the project are based on the inspection of several outcrops related to the evolution of the Iberian Plate at early Mesozoic period, at several places of geological interest. The landscape of Guincho is dominated by Mesozoic formations that show good conditions paleoenvironmental and geodynamic interpretations associated to the opening of the North Atlantic. Moreover it reveals the environment linked to the magmatic intrusion of the "Sintra Alcaline Complex" at the end of Cretaceous. It is believed the contact with field is crucial to the awareness of young people to subjects that are not daily matters, however important when presented in the light of an urgent society problem such as environment preservation, at all levels by all people.

  3. Geological data integration techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)


    The objectives of this Technical Committee are to bring together current knowledge on geological data handling and analysis technologies as developed in the mineral and petroleum industries for geological, geophysical, geochemical and remote sensing data that can be applied to uranium exploration and resource appraisal. The recommendation for work on this topic was first made at the meeting of the NEA-IAEA Joint Group of Experts on R and D in Uranium Exploration Techniques (Paris, May 1984). In their report, processing of integrated data sets was considered to be extremely important in view of the very extensive data sets built up over the recent years by large uranium reconnaissance programmes. With the development of large, multidisciplinary data sets which includes geochemical, geophysical, geological and remote sensing data, the ability of the geologist to easily interpret large volumes of information has been largely the result of developments in the field of computer science in the past decade. Advances in data management systems, image processing software, the size and speed of computer systems and significantly reduced processing costs have made large data set integration and analysis practical and affordable. The combined signatures which can be obtained from the different types of data significantly enhance the geologists ability to interpret fundamental geological properties thereby improving the chances of finding a significant ore body. This volume is the product of one of a number of activities related to uranium geology and exploration during the past few years with the intent of bringing new technologies and exploration techniques to the IAEA Member States

  4. Computed Tomography Scanning to Understand Micro-to-Macro Controls on Multiphase Flow during Geologic Carbon Storage; NETL-TRS-3-2017; NETL Technical Report Series; U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory: Morgantown, WV, 2017; p 24.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crandall, Dustin M. [National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Morgantown, WV (United States); Moore, Johnathan E. [National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL) and AECOM, Morgantown, WV (United States); Tudek, John K. [National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL) and AECOM, Morgantown, WV (United States); Gill, Magdalena K [National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL) and ORISE, Morgantown, WV (United States)


    Evaluation of the fate and transport of carbon dioxide (CO2) in deep reservoirs is crucial to the development of long-term geologic carbon sequestration (GCS) technologies. In this report, various studies using computed tomography (CT) scanning are utilized in conjunction with traditional flow tests to observe the multi-scale phenomena associated with CO2 injection in geologic media. Pore scale analyses were performed to determine the infiltration characteristics of CO2 into a brine saturated reservoir rock. Multiphase floods were performed to evaluate the saturation of CO2 into a brine-saturated reservoir rock and determine how structural changes within the lithology affect such interactions. Additionally, CO2 induced swelling of unconventional reservoir rock was evaluated with respect to reductions in fracture transmissivity due to matrix swelling. These studies are just a few examples of the benefits of multi-scale CT imaging in conjunction with traditional laboratory methodology to gain a better understanding of the interactions between CO2 and the lithologies it interacts with during GCS.

  5. Planetary Protection Bioburden Analysis Program (United States)

    Beaudet, Robert A.


    is programmed in Visual Basic for Applications for installation as a simple add-in for Microsoft Excel. The user is directed to a graphical user interface (GUI) that requires user inputs and provides solutions directly in Microsoft Excel workbooks. This work was done by Shannon Ryan of the USRA Lunar and Planetary Institute for Johnson Space Center. Further information is contained in a TSP (see page 1). MSC- 24582-1 Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris (MMOD) Shield Ballistic Limit Analysis Program Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas Commercially, because it is so generic, Enigma can be used for almost any project that requires engineering visualization, model building, or animation. Models in Enigma can be exported to many other formats for use in other applications as well. Educationally, Enigma is being used to allow university students to visualize robotic algorithms in a simulation mode before using them with actual hardware. This work was done by David Shores and Sharon P. Goza of Johnson Space Center; Cheyenne McKeegan, Rick Easley, Janet Way, and Shonn Everett of MEI Technologies; Mark Manning of PTI; and Mark Guerra, Ray Kraesig, and William Leu of Tietronix Software, Inc. For further information, contact the JSC Innovation Partnerships Office at (281) 483-3809. MSC-24211-1 Spitzer Telemetry Processing System NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California The Spitzer Telemetry Processing System (SirtfTlmProc) was designed to address objectives of JPL's Multi-mission Image Processing Lab (MIPL) in processing spacecraft telemetry and distributing the resulting data to the science community. To minimize costs and maximize operability, the software design focused on automated error recovery, performance, and information management. The system processes telemetry from the Spitzer spacecraft and delivers Level 0 products to the Spitzer Science Center. SirtfTlmProc is a unique system with automated error notification and recovery, with a real

  6. The Global Geology of Titan from Cassini RADAR data (United States)

    Lopes, Rosaly; Malaska, Michael J.

    The variety of geological processes on Titan is rivaled in our Solar System only on Earth. Results from the Cassini-Huygens mission obtained so far have revealed a wide range of geologic and climatological processes. We use data obtained by Cassini’s Titan Radar Mapper (13.78 GHz, lambda=2.17 cm) to analyze the distribution of different types of geologic processes occurring on Titan’s surface, both endogenic and exogenic, and to derive temporal relationships between these processes, at least at local scales. The distribution and interplay of geologic processes is important to provide constraints on models of the interior and of surface-atmosphere interactions. We mapped the SAR images in terms of characteristic morphology of geological features and their radar backscatter in order to determine possible emplacement sequences and the overall distribution of geologic processes. All the major planetary geologic processes - volcanism, tectonism, impact cratering and erosion - appear to have played a role in shaping Titan’s complex surface. This paper will review the distribution and relative ages of different geomorphologic units. While some units (craters, dunes, mountains, channels, lakes and seas) are well established in the literature, the presence of cryovolcanic features is still somewhat controversial, and the origin of undifferentiated plains (known as blandlands) is still mysterious. We now have over half of Titan’s surface imaged by SAR and the interpretation of these and other terrains is better constrained. The results from our latest analyses suggest that a sedimentary origin for the undifferentiated plains is the most likely. Cryovolcanism appears to have occurred on Titan, but it is not ubiquitous, and the major cryovolcanic area appears to be old, now partly covered by dunes. Titan’s surface shows a complex interaction between the surface and atmosphere, with erosional processes being driven by wind, liquids and dissolution.

  7. Crosscutting Development- EVA Tools and Geology Sample Acquisition (United States)


    Exploration to all destinations has at one time or another involved the acquisition and return of samples and context data. Gathered at the summit of the highest mountain, the floor of the deepest sea, or the ice of a polar surface, samples and their value (both scientific and symbolic) have been a mainstay of Earthly exploration. In manned spaceflight exploration, the gathering of samples and their contextual information has continued. With the extension of collecting activities to spaceflight destinations comes the need for geology tools and equipment uniquely designed for use by suited crew members in radically different environments from conventional field geology. Beginning with the first Apollo Lunar Surface Extravehicular Activity (EVA), EVA Geology Tools were successfully used to enable the exploration and scientific sample gathering objectives of the lunar crew members. These early designs were a step in the evolution of Field Geology equipment, and the evolution continues today. Contemporary efforts seek to build upon and extend the knowledge gained in not only the Apollo program but a wealth of terrestrial field geology methods and hardware that have continued to evolve since the last lunar surface EVA. This paper is presented with intentional focus on documenting the continuing evolution and growing body of knowledge for both engineering and science team members seeking to further the development of EVA Geology. Recent engineering development and field testing efforts of EVA Geology equipment for surface EVA applications are presented, including the 2010 Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATs) field trial. An executive summary of findings will also be presented, detailing efforts recommended for exotic sample acquisition and pre-return curation development regardless of planetary or microgravity destination.

  8. Engaging Audiences in Planetary Science Through Visualizations (United States)

    Shupla, C. B.; Mason, T.; Peticolas, L. M.; Hauck, K.


    One way to share compelling stories is through visuals. The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), in collaboration with Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) and Space Science Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, has been working with planetary scientists to reach and engage audiences in their research through the use of visualizations. We will share how images and animations have been used in multiple mediums, including the planetarium, Science on a Sphere, the hyperwall, and within apps. Our objectives are to provide a tool that planetary scientists can use to tell their stories, as well as to increase audience awareness of and interest in planetary science. While scientists are involved in the selection of topics and the development of the visuals, LPI and partners seek to increase the planetary science community's awareness of these resources and their ability to incorporate them into their own public engagement efforts. This presentation will share our own resources and efforts, as well as the input received from scientists on how education and public engagement teams can best assist them in developing and using these resources, and disseminating them to both scientists and to informal science education venues.

  9. Access to the Online Planetary Research Literature (United States)

    Henneken, E. A.; Accomazzi, A.; Kurtz, M. J.; Grant, C. S.; Thompson, D.; Di Milia, G.; Bohlen, E.; Murray, S. S.


    The SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) provides various free services for finding, accessing, and managing bibliographic data, including a basic search form, the myADS notification service, and private library capabilities (a useful tool for building bibliographies), plus access to scanned pages of published articles. The ADS also provides powerful search capabilities, allowing users to find e.g. the most instructive or most important articles on a given subject . For the Planetary Sciences, the citation statistics of the ADS have improved considerably with the inclusion of the references from Elsevier journals, including Icarus, Planetary and Space Science, and Earth and Planetary Science Letters. We currently have about 78 journals convering the planetary and space sciences (Advances in Space Research, Icarus, Solar Physics, Astrophusics and Space Science, JGRE, Meteoritics, to name a few). Currently, this set of journals represents about 180,000 articles and 1.1 million references. Penetration into the Solar Physics, Planetary Sciences and Geophysics community has increased significantly. During the period 2004-2008, user access to JGR and Icarus increased by a factor of 4.4, while e.g. access to the Astrophysical Journal "only" increased by a factor of 1.8.

  10. Fourier transform spectroscopy for future planetary missions (United States)

    Brasunas, John C.; Hewagama, Tilak; Kolasinski, John R.; Kostiuk, Theodor


    Thermal-emission infrared spectroscopy is a powerful tool for exploring the composition, temperature structure, and dynamics of planetary atmospheres; and the temperature of solid surfaces. A host of Fourier transform spectrometers (FTS) such as Mariner IRIS, Voyager IRIS, and Cassini CIRS from NASA Goddard have made and continue to make important new discoveries throughout the solar system.Future FTS instruments will have to be more sensitive (when we concentrate on the colder, outer reaches of the solar system), and less massive and less power-hungry as we cope with decreasing resource allotments for future planetary science instruments. With this in mind, NASA Goddard was funded via the Planetary Instrument Definition and Development Progrem (PIDDP) to develop CIRS-lite, a smaller version of the CIRS FTS for future planetary missions. Following the initial validation of CIRS-lite operation in the laboratory, we have been acquiring atmospheric data in the 8-12 micron window at the 1.2 m telescope at the Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory (GGAO) in Greenbelt, MD. Targets so far have included Earth's atmosphere (in emission, and in absorption against the moon), and Venus.We will present the roadmap for making CIRS-lite a viable candidate for future planetary missions.

  11. X-ray observations of planetary nebulae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Apparao, K.M.V.; Tarafdar, S.P.


    The Einstein satellite was used to observe 19 planetary nebulae and X-ray emission was detected from four planetary nebulae. The EXOSAT satellite observed 12 planetary nebulae and five new sources were detected. An Einstein HRI observation shows that NGC 246 is a point source, implying that the X-rays are from the central star. Most of the detected planetary nebulae are old and the X-rays are observed during the later stage of planetary nebulae/central star evolution, when the nebula has dispersed sufficiently and/or when the central star gets old and the heavy elements in the atmosphere settle down due to gravitation. However in two cases where the central star is sufficiently luminous X-rays were observed, even though they were young nebulae; the X-radiation ionizes the nebula to a degree, to allow negligible absorption in the nebula. Temperature T x is obtained using X-ray flux and optical magnitude and assuming the spectrum is blackbody. T x agrees with Zanstra temperature obtained from optical Helium lines. (author)

  12. On the Nature, Theory, and Modeling of Atmospheric Planetary Boundary Layers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baklanov, Alexander A.; Grisogono, Branko; Bornstein, Robert


    The gap between our modern understanding of planetary boundary layer physics and its decades-old representations in current operational atmospheric models is widening, which has stimulated this review of the current state of the art and an analysis of the immediate needs in boundary layer theory,...

  13. Wave Propagation in Jointed Geologic Media

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Antoun, T


    Predictive modeling capabilities for wave propagation in a jointed geologic media remain a modern day scientific frontier. In part this is due to a lack of comprehensive understanding of the complex physical processes associated with the transient response of geologic material, and in part it is due to numerical challenges that prohibit accurate representation of the heterogeneities that influence the material response. Constitutive models whose properties are determined from laboratory experiments on intact samples have been shown to over-predict the free field environment in large scale field experiments. Current methodologies for deriving in situ properties from laboratory measured properties are based on empirical equations derived for static geomechanical applications involving loads of lower intensity and much longer durations than those encountered in applications of interest involving wave propagation. These methodologies are not validated for dynamic applications, and they do not account for anisotropic behavior stemming from direcitonal effects associated with the orientation of joint sets in realistic geologies. Recent advances in modeling capabilities coupled with modern high performance computing platforms enable physics-based simulations of jointed geologic media with unprecedented details, offering a prospect for significant advances in the state of the art. This report provides a brief overview of these modern computational approaches, discusses their advantages and limitations, and attempts to formulate an integrated framework leading to the development of predictive modeling capabilities for wave propagation in jointed and fractured geologic materials.

  14. Bureau of Economic Geology. 1978 annual report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)


    Bureau research programs and projects are designed to address many of the State's major concerns in the areas of geologic, energy, mineral, land, and environmental resouces. Research programs incorporate geologic concepts that will build toward an understanding of a specific resource and its impact on human activities. In addition to resource assessments in uranium, lignite, and geopressured geothermal energy, the Bureau continued research into analysis of governmental policy related to energy. Systemic geologic mapping, coastal studies, basin analysis projects, and investigations in other areas of economic geology further indicate the range of research programs carried forward in 1978. Specifically, research on mineral resources and land resources, coastal studies, hydrogeology, basin studies, geologic mapping, and other research (tektites and meteorites, carboniferous of Texas, depositional environments of the Marble Falls Formation, Central Texas) are reported. The establishment of the Mining and Mineral Resources Research Institute is followed. Contracts and grant support and contract reports are listed. The publications eminating from the Bureau are listed. Services rendered by the Bureau and personnel information are included. (MCW)

  15. Geoethics and Forensic Geology (United States)

    Donnelly, Laurance


    The International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), Initiative on Forensic Geology (IFG) was set up in 2011 to promote and develop the applications of geology to policing and law enforcement throughout the world. This includes the provision of crime scene examinations, searches to locate graves or items of interest that have been buried beneath the ground surface as part of a criminal act and geological trace analysis and evidence. Forensic geologists may assist the police and law enforcement in a range of ways including for example; homicide, sexual assaults, counter terrorism, kidnapping, humanitarian incidents, environmental crimes, precious minerals theft, fakes and fraudulent crimes. The objective of this paper is to consider the geoethical aspects of forensic geology. This includes both delivery to research and teaching, and contribution to the practical applications of forensic geology in case work. The case examples cited are based on the personal experiences of the authors. Often, the technical and scientific aspect of forensic geology investigation may be the most straightforward, after all, this is what the forensic geologist has been trained to do. The associated geoethical issues can be the most challenging and complex to manage. Generally, forensic geologists are driven to carry-out their research or case work with integrity, honesty and in a manner that is law abiding, professional, socially acceptable and highly responsible. This is necessary in advising law enforcement organisations, society and the scientific community that they represent. As the science of forensic geology begins to advance around the world it is desirable to establish a standard set of principles, values and to provide an agreed ethical a framework. But what are these core values? Who is responsible for producing these? How may these become enforced? What happens when geoethical standards are breached? This paper does not attempt to provide all of the answers, as further work

  16. The surface of Io - Geologic units, morphology, and tectonics (United States)

    Schaber, G. G.


    The geologic units, morphology and tectonics evident on a preliminary geological map obtained from best-resolution Voyager 1 images and a preliminary pictorial map of the surface of Io are discussed. Nine volcanic units are identified on the surface which are composed of mountain materials, intervent, layered and eroded layered plains, and wall and floor, pit crater flow, shield crater flow, fissure flow and crater cone units associated with volcanic vents, along with seven types of structural features. The cumulative volcanic crater size distribution of 170 Ionian vents with craters greater than 14 km is similar to that of impact craters on other solar system bodies, with a surplus of small craters and a preponderance of volcanic vents in the Io equatorial zone. The observed surface morphologies provide evidence for a mixture of silicates and sulfur as the dominant surface material. Lineaments and grabens are also apparent on the surface, in a common planetary grid pattern.

  17. Laser-based mass spectrometry for in situ chemical composition analysis of planetary surfaces (United States)

    Frey, Samira; Neuland, Maike B.; Grimaudo, Valentine; Moreno-García, Pavel; Riedo, Andreas; Tulej, Marek; Broekmann, Peter; Wurz, Peter


    Mass spectrometry is an important analytical technique in space research. The chemical composition of planetary surface material is a key scientific question on every space mission to a planet, moon or asteroid. Chemical composition measurements of rocky material on the surface are of great importance to understand the origin and evolution of the planetary body.[1] A miniature laser ablation/ionisation reflectron- type time-of-flight mass spectrometer (instrument name LMS) was designed and built at the University of Bern for planetary research.[2] Despite its small size and light weight, the LMS instrument still maintains the same capabilities as large laboratory systems, which makes it suitable for its application on planetary space missions.[3-5] The high dynamic range of about eight orders of magnitude, high lateral (μm-level) and vertical (sub-nm level) resolution and high detection sensitivity for almost all elements (10 ppb, atomic fraction) make LMS a versatile instrument for various applications. LMS is a suitable instrument for in situ measurements of elemental and isotope composition with high precision and accuracy. Measurements of Pb- isotope abundances can be used for dating of planetary material. Measurements of bio-relevant elements allow searching for past or present life on a planetary surface. The high spatial resolution, both in lateral and vertical direction, is of considerable interest, e.g. for analysis of inhomogeneous, extraterrestrial samples as well as weathering processes of planetary material. References [1] P. Wurz, D. Abplanalp, M. Tulej, M. Iakovleva, V.A. Fernandes, A. Chumikov, and G. Managadze, "Mass Spectrometric Analysis in Planetary Science: Investigation of the Surface and the Atmosphere", Sol. Sys. Res., 2012, 46, 408. [2] U. Rohner, J.A. Whitby, P. Wurz, "A miniature laser ablation time of flight mass spectrometer for in situ planetary exploration" Meas. Sci. Tch., 2003, 14, 2159. [3] M. Tulej, A. Riedo, M.B. Neuland, S

  18. Vesta: A Geological Overview (United States)

    Jaumann, R.


    Observations from the Dawn spacecraft [1] enable the derivation of the asteroid 4Vesta's shape, facilitate mapping of the surface geology, and provide the first evidence for interpreting Vesta's geological evolution. Science data were acquired during the approach to Vesta, a circular polar (Survey) orbit at an altitude of 2700 km providing ~ 230 m/pix camera scale, and during a circular high-altitude mapping orbit (HAMO) at 700 km altitude with a camera scale of ~ 65 m/pixel. Currently Dawn is orbiting Vesta in a low-altitude mapping orbit (LAMO) at 210 km altitude, yielding a global image coverage of ~20 m/pixel at the time of EGU [2,3,4,5]. Geomorphology and distribution of surface features provide evidence for impact cratering, tectonic activity, and regolith and probable volcanic processes. Craters with dark rays, bright rays, and dark rim streaks have been observed, suggesting buried stratigraphy. The largest fresh craters retain a simple bowl-shaped morphology, with depth/diameter ratios roughly comparable to lunar values. The largest crater Rheasilvia, an ~500 km diameter depression at the south pole, includes an incomplete inward facing cuspate scarp and a large central mound surrounded by unusual complex arcuate ridge and groove patterns, and overlies an older ~400 km wide basin. A set of large equatorial troughs is related to these south polar structures. Vesta exhibits rugged topography ranging from -22 km to +19 km relative to a best fit ellipsoidal shape. Vesta's topography has a much greater range in elevation relative to its radius (15%) than do the Moon and Mars (1%) or the Earth (0.3%), but less than highly battered smaller asteroids like Lutetia (40%). This also identifies Vesta as a transitional body between asteroids and planets. The surface of Vesta exhibits very steep topographic slopes that are near the angle of repose. Impacts onto these steep surfaces, followed by slope failure, make resurfacing - due to impacts and their associated

  19. The Role of NASA's Planetary Data System in the Planetary Spatial Data Infrastructure Initiative (United States)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Gaddis, L. R.


    An effort underway in NASA's planetary science community is the Mapping and Planetary Spatial Infrastructure Team (MAPSIT, MAPSIT is a community assessment group organized to address a lack of strategic spatial data planning for space science and exploration. Working with MAPSIT, a new initiative of NASA and USGS is the development of a Planetary Spatial Data Infrastructure (PSDI) that builds on extensive knowledge on storing, accessing, and working with terrestrial spatial data. PSDI is a knowledge and technology framework that enables the efficient discovery, access, and exploitation of planetary spatial data to facilitate data analysis, knowledge synthesis, and decision-making. NASA's Planetary Data System (PDS) archives >1.2 petabytes of digital data resulting from decades of planetary exploration and research. The PDS charter focuses on the efficient collection, archiving, and accessibility of these data. The PDS emphasis on data preservation and archiving is complementary to that of the PSDI initiative because the latter utilizes and extends available data to address user needs in the areas of emerging technologies, rapid development of tailored delivery systems, and development of online collaborative research environments. The PDS plays an essential PSDI role because it provides expertise to help NASA missions and other data providers to organize and document their planetary data, to collect and maintain the archives with complete, well-documented and peer-reviewed planetary data, to make planetary data accessible by providing online data delivery tools and search services, and ultimately to ensure the long-term preservation and usability of planetary data. The current PDS4 information model extends and expands PDS metadata and relationships between and among elements of the collections. The PDS supports data delivery through several node services, including the Planetary Image Atlas (https

  20. Global Bedrock Geology and River Chemistry (United States)

    Peucker-Ehrenbrink, B.; Miller, M. W.


    The lack of modern quantitative estimates of the Earth`s surface geology, one of the key parameters influencing river (and ocean) chemistry, is striking. Most published estimates of area-age relationships of sedimentary bedrock, for instance, were published before the 1980s, were based on less detailed geologic maps often decades older, and used techniques such as cutting and weighting age correlative map units or point counting at fairly coarse resolution (Higgs, 1949; Gilluly, 1969; Blatt and Jones, 1975; Ronov, 1980). Even more recent estimates (e.g., Berry and Wilkinson, 1994) are based on data predating the 1980s (Cook and Bally, 1975; Ronov, 1980). In an attempt to gain quantitative understanding of the link between surface geology (bedrock chemistry and weatherability) and river (and ocean) chemistry we have initiated a global assessment of the Earth`s surface geology that is based on the latest digital geologic maps using modern geographic information system technology (Environmental Systems Research Institute`s ArcInfo software). To date we have completed analysis of three digital data sets: 1) the geologic map of the conterminous United States of America by King and Beikman (1974; 1:2,500,000; spatial resolution ~600 km2 per polygon), made available in digital format by the USGS, 2) the geologic map of Alaska by Beikman (1980; 1:2,5000,000; ~300 km2 per polygon), also available in digital form through the USGS, and 3) the geologic map of Canada that is based on a revised and updated version of the geologic map by Douglas (1969; 1:5,000,000; ~780 km2 per polygon), made available in digital form by the Geologic Survey of Canada. The data reveal, among others, the area-age relationship of sedimentary, volcanic, intrusive and metamorphic rocks at unprecedented temporal and spatial resolution. The data also provide quantitative estimates of the abundance of major rock types: sedimentary rocks make up 83% (US; 69.7% stratified, mostly marine and 13

  1. Apollo Field Geology: 45 Years of Digesting Rocks, Field Data, and Future Objectives (United States)

    Schmitt, H. H.


    Twelve Apollo astronauts participated in the Lunar Field Geological Experiment, overseen by Gene Shoemaker, Gordon Swann, and Bill Muehlberger and their Co-Investigators. In conjunction with geologists and engineers of the Geological Survey and NASA, this team planned, trained and executed the first extraterrestrial field geological investigation. As a result, astronaut sample selection, observations, photo-documentation and experiment deployment underpin 45 years of laboratory analyses and interpretation by thousands of lunar and planetary scientists. --Current hypotheses related to the origin, evolution and nature of the Moon would be far different had Apollo geological explorations not occurred, even assuming that all robotic missions flown before and since Apollo were flown. *Would we have recognized lunar meteorites without the broad suite of Apollo samples to guide us? If we eventually had properly identified such meteorites, would their chemistry and age data give us the same detailed insights about the origin and evolution of the Moon without the highly specific field documentation of samples collected by the astronauts? *Would we recognize that the early history of the Earth and Mars up to 3.8 billion years ago, including the development of life's precursors, was a period of the prolonged violence due to impacts of asteroids and comets? Would we have realized that clay minerals, produced by the alteration of impact-generated glass and debris, would have been dominant components and potential templates for complex organic molecules in the terrestrial and Martian environments? *Would we fully understand the surface environments of asteroids and young terrestrial planets without the detailed dissection and analysis of Apollo's lunar regolith samples? *Would the Moon's near-surface environment, and its mantle and core structure, be as well defined as they are without the ground-truth provided by Apollo samples and the equipment carefully emplaced there by the

  2. Obtaining and Using Planetary Spatial Data into the Future: The Role of the Mapping and Planetary Spatial Infrastructure Team (MAPSIT) (United States)

    Radebaugh, J.; Thomson, B. J.; Archinal, B.; Hagerty, J.; Gaddis, L.; Lawrence, S. J.; Sutton, S.


    Planetary spatial data, which include any remote sensing data or derived products with sufficient positional information such that they can be projected onto a planetary body, continue to rapidly increase in volume and complexity. These data are the hard-earned fruits of decades of planetary exploration, and are the end result of mission planning and execution. Maintaining these data using accessible formats and standards for all scientists has been necessary for the success of past, present, and future planetary missions. The Mapping and Planetary Spatial Infrastructure Team (MAPSIT) is a group of planetary community members tasked by NASA Headquarters to work with the planetary science community to identify and prioritize their planetary spatial data needs to help determine the best pathways for new data acquisition, usable product derivation, and tools/capability development that supports NASA's planetary science missions.

  3. Inclusive Planetary Science Outreach and Education: a Pioneering European Experience (United States)

    Galvez, A.; Ballesteros, F.; García-Frank, A.; Gil, S.; Gil-Ortiz, A.; Gómez-Heras, M.; Martínez-Frías, J.; Parro, L. M.; Parro, V.; Pérez-Montero, E.; Raposo, V.; Vaquerizo, J. A.


    Abstract Universal access to space science and exploration for researchers, students and the public, regardless of physical abilities or condition, is the main objective of work by the Space Inclusive Network (SpaceIn). The purpose of SpaceIn is to conduct educational and communication activities on Space Science in an inclusive and accessible way, so that physical disability is not an impediment for participating. SpaceIn members aim to enlarge the network also by raising awareness among individuals such as undergraduate students, secondary school teachers, and members of the public with an interest and basic knowledge on science and astronomy. As part of a pilot experience, current activities are focused on education and outreach in the field of comparative Planetary Science and Astrobiology. Themes include the similarities and differences between terrestrial planets, the role of water and its interaction with minerals on their surfaces, the importance of internal thermal energy in shaping planets and moons and the implications for the appearance of life, as we know it, in our planet and, possibly, in other places in our Solar System and beyond. The topics also include how scientific research and space missions can shed light on these fundamental issues, such as how life appears on a planet, and thus, why planetary missions are important in our society, as a source of knowledge and inspiration. The tools that are used to communicate the concepts include talks with support of multimedia and multi-sensorial material (video, audio, tactile, taste, smell) and field trips to planetary analogue sites that are accessible to most members of the public, including people with some kind of disability. The field trips help illustrate scientific concepts in geology e.g. lava formations, folds, impact features, gullies, salt plains; biology, e.g. extremophiles, halophites; and exploration technology, e.g. navigation in an unknown environment, hazard and obstacle avoidance

  4. A Centaur Reconnaissance Mission: a NASA JPL Planetary Science Summer Seminar mission design experience (United States)

    Chou, L.; Howell, S. M.; Bhattaru, S.; Blalock, J. J.; Bouchard, M.; Brueshaber, S.; Cusson, S.; Eggl, S.; Jawin, E.; Marcus, M.; Miller, K.; Rizzo, M.; Smith, H. B.; Steakley, K.; Thomas, N. H.; Thompson, M.; Trent, K.; Ugelow, M.; Budney, C. J.; Mitchell, K. L.


    The NASA Planetary Science Summer Seminar (PSSS), sponsored by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), offers advanced graduate students and recent doctoral graduates the unique opportunity to develop a robotic planetary exploration mission that answers NASA's Science Mission Directorate's Announcement of Opportunity for the New Frontiers Program. Preceded by a series of 10 weekly webinars, the seminar is an intensive one-week exercise at JPL, where students work directly with JPL's project design team "TeamX" on the process behind developing mission concepts through concurrent engineering, project design sessions, instrument selection, science traceability matrix development, and risks and cost management. The 2017 NASA PSSS team included 18 participants from various U.S. institutions with a diverse background in science and engineering. We proposed a Centaur Reconnaissance Mission, named CAMILLA, designed to investigate the geologic state, surface evolution, composition, and ring systems through a flyby and impact of Chariklo. Centaurs are defined as minor planets with semi-major axis that lies between Jupiter and Neptune's orbit. Chariklo is both the largest Centaur and the only known minor planet with rings. CAMILLA was designed to address high priority cross-cutting themes defined in National Research Council's Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022. At the end of the seminar, a final presentation was given by the participants to a review board of JPL scientists and engineers as well as NASA headquarters executives. The feedback received on the strengths and weaknesses of our proposal provided a rich and valuable learning experience in how to design a successful NASA planetary exploration mission and generate a successful New Frontiers proposal. The NASA PSSS is an educational experience that trains the next generation of NASA's planetary explorers by bridging the gap between scientists and engineers, allowing for participants to learn

  5. Digital Geologic Mapping and Integration with the Geoweb: The Death Knell for Exclusively Paper Geologic Maps (United States)

    House, P. K.


    The combination of traditional methods of geologic mapping with rapidly developing web-based geospatial applications ('the geoweb') and the various collaborative opportunities of web 2.0 have the potential to change the nature, value, and relevance of geologic maps and related field studies. Parallel advances in basic GPS technology, digital photography, and related integrative applications provide practicing geologic mappers with greatly enhanced methods for collecting, visualizing, interpreting, and disseminating geologic information. Even a cursory application of available tools can make field and office work more enriching and efficient; whereas more advanced and systematic applications provide new avenues for collaboration, outreach, and public education. Moreover, they ensure a much broader audience among an immense number of internet savvy end-users with very specific expectations for geospatial data availability. Perplexingly, the geologic community as a whole is not fully exploring this opportunity despite the inevitable revolution in portends. The slow acceptance follows a broad generational trend wherein seasoned professionals are lagging behind geology students and recent graduates in their grasp of and interest in the capabilities of the geoweb and web 2.0 types of applications. Possible explanations for this include: fear of the unknown, fear of learning curve, lack of interest, lack of academic/professional incentive, and (hopefully not) reluctance toward open collaboration. Although some aspects of the expanding geoweb are cloaked in arcane computer code, others are extremely simple to understand and use. A particularly obvious and simple application to enhance any field study is photo geotagging, the digital documentation of the locations of key outcrops, illustrative vistas, and particularly complicated geologic field relations. Viewing geotagged photos in their appropriate context on a virtual globe with high-resolution imagery can be an

  6. The ballet of the planets a mathematician's musings on the elegance of planetary motion

    CERN Document Server

    Benson, Donald


    The Ballet of the Planets unravels the beautiful mystery of planetary motion, revealing how our understanding of astronomy evolved from Archimedes and Ptolemy to Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton. Mathematician Donald Benson shows that ancient theories of planetary motion were based on the assumptions that the Earth was the center of the universe and the planets moved in a uniform circular motion. Since ancient astronomers noted that occasionally a planet would exhibit retrograde motion--would seem to reverse its direction and move briefly westward--they concluded that the planets moved in epicyc

  7. Planetary Nebulae Beyond the Milky Way

    CERN Document Server

    Stanghellini, L; Douglas, N. G; Proceedings of the ESO Workshop held at Garching, Germany, 19-21 May, 2004


    In the last decade extra-galactic planetary nebulae (PNe) have gained increasing importance. Improved observational capabilities have allowed fainter and fainter PNe to be studied in galaxies well beyond the Milky Way. Planetary nebulae can be detected to at least 30Mpc. They are found in galaxies of all types and also between the galaxies in nearby galaxy clusters. They are valuable as probes, both for providing the velocity of their host stars and also the evolutionary status and relation to the stellar population from which they formed. This book contains the proceedings of a workshop held at ESO headquarters in Garching in 2004, the first meeting devoted entirely to Extra-galactic Planetary Nebulae. A wide range of topics is covered, from stellar and nebular astrophysics to galactic dynamics and galaxy clusters, making this volume a unique and timely reference of broad astrophysical interest.

  8. Miniaturisation of imaging spectrometer for planetary exploration (United States)

    Drossart, Pierre; Sémery, Alain; Réess, Jean-Michel; Combes, Michel


    Future planetary exploration on telluric or giant planets will need a new kind of instrumentation combining imaging and spectroscopy at high spectral resolution to achieve new scientific measurements, in particular for atmospheric studies in nadir configuration. We present here a study of a Fourier Transform heterodyne spectrometer, which can achieve these objectives, in the visible or infrared. The system is composed of a Michelson interferometer, whose mirrors have been replaced by gratings, a configuration studied in the early days of Fourier Transform spectroscopy, but only recently reused for space instrumentation, with the availability of large infrared mosaics. A complete study of an instrument is underway, with optical and electronic tests, as well as data processing analysis. This instrument will be proposed for future planetary missions, including ESA/Bepi Colombo Mercury Planetary Orbiter or Earth orbiting platforms.

  9. Geologic Field Database

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katarina Hribernik


    Full Text Available The purpose of the paper is to present the field data relational database, which was compiled from data, gathered during thirty years of fieldwork on the Basic Geologic Map of Slovenia in scale1:100.000. The database was created using MS Access software. The MS Access environment ensures its stability and effective operation despite changing, searching, and updating the data. It also enables faster and easier user-friendly access to the field data. Last but not least, in the long-term, with the data transferred into the GISenvironment, it will provide the basis for the sound geologic information system that will satisfy a broad spectrum of geologists’ needs.

  10. 77 FR 19032 - Geological Survey (United States)


    ... No: 2012-7479] DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Geological Survey Announcement of National Geospatial Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY: U.S. Geological Survey, Interior. ACTION: Notice of meeting. SUMMARY... Arista Maher at the U.S. Geological Survey (703-648-6283, [email protected] ). Registrations are due by...

  11. Planetary nebulae and the interstellar magnetic field

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heiligman, G.M.


    Previous workers have found a statistical correlation between the projected directions of the interstellar magnetic field and the major axes of planetary nebulae. This result has been examined theoretically using a numerical hydromagnetic model of a cold plasma nebula expanding into a uniform vacuum magnetic field, with nebular gas accreting on the surface. It is found that magnetic pressure alone is probably not sufficient to shape most planetary nebulae to the observed degree. Phenomena are discussed which could amplify simple magnetic pressure, alter nebular morphology and account for the observed correlation. (author)

  12. Mission Implementation Constraints on Planetary Muon Radiography (United States)

    Jones, Cathleen E.; Kedar, Sharon; Naudet, Charles; Webb, Frank


    Cost: Use heritage hardware, especially use a tested landing system to reduce cost (Phoenix or MSL EDL stage). The sky crane technology delivers higher mass to the surface and enables reaching targets at higher elevation, but at a higher mission cost. Rover vs. Stationary Lander: Rover-mounted instrument enables tomography, but the increased weight of the rover reduces the allowable payload weight. Mass is the critical design constraint for an instrument for a planetary mission. Many factors that are minor factors or do not enter into design considerations for terrestrial operation are important for a planetary application. (Landing site, diurnal temperature variation, instrument portability, shock/vibration)

  13. Technology for NASA's Planetary Science Vision 2050. (United States)

    Lakew, B.; Amato, D.; Freeman, A.; Falker, J.; Turtle, Elizabeth; Green, J.; Mackwell, S.; Daou, D.


    NASAs Planetary Science Division (PSD) initiated and sponsored a very successful community Workshop held from Feb. 27 to Mar. 1, 2017 at NASA Headquarters. The purpose of the Workshop was to develop a vision of planetary science research and exploration for the next three decades until 2050. This abstract summarizes some of the salient technology needs discussed during the three-day workshop and at a technology panel on the final day. It is not meant to be a final report on technology to achieve the science vision for 2050.

  14. The Geology of Callisto (United States)

    Schenk, Paul M.


    The geology of Callisto is not boring. Although cratered terrain dominates Callisto (a key end-member of the Jovian satellite system), a number of more interesting features are apparent. Cratered terrain is broken into irregular map-able bright and dark subunits that vary in albedo by a factor of 2, and several relatively smooth units are depleted of small craters. Some of these areas may have been volcanically resurfaced. Lineaments, including parallel and radial sets, may be evidence for early global tectonism. Frost deposition occurs in cold traps, and impact scars have formed from tidally disrupted comets. Geologic evidence suggests that Callisto does have a chemically differentiated crust. Central pit and central dome craters and palimpsests are common. The preferred interpretation is that a relatively ice-rich material, at depths of 5 km or more, has been mobilized during impact and exposed as domes or palimpsests. The close similarity in crater morphologies and dimensions indicates that the outermost 10 km or so of Callisto may be as differentiated as on Ganymede. The geology of cratered terrain on Callisto is simpler than that of cratered terrain on Ganymede, however. Orbital evolution and tidal heating may provide the answer to the riddle of why Callisto and Ganymede are so different (Malhotra, 1991). We should expect a few surprises and begins to answer some fundamental questions when Callisto is observed by Galileo in late 1996.

  15. Processes of Geology (United States)


    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Released 16 July 2003This THEMIS visible image captures a complex process of deposition, burial and exhumation. The crater ejecta in the top of the image is in the form of flow lobes, indicating that the crater was formed in volatile-rich terrain. While a radial pattern can be seen in the ejecta, the pattern is sharper in the lower half of the ejecta. This is because the top half of the ejecta is still buried by a thin layer of sediment. It is most likely that at one time the entire area was covered. Wind, and perhaps water erosion have started to remove this layer, once again exposing the what was present underneath.Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -34.3, Longitude 181.2 East (178.8 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

  16. Constraints on the spin evolution of young planetary-mass companions (United States)

    Bryan, Marta L.; Benneke, Björn; Knutson, Heather A.; Batygin, Konstantin; Bowler, Brendan P.


    Surveys of young star-forming regions have discovered a growing population of planetary-mass (regulating rotation rates are independent of formation mechanism. We find that rotation rates for both populations are well below their break-up velocities and do not evolve significantly during the first few hundred million years after the end of accretion. This suggests that rotation rates are set during the late stages of accretion, possibly by interactions with a circumplanetary disk. This result has important implications for our understanding of the processes regulating the angular momentum evolution of young planetary-mass objects, and of the physics of gas accretion and disk coupling in the planetary-mass regime.

  17. Planetary Sciences, Geodynamics, Impacts, Mass Extinctions, and Evolution: Developments and Interconnections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime Urrutia-Fucugauchi


    Full Text Available Research frontiers in geophysics are being expanded, with development of new fields resulting from technological advances such as the Earth observation satellite network, global positioning system, high pressure-temperature physics, tomographic methods, and big data computing. Planetary missions and enhanced exoplanets detection capabilities, with discovery of a wide range of exoplanets and multiple systems, have renewed attention to models of planetary system formation and planet’s characteristics, Earth’s interior, and geodynamics, highlighting the need to better understand the Earth system, processes, and spatio-temporal scales. Here we review the emerging interconnections resulting from advances in planetary sciences, geodynamics, high pressure-temperature physics, meteorite impacts, and mass extinctions.

  18. A Path to Planetary Protection Requirements for Human Exploration: A Literature Review and Systems Engineering Approach (United States)

    Johnson, James E.; Conley, Cassie; Siegel, Bette


    As systems, technologies, and plans for the human exploration of Mars and other destinations beyond low Earth orbit begin to coalesce, it is imperative that frequent and early consideration is given to how planetary protection practices and policy will be upheld. While the development of formal planetary protection requirements for future human space systems and operations may still be a few years from fruition, guidance to appropriately influence mission and system design will be needed soon to avoid costly design and operational changes. The path to constructing such requirements is a journey that espouses key systems engineering practices of understanding shared goals, objectives and concerns, identifying key stakeholders, and iterating a draft requirement set to gain community consensus. This paper traces through each of these practices, beginning with a literature review of nearly three decades of publications addressing planetary protection concerns with respect to human exploration. Key goals, objectives and concerns, particularly with respect to notional requirements, required studies and research, and technology development needs have been compiled and categorized to provide a current 'state of knowledge'. This information, combined with the identification of key stakeholders in upholding planetary protection concerns for human missions, has yielded a draft requirement set that might feed future iteration among space system designers, exploration scientists, and the mission operations community. Combining the information collected with a proposed forward path will hopefully yield a mutually agreeable set of timely, verifiable, and practical requirements for human space exploration that will uphold international commitment to planetary protection.

  19. The Variation of Planetary Surfaces' Structure and Size Distribution with Depth (United States)

    Charalambous, C. A.; Pike, W. T.


    The particle, rock and boulder size distribution of a planetary surface bring important implications not only to crucial aspects of future missions but also to the better understanding of planetary and earth sciences. By exploiting a novel statistical model, the evolution of particle fragmentation phenomena can be understood in terms of a descriptive maturity index, a measure of the number of fragmentation events that have produced the soil. This statistical model, which is mathematically constructed via fundamental physical principles, has been validated by terrestrial mineral grinding data and impact experiments. Applying the model to planetary surfaces, the number of fragmentation events is determined by production function curves that quantify the degree of impact cratering. The model quantifies the variation of the maturity index of the regolith with depth, with a high maturity index at the surface decreasing to a low index corresponding to the megaregolith of a blocky population and fractured bedrock. The measured lunar and martian particle size distributions at the surface is well matched by the model over several orders of magnitude. The continuous transition invoked by the model can be furthermore synthesised to provide temporal and spatial visualisations of the internal architecture of the Martian and Lunar regolith. Finally, the model is applied to the risk assessment and success criteria of future mission landings as well as drilling on planetary surfaces. The solutions to a variety of planetary fragmentation related problems can be found via exact mathematical foundations or through simulations using the particle population provided by the model's maturation.

  20. The Planetary Science Archive (PSA): Exploration and discovery of scientific datasets from ESA's planetary missions (United States)

    Vallat, C.; Besse, S.; Barbarisi, I.; Arviset, C.; De Marchi, G.; Barthelemy, M.; Coia, D.; Costa, M.; Docasal, R.; Fraga, D.; Heather, D. J.; Lim, T.; Macfarlane, A.; Martinez, S.; Rios, C.; Vallejo, F.; Said, J.


    The Planetary Science Archive (PSA) is the European Space Agency's (ESA) repository of science data from all planetary science and exploration missions. The PSA provides access to scientific datasets through various interfaces at All datasets are scientifically peer-reviewed by independent scientists, and are compliant with the Planetary Data System (PDS) standards. The PSA has started to implement a number of significant improvements, mostly driven by the evolution of the PDS standards, and the growing need for better interfaces and advanced applications to support science exploitation.

  1. Safeguards for geological repositories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fattah, A.


    Direct disposal of spent nuclear fuel in geological repositories is a recognised option for closing nuclear fuel cycles. Geological repositories are at present in stages of development in a number of countries and are expected to be built and operated early next century. A State usually has an obligation to safely store any nuclear material, which is considered unsuitable to re-enter the nuclear fuel cycle, isolated from the biosphere. In conjunction with this, physical protection has to be accounted for to prevent inadvertent access to such material. In addition to these two criteria - which are fully under the State's jurisdiction - a third criterion reflecting international non-proliferation commitments needs to be addressed. Under comprehensive safeguards agreements a State concedes verification of nuclear material for safeguards purposes to the IAEA. The Agency can thus provide assurance to the international community that such nuclear material has been used for peaceful purposes only as declared by the State. It must be emphasised that all three criteria mentioned constitute a 'unit'. None can be sacrificed for the sake of the other, but compromises may have to be sought in order to make their combination as effective as possible. Based on comprehensive safeguards agreements signed and ratified by the State, safeguards can be terminated only when the material has been consumed or diluted in such a way that it can no longer be utilised for any nuclear activities or has become practicably irrecoverable. As such safeguards for nuclear material in geological repositories have to be continued even after the repository has been back-filled and sealed. The effective application of safeguards must assure continuity-of-knowledge that the nuclear material in the repository has not been diverted for an unknown purpose. The nuclear material disposed in a geological repository may eventually have a higher and long term proliferation risk because the inventory is


    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set is intended to include published colors of small planetary satellites published up through December 2003. Small planetary satellites are defined as all...

  3. Abundance determinations in HII regions and planetary nebulae


    Stasinska, Grazyna


    The methods of abundance determinations in HII regions and planetary nebulae are described, with emphasis on the underlying assumptions and inherent problems. Recent results on abundances in Galactic HII regions and in Galactic and extragalactic Planetary Nebulae are reviewed.

  4. Planetary Protection Technology Definition Team: Tasks, Status, and Feedback (United States)

    Meyer, M. A.; Rummel, J. D.


    A Planetary Protection and Technology Definition Team will assess challenges to meeting planetary protection requirements to instruments and will suggest technological solutions. Status and initial findings will be reported.

  5. Spectropolarimeter for planetary exploration (SPEX) : Performance measurements with a prototype

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Voors, R.; Moon, S.G.; Hannemann, S.; Rietjens, J.H.H.; Harten, G. van; Snik, F.; Smit, M.; Stam, D.M.; Keller, C.U.; Laan, E.C.; Verlaan, A.L.; Vliegenthart, W.A.; Horst, R. ter; Navarro, R.; Wielinga, K.


    SPEX (Spectropolarimeter for Planetary Exploration) was developed in close cooperation between scientific institutes and space technological industries in the Netherlands. It is used for measuring microphysical properties of aerosols and cloud particles in planetary atmospheres. SPEX utilizes a

  6. The chemical composition and mineralogy of meteorites measured with very high spatial resolution by a laser mass spectrometer for in situ planetary research (United States)

    Brigitte Neuland, Maike; Mezger, Klaus; Tulej, Marek; Frey, Samira; Riedo, Andreas; Wurz, Peter; Wiesendanger, Reto


    The knowledge of the chemical composition of moons, comets, asteroids or other planetary bodies is of particular importance for the investigation of the origin and evolution of the Solar System. High resolution in situ studies on planetary surfaces can yield important information on surface heterogeneity, basic grain mineralogy and chemical composition of surface and subsurface. In turn, these data are the basis for our understanding of the physical and chemical processes which led to the formation and alteration of planetary material [1]. We investigated samples of Allende and Sayh al Uhaymir with a highly miniaturised laser mass spectrometer (LMS), which has been designed and built for in situ space research [2,3]. Both meteorite samples were investigated with a spatial resolution of about 10μm in lateral direction. The high sensitivity and high dynamic range of the LMS allow for quantitative measurements of the abundances of the rock-forming and minor and trace elements with high accuracy [4]. From the data, the modal mineralogy of micrometre-sized chondrules can be inferred [5], conclusions about the condensation sequence of the material are possible and the sensitivity for radiogenic elements allows for dating analyses of the investigated material. We measured the composition of various chondrules in Allende, offering valuable clues about the condensation sequence of the different components of the meteorite. We explicitly investigated the chemical composition and heterogeneity of the Allende matrix with an accuracy that cannot be reached by the mechanical analysis methods that were and are widely used in meteoritic research. We demonstrate the capabilities for dating analyses with the LMS. By applying the U-Th-dating method, the age of the SaU169 sample could be determined. Our analyses show that the LMS would be a suitable instrument for high-quality quantitative chemical composition measurements on the surface of a celestial body like a planet, moon or

  7. 77 FR 20851 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting (United States)


    ... Needs for Planetary Protection --Planetary Protection for Icy Bodies in the Solar System --Current... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Protection Subcommittee... and Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Protection Subcommittee of the...

  8. Planetary protection in the framework of the Aurora exploration program (United States)

    Kminek, G.

    The Aurora Exploration Program will give ESA new responsibilities in the field of planetary protection. Until now, ESA had only limited exposure to planetary protection from its own missions. With the proposed ExoMars and MSR missions, however, ESA will enter the realm of the highest planetary protection categories. As a consequence, the Aurora Exploration Program has initiated a number of activities in the field of planetary protection. The first and most important step was to establish a Planetary Protection Working Group (PPWG) that is advising the Exploration Program Advisory Committee (EPAC) on all matters concerning planetary protection. The main task of the PPWG is to provide recommendations regarding: Planetary protection for robotic missions to Mars; Planetary protection for a potential human mission to Mars; Review/evaluate standards & procedures for planetary protection; Identify research needs in the field of planetary protection. As a result of the PPWG deliberations, a number of activities have been initiated: Evaluation of the Microbial Diversity in SC Facilities; Working paper on legal issues of planetary protection and astrobiology; Feasibility study on a Mars Sample Return Containment Facility; Research activities on sterilization procedures; Training course on planetary protection (May, 2004); Workshop on sterilization techniques (fall 2004). In parallel to the PPWG, the Aurora Exploration Program has established an Ethical Working Group (EWG). This working group will address ethical issues related to astrobiology, planetary protection, and manned interplanetary missions. The recommendations of the working groups and the results of the R&D activities form the basis for defining planetary protection specification for Aurora mission studies, and for proposing modification and new inputs to the COSPAR planetary protection policy. Close cooperation and free exchange of relevant information with the NASA planetary protection program is strongly

  9. Transiting planetary system WASP-17 (Southworth+, 2012)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Southworth, J.; Hinse, T. C.; Dominik, M.


    A light curve of four transits of the extrasolar planetary system WASP-17 is presented. The data were obtained using the Danish 1.5m telescope and DFOSC camera at ESO La Silla in 2012, with substantial telescope defocussing in order to improve the photometric precision of the observations. A Cous...

  10. Keplerian planetary orbits in multidimensional Euclidian spaces ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Newton's laws of motion are three physical laws that together, laid the foundation for classical three dimensional mechanics. They describe the relationship between a body and the forces acting upon it, and its motion in response to those forces. Kepler's laws of planetary motion are also three scientific laws describing the ...

  11. Detection of transient events on planetary bodies . (United States)

    Di Martino, M.; Carbognani, A.

    Transient phenomena on planetary bodies are defined as luminous events of different intensities, which occur in planetary atmospheres and surfaces, their duration spans from about 0.1 s to some hours. They consist of meteors, bolides, lightning, impact flashes on solid surfaces, auroras, etc. So far, the study of these phenomena has been very limited, due to the lack of an ad hoc instrumentation, and their detection has been performed mainly on a serendipitous basis. Recently, ESA has issued an announcement of opportunity for the development of systems devoted to the detection of transient events in the Earth atmosphere and/or on the dark side of other planetary objects. One of such a detector as been designed and a prototype (\\textit{Smart Panoramic Optical Sensor Head}, SPOSH) has been constructed at Galileo Avionica S.p.A (Florence, Italy). For sake of clarity, in what follows, we classify the transient phenomena in ``Earth phenomena'' and ``Planetary phenomena'', even though some of them originate in a similar physical context.

  12. Equations Governing Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 14; Issue 12. Equations Governing Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion. Renuka Ravindran. General Article Volume 14 Issue 12 December 2009 pp 1166-1170. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  13. 1. Why Planetary Orbits are Closed

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 8; Issue 12. Planetary Orbits as Simple Harmonic Motion. Bikram Phookun. Classroom Volume 8 Issue 12 December 2003 pp 83-91. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: ...

  14. Planetary boundaries : Governing emerging risks and opportunities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Galaz, V.; de Zeeuw, Aart; Shiroyama, Hideaki; Tripley, Debbie

    The climate, ecosystems and species, ozone layer, acidity of the oceans, the flow of energy and elements through nature, landscape change, freshwater systems, aerosols, and toxins—these constitute the planetary boundaries within which humanity must find a safe way to live and prosper. These are

  15. Hypersonic and planetary entry flight mechanics (United States)

    Vinh, N. X.; Busemann, A.; Culp, R. D.


    The book treats hypersonic flight trajectories and atmospheric entry flight mechanics in light of their importance for space shuttle entry. Following a review of the structures of planetary atmospheres and aerodynamic forces, equations are derived for flight over a spherical planet, and the performance of long-range hypervelocity vehicles in extra-atmospheric flight is analyzed. Consideration is then given to vehicle trajectories in the powered and atmospheric reentry phases of flight, and several first-order solutions are derived for various planetary entry situations. The second-order theory of Loh for entry trajectories is presented along with the classical theories of Yaroshevskii and Chapman for entry into planetary atmospheres, and the thermal problems encountered in hypersonic flight are analyzed. A unified theory for entry into planetary atmospheres is then introduced which allows the performance of a general type of lifting vehicle to be studied, and applied to the analysis of orbit contraction due to atmospheric drag, flight with lift modulation and lateral maneuvers.

  16. Reconfigurable Autonomy for Future Planetary Rovers (United States)

    Burroughes, Guy

    Extra-terrestrial Planetary rover systems are uniquely remote, placing constraints in regard to communication, environmental uncertainty, and limited physical resources, and requiring a high level of fault tolerance and resistance to hardware degradation. This thesis presents a novel self-reconfiguring autonomous software architecture designed to meet the needs of extraterrestrial planetary environments. At runtime it can safely reconfigure low-level control systems, high-level decisional autonomy systems, and managed software architecture. The architecture can perform automatic Verification and Validation of self-reconfiguration at run-time, and enables a system to be self-optimising, self-protecting, and self-healing. A novel self-monitoring system, which is non-invasive, efficient, tunable, and autonomously deploying, is also presented. The architecture was validated through the use-case of a highly autonomous extra-terrestrial planetary exploration rover. Three major forms of reconfiguration were demonstrated and tested: first, high level adjustment of system internal architecture and goal; second, software module modification; and third, low level alteration of hardware control in response to degradation of hardware and environmental change. The architecture was demonstrated to be robust and effective in a Mars sample return mission use-case testing the operational aspects of a novel, reconfigurable guidance, navigation, and control system for a planetary rover, all operating in concert through a scenario that required reconfiguration of all elements of the system.

  17. SPEX: the Spectropolarimeter for Planetary Exploration (United States)

    Rietjens, J. H. H.; Snik, F.; Stam, D. M.; Smit, J. M.; van Harten, G.; Keller, C. U.; Verlaan, A. L.; Laan, E. C.; ter Horst, R.; Navarro, R.; Wielinga, K.; Moon, S. G.; Voors, R.


    We present SPEX, the Spectropolarimeter for Planetary Exploration, which is a compact, robust and low-mass spectropolarimeter designed to operate from an orbiting or in situ platform. Its purpose is to simultaneously measure the radiance and the state (degree and angle) of linear polarization of sunlight that has been scattered in a planetary atmosphere and/or reflected by a planetary surface with high accuracy. The degree of linear polarization is extremely sensitive to the microphysical properties of atmospheric or surface particles (such as size, shape, and composition), and to the vertical distribution of atmospheric particles, such as cloud top altitudes. Measurements as those performed by SPEX are therefore crucial and often the only tool for disentangling the many parameters that describe planetary atmospheres and surfaces. SPEX uses a novel, passive method for its radiance and polarization observations that is based on a carefully selected combination of polarization optics. This method, called spectral modulation, is the modulation of the radiance spectrum in both amplitude and phase by the degree and angle of linear polarization, respectively. The polarization optics consists of an achromatic quarter-wave retarder, an athermal multiple-order retarder, and a polarizing beam splitter. We will show first results obtained with the recently developed prototype of the SPEX instrument, and present a performance analysis based on a dedicated vector radiative transport model together with a recently developed SPEX instrument simulator.

  18. Abundances in planetary nebulae : Hb 5

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pottasch, S. R.; Surendiranath, R.

    The ISO spectra of the bilobal planetary nebula Hb 5 are presented. These spectra are combined with the spectra in the visual wavelength region to obtain a complete, extinction corrected, spectrum. The chemical composition of the nebula is then calculated in several ways. First by directly

  19. Multiscale regime shifts and planetary boundaries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hughes, T.P.; Carpenter, S.; Rockstrom, J.; Scheffer, M.; Walker, B.


    Life on Earth has repeatedly displayed abrupt and massive changes in the past, and there is no reason to expect that comparable planetary-scale regime shifts will not continue in the future. Different lines of evidence indicate that regime shifts occur when the climate or biosphere transgresses a

  20. Geophysical Investigations of Hypersaline Subglacial Water Systems in the Canadian Arctic: A Planetary Analog (United States)

    Rutishauser, A.; Sharp, M. J.; Blankenship, D. D.; Skidmore, M. L.; Grima, C.; Schroeder, D. M.; Greenbaum, J. S.; Dowdeswell, J. A.; Young, D. A.


    Robotic exploration and remote sensing of the solar system have identified the presence of liquid water beneath ice on several planetary bodies, with evidence for elevated salinity in certain cases. Subglacial water systems beneath Earth's glaciers and ice sheets may provide terrestrial analogs for microbial habitats in such extreme environments, especially those with higher salinity. Geological data suggest that several ice caps and glaciers in the eastern Canadian High Arctic are partially underlain by evaporite-rich sedimentary rocks, and subglacial weathering of these rocks is potentially conducive to the formation of hypersaline subglacial waters. Here, we combine airborne geophysical data with geological constraints to identify and characterize hypersaline subglacial water systems beneath ice caps in Canada's Queen Elizabeth Islands. High relative bedrock reflectivity and specularity anomalies that are apparent in radio-echo sounding data indicate multiple locations where subglacial water is present in areas where modeled ice temperatures at the glacier bed are well below the pressure melting point. This suggests that these water systems are hypersaline, with solute concentrations that significantly depress the freezing point of water. From combined interpretations of geological and airborne-magnetic data, we define the geological context within which these systems have developed, and identify possible solute-sources for the inferred brine-rich water systems. We also derive subglacial hydraulic potential gradients using airborne laser altimetry and ice thickness data, and apply water routing models to derive subglacial drainage pathways. These allow us to identify marine-terminating glaciers where outflow of the brine-rich waters may be anticipated. These hypersaline subglacial water systems beneath Canadian Arctic ice caps and glaciers may represent robust microbial habitats, and potential analogs for brines that may exist beneath ice masses on planetary

  1. The History of Planetary Exploration Using Mass Spectrometers (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.


    At the Planetary Probe Workshop Dr. Paul Mahaffy will give a tutorial on the history of planetary exploration using mass spectrometers. He will give an introduction to the problems and solutions that arise in making in situ measurements at planetary targets using this instrument class.

  2. Obtaining and Using Planetary Spatial Data into the Future: The Role of the Mapping and Planetary Spatial Infrastructure Team (MAPSIT) (United States)

    Radebaugh, J.; Thomson, B. J.; Archinal, B.; Hagerty, J.; Gaddis, L.; Lawrence, S. J.; Sutton, S.; Mapsit Steering Committee


    Planetary spatial data continue to increase in volume and complexity. These data are the hard-earned fruits of planetary exploration, and MAPSIT’s mission is to ensure their availability for any conceivable investigation, now or in the future.

  3. Desert Rats 2011 Mission Simulation: Effects of Microgravity Operational Modes on Fields Geology Capabilities (United States)

    Bleacher, Jacob E.; Hurtado, J. M., Jr.; Meyer, J. A.


    Desert Research and Technology Studies (DRATS) is a multi-year series of NASA tests that deploy planetary surface hardware and exercise mission and science operations in difficult conditions to advance human and robotic exploration capabilities. DRATS 2011 (Aug. 30-Sept. 9, 2011) tested strategies for human exploration of microgravity targets such as near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Here we report the crew perspective on the impact of simulated microgravity operations on our capability to conduct field geology.

  4. Planetary Protection Considerations in EVA System Design (United States)

    Eppler, Dean B.; Kosmo, Joseph J.


    very little expression of these anomalies. hardware from the human-occupied area may limit (although not likely eliminate) external materials in the human habitat. Definition of design-to requirements is critical to understanding technical feasibility and costs. The definition of Planetary Protection needs in relation to EVA mission and system element development cost impacts should be considered and interpreted in terms of Plausible Protection criteria. Since EVA operations will have the most direct physical interaction with the Martian surface, PP needs should be considered in the terms of mitigating hardware and operations impacts and costs.

  5. Planetary Sciences Literature - Access and Discovery (United States)

    Henneken, Edwin A.; ADS Team


    The NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) has been around for over 2 decades, helping professional astronomers and planetary scientists navigate, without charge, through the increasingly complex environment of scholarly publications. As boundaries between disciplines dissolve and expand, the ADS provides powerful tools to help researchers discover useful information efficiently. In its new form, code-named ADS Bumblebee (, it may very well answer questions you didn't know you had! While the classic ADS ( focuses mostly on searching basic metadata (author, title and abstract), today's ADS is best described as a an "aggregator" of scholarly resources relevant to the needs of researchers in astronomy and planetary sciences, and providing a discovery environment on top of this. In addition to indexing content from a variety of publishers, data and software archives, the ADS enriches its records by text-mining and indexing the full-text articles (about 4.7 million in total, with 130,000 from planetary science journals), enriching its metadata through the extraction of citations and acknowledgments. Recent technology developments include a new Application Programming Interface (API), a new user interface featuring a variety of visualizations and bibliometric analysis, and integration with ORCID services to support paper claiming. The new ADS provides powerful tools to help you find review papers on a given subject, prolific authors working on a subject and who they are collaborating with (within and outside their group) and papers most read by by people who read recent papers on the topic of your interest. These are just a couple of examples of the capabilities of the new ADS. We currently index most journals covering the planetary sciences and we are striving to include those journals most frequently cited by planetary science publications. The ADS is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory under NASA

  6. The geology of Mars (United States)

    Mutch, T. A.; Arvidson, R. E.; Head, J. W., III; Jones, K. L.; Saunders, R. S.


    The book constitutes a topographic/geologic atlas of Mars compiled on the basis of data from the various Mariner missions. A large number of maps has been included which systematically describe the character and distribution of the principal landforms: craters, channels, volcanoes, and faults; also related properties such as albedo, elevation, and wind streaks. Pictures of all the important topographic features have been included. The discussion of the material is carried out with a minimum of technical detail, and Mars is examined within a context of interplanetary comparisons.

  7. Geologic mapping of Vesta (United States)

    Yingst, R. A.; Mest, S. C.; Berman, D. C.; Garry, W. B.; Williams, D. A.; Buczkowski, D.; Jaumann, R.; Pieters, C. M.; De Sanctis, M. C.; Frigeri, A.; Le Corre, L.; Preusker, F.; Raymond, C. A.; Reddy, V.; Russell, C. T.; Roatsch, T.; Schenk, P. M.


    We report on a preliminary global geologic map of Vesta, based on data from the Dawn spacecraft's High-Altitude Mapping Orbit (HAMO) and informed by Low-Altitude Mapping Orbit (LAMO) data. This map is part of an iterative mapping effort; the geologic map has been refined with each improvement in resolution. Vesta has a heavily-cratered surface, with large craters evident in numerous locations. The south pole is dominated by an impact structure identified before Dawn's arrival. Two large impact structures have been resolved: the younger, larger Rheasilvia structure, and the older, more degraded Veneneia structure. The surface is also characterized by a system of deep, globe-girdling equatorial troughs and ridges, as well as an older system of troughs and ridges to the north. Troughs and ridges are also evident cutting across, and spiraling arcuately from, the Rheasilvia central mound. However, no volcanic features have been unequivocally identified. Vesta can be divided very broadly into three terrains: heavily-cratered terrain; ridge-and-trough terrain (equatorial and northern); and terrain associated with the Rheasilvia crater. Localized features include bright and dark material and ejecta (some defined specifically by color); lobate deposits; and mass-wasting materials. No obvious volcanic features are evident. Stratigraphy of Vesta's geologic units suggests a history in which formation of a primary crust was followed by the formation of impact craters, including Veneneia and the associated Saturnalia Fossae unit. Formation of Rheasilvia followed, along with associated structural deformation that shaped the Divalia Fossae ridge-and-trough unit at the equator. Subsequent impacts and mass wasting events subdued impact craters, rims and portions of ridge-and-trough sets, and formed slumps and landslides, especially within crater floors and along crater rims and scarps. Subsequent to the formation of Rheasilvia, discontinuous low-albedo deposits formed or were

  8. Geologic Mapping of Vesta (United States)

    Yingst, R. A.; Mest, S. C.; Berman, D. C.; Garry, W. B.; Williams, D. A.; Buczkowski, D.; Jaumann, R.; Pieters, C. M.; De Sanctis, M. C.; Frigeri, A.; hide


    We report on a preliminary global geologic map of Vesta, based on data from the Dawn spacecraft's High- Altitude Mapping Orbit (HAMO) and informed by Low-Altitude Mapping Orbit (LAMO) data. This map is part of an iterative mapping effort; the geologic map has been refined with each improvement in resolution. Vesta has a heavily-cratered surface, with large craters evident in numerous locations. The south pole is dominated by an impact structure identified before Dawn's arrival. Two large impact structures have been resolved: the younger, larger Rheasilvia structure, and the older, more degraded Veneneia structure. The surface is also characterized by a system of deep, globe-girdling equatorial troughs and ridges, as well as an older system of troughs and ridges to the north. Troughs and ridges are also evident cutting across, and spiraling arcuately from, the Rheasilvia central mound. However, no volcanic features have been unequivocally identified. Vesta can be divided very broadly into three terrains: heavily-cratered terrain; ridge-and-trough terrain (equatorial and northern); and terrain associated with the Rheasilvia crater. Localized features include bright and dark material and ejecta (some defined specifically by color); lobate deposits; and mass-wasting materials. No obvious volcanic features are evident. Stratigraphy of Vesta's geologic units suggests a history in which formation of a primary crust was followed by the formation of impact craters, including Veneneia and the associated Saturnalia Fossae unit. Formation of Rheasilvia followed, along with associated structural deformation that shaped the Divalia Fossae ridge-and-trough unit at the equator. Subsequent impacts and mass wasting events subdued impact craters, rims and portions of ridge-and-trough sets, and formed slumps and landslides, especially within crater floors and along crater rims and scarps. Subsequent to the formation of Rheasilvia, discontinuous low-albedo deposits formed or were

  9. Heat Flow Probe for Lunar and Planetary Missions (United States)

    Fish, C. S.; Ban, H.; Sellers, S.; White, J.; Wouden, A.; Allen, D.


    Heat flow information is essential for studying the composition and internal structure of the Moon and other planetary bodies. Heat flow data is typically obtained by inserting a probe to certain depth below the surface and measuring the local thermal conductivity and temperature gradient. For robotic landing missions, the limit in total mass and power consumption requires special design of probe insertion and sensor systems. Although there have been efforts in the development of such probes, the technology has not been used successfully and the understanding of the fundamental processes involved in the penetration and heat transfer is limited. The team from Utah State University and Space Dynamics Lab is developing a tethered heat flow probe for potential lunar and other planetary missions. The probe consists of a penetrator, which uses an internal percussive mechanism, and a tethered cable attached to the penetrator to function as the data and power link, as well as thermal conductivity and temperature sensors. The research focused on two important issues: (1) how to optimize the percussive penetration with specific soil and gravitational characteristics; and (2) what is the thermal uncertainty level caused by the disturbance due to the lander, probe penetration, and soil stratification. Laboratory experiments and computation studies were performed to provide answers toward these two questions. This presentation summarizes the overall concept of the probe and presents current experimental results in these topics.

  10. Mars sample return and planetary protection in a public context (United States)

    Race, Margaret S.

    In order to minimize problems and prepare for possible challenges to Mars sample return missions, it is important to recognize the complexity of planetary protection requirements and integrate them early in the planning process together with economic, technical, scientific and other considerations. Of special concern are two particular non-scientific problem areas: 1) legal ambiguities and requirements, and 2) risk perceptions and attitudes about sample return, both of which have the potential to impact mission success in unpredictable ways. A cursory review of relevant laws and legal issues combined with research findings about risk perceptions, have highlighted these problem areas in the decision making process ahead. It is likely that challenges or opposition will center around pre-launch decision making and subsequent Earth based sample handling rather than space operations per se. Ultimately, overall mission success may depend on understanding how the technical and scientific implications of planetary protection interact with legitimate legal and societal issues related to activities both in space and on Earth.

  11. In-situ analysis of planetary surfaces by Moessbauer spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klingelhoefer, G.


    Iron is one of the key elements in the evolution of the solar system and is highly abundant in terrestrial planets. Its oxidation state reflects the history of the oxidation-reduction reactions on planetary surfaces. The identification of iron mineralogies and the relative abundance of iron oxidation states (2+ and 3+) will contribute to a much deeper understanding of the evolution of planetary bodies and their surfaces. Miniaturized Moessbauer spectrometers are under development primarily for missions to the planet Mars and the Moon, but there is also an interest on using such an instrument for space missions to the planet Venus, comets and asteroids. The instrument MIMOS II developed at TU Darmstadt meets the requirements for space application as low mass (about 500 g), small volume, and low power consumption (about 1 W). The instrument has been tested extensively in the laboratory but also recently in the field mounted on the robotic arm of a prototype Martian Rover under development at JPL/NASA, United States

  12. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Mars Volcanology and Tectonics (United States)


    Reports from the session, "Mars Volcanology and Tectonics" include:Martian Shield Volcanoes; Estimating the Rheology of Basaltic Lava Flows; A Model for Variable Levee Formation Rates in an Active Lava Flow; Deflections in Lava Flow Directions Relative to Topography in the Tharsis Region: Indicators of Post-Flow Tectonic Motion; Fractal Variation with Changing Line Length: A Potential Problem for Planetary Lava Flow Identification; Burfellshraun:A Terrestrial Analogue to Recent Volcanism on Mars; Lava Domes of the Arcadia Region of Mars; Comparison of Plains Volcanism in the Tempe Terra Region of Mars to the Eastern Snake River Plains, Idaho with Implications for Geochemical Constraints; Vent Geology of Low-Shield Volcanoes from the Central Snake River Plain, Idaho: Lessons for Mars and the Moon; Field and Geochemical Study of Table Legs Butte and Quaking Aspen Butte, Eastern Snake River Plain, Idaho: An Analog to the Morphology of Small Shield Volcanoes on Mars; Variability in Morphology and Thermophysical Properties of Pitted Cones in Acidalia Planitia and Cydonia Mensae; A Volcano Composed of Light-colored Layered Deposits on the Floor of Valles Marineris; Analysis of Alba Patera Flows: A Comparison of Similarities and Differences Geomorphologic Studies of a Very Long Lava Flow in Tharsis, Mars; Radar Backscatter Characteristics of Basaltic Flow Fields: Results for Mauna Ulu, Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii;and Preliminary Lava Tube-fed Flow Abundance Mapping on Olympus Mons.

  13. Improving accessibility and discovery of ESA planetary data through the new planetary science archive (United States)

    Macfarlane, A. J.; Docasal, R.; Rios, C.; Barbarisi, I.; Saiz, J.; Vallejo, F.; Besse, S.; Arviset, C.; Barthelemy, M.; De Marchi, G.; Fraga, D.; Grotheer, E.; Heather, D.; Lim, T.; Martinez, S.; Vallat, C.


    The Planetary Science Archive (PSA) is the European Space Agency's (ESA) repository of science data from all planetary science and exploration missions. The PSA provides access to scientific data sets through various interfaces at Mostly driven by the evolution of the PDS standards which all new ESA planetary missions shall follow and the need to update the interfaces to the archive, the PSA has undergone an important re-engineering. In order to maximise the scientific exploitation of ESA's planetary data holdings, significant improvements have been made by utilising the latest technologies and implementing widely recognised open standards. To facilitate users in handling and visualising the many products stored in the archive which have spatial data associated, the new PSA supports Geographical Information Systems (GIS) by implementing the standards approved by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). The modernised PSA also attempts to increase interoperability with the international community by implementing recognised planetary science specific protocols such as the PDAP (Planetary Data Access Protocol) and EPN-TAP (EuroPlanet-Table Access Protocol). In this paper we describe some of the methods by which the archive may be accessed and present the challenges that are being faced in consolidating data sets of the older PDS3 version of the standards with the new PDS4 deliveries into a single data model mapping to ensure transparent access to the data for users and services whilst maintaining a high performance.

  14. Modeling Approaches in Planetary Seismology (United States)

    Weber, Renee; Knapmeyer, Martin; Panning, Mark; Schmerr, Nick


    Of the many geophysical means that can be used to probe a planet's interior, seismology remains the most direct. Given that the seismic data gathered on the Moon over 40 years ago revolutionized our understanding of the Moon and are still being used today to produce new insight into the state of the lunar interior, it is no wonder that many future missions, both real and conceptual, plan to take seismometers to other planets. To best facilitate the return of high-quality data from these instruments, as well as to further our understanding of the dynamic processes that modify a planet's interior, various modeling approaches are used to quantify parameters such as the amount and distribution of seismicity, tidal deformation, and seismic structure on and of the terrestrial planets. In addition, recent advances in wavefield modeling have permitted a renewed look at seismic energy transmission and the effects of attenuation and scattering, as well as the presence and effect of a core, on recorded seismograms. In this chapter, we will review these approaches.

  15. Geologic Map of MTM 35337, 40337, and 45337 Quadrangles, Deuteronilus Mensae Region of Mars (United States)

    Chuang, Frank C.; Crown, David A.


    present time. Several scenarios for its formation, including single and multiple large impact events, have been proposed and debated in the literature. Endogenic processes whereby crust is thinned by internal mantle convection and tectonic processes have also been proposed. Planetary accretion models and isotopic data from Martian meteorites suggest that the crust formed very early in Martian history. Using populations of quasi-circular depressions extracted from the topography of Mars, other studies suggest that the age difference between the highlands and lowlands could be ~100 m.y.. Furthermore, understanding the origin and age of the dichotomy boundary has been made more complicated due to significant erosion and deposition that have modified the boundary and its adjacent regions. The resulting diversity of terrains and features is likely a combined result of ancient and recent events. Detailed geologic analyses of dichotomy boundary zones are important for understanding the spatial and temporal variations in highland evolution. This information, and comparisons to other highland regions, can help elucidate the scale of potential environmental changes. Previous geomorphic and geologic mapping investigations of the Deuteronilus Mensae region have been completed at local to global scales. The regional geology was first mapped by Lucchitta (1978) at 1:5,000,000 scale using Mariner 9 data. This study concluded that high crater flux early in Martian history formed overlapping craters and basins that were later filled by voluminous lava flows that buried the impacted surface, creating the highlands. After this period of heavy bombardment, fluvial erosion of the highlands formed the canyons and valleys, followed by dissection that created the small mesas and buttes, and later, formation of the steep escarpment marking the present-day northern highland margin. After valley dissection, mass wasting and eolian processes caused lateral retreat of mesas and buttes

  16. Measurement of planetary surface composition by gamma-ray and neutron spectrometry - Preparatory studies for Mars and for the Moon by numerical simulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gasnault, O.


    Gamma-ray and neutron spectrometry sets up a powerful tool of geological and geochemical characterization of planetary surfaces. This method allows to tackle some critical planet science questions: crustal and mantle compositions; ices; volcanism; alteration processes... Most of the neutrons and gamma photons result from the interactions of galactic cosmic rays with matter. The first chapter introduces the physics of these nuclear interactions in planetary soils and in detectors. Our work aims at optimizing the observations by specifying instrumental performances, and by highlighting relations between soil composition and neutron fluxes. Numerical simulations using the GEANT code from CERN support our analysis. The second chapter estimates the performances of the Germanium gamma-ray spectrometer for MARS SURVEYOR 2001. The result of simulations is compared to calibration measurements; then performances are calculated in flight configuration. The background at Mars is estimated to about 160 c/s. The instrument offers a fine sensitivity to: Fe, Mg, K, Si, Th, Cl and O. It will also be possible to measure U, Ti, H, C, S, Ca and Al. The emission lobes at the surface are calculated too. These measurements shall permit a better understanding of the Martian surface. The last chapter deals with fast neutrons [500 keV; 10 MeV] emitted by the Moon. The strong influence of oxygen is underlined. As observed by LUNAR PROSPECTOR, the integrated flux shows a pronounced dependence with regolith content in iron and titanium, allowing the mapping. The influence of the other chemical elements is quantified. A simple mathematical formula is suggested to estimate the integrated neutron flux according to soil composition. At last, a study of hydrogen effects on fast neutron flux is carried out; we examine the possibilities to quantify its abundance in the soil by this method. (author)

  17. Quantitative Outline-based Shape Analysis and Classification of Planetary Craterforms using Supervised Learning Models (United States)

    Slezak, Thomas Joseph; Radebaugh, Jani; Christiansen, Eric


    The shapes of craterform morphology on planetary surfaces provides rich information about their origins and evolution. While morphologic information provides rich visual clues to geologic processes and properties, the ability to quantitatively communicate this information is less easily accomplished. This study examines the morphology of craterforms using the quantitative outline-based shape methods of geometric morphometrics, commonly used in biology and paleontology. We examine and compare landforms on planetary surfaces using shape, a property of morphology that is invariant to translation, rotation, and size. We quantify the shapes of paterae on Io, martian calderas, terrestrial basaltic shield calderas, terrestrial ash-flow calderas, and lunar impact craters using elliptic Fourier analysis (EFA) and the Zahn and Roskies (Z-R) shape function, or tangent angle approach to produce multivariate shape descriptors. These shape descriptors are subjected to multivariate statistical analysis including canonical variate analysis (CVA), a multiple-comparison variant of discriminant analysis, to investigate the link between craterform shape and classification. Paterae on Io are most similar in shape to terrestrial ash-flow calderas and the shapes of terrestrial basaltic shield volcanoes are most similar to martian calderas. The shapes of lunar impact craters, including simple, transitional, and complex morphology, are classified with a 100% rate of success in all models. Multiple CVA models effectively predict and classify different craterforms using shape-based identification and demonstrate significant potential for use in the analysis of planetary surfaces.

  18. Geologic environmental study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Chun Soo; Bae, Dae Seok; Kim, Kyung Su; Park, Byung Yoon; Koh, Young Kown; Chun, Kwan Sik; Kim, Jhin Wung


    The geoscience research works are focused on the production of geologic basic data accompanying with the technical development of geology and hydrogeologic characterization. The lithology of the Korean peninsula consists of a complex structure of 29 rock types from Archean to Quaternary. The wide distribution of Mesozoic plutonic rock is an important consideration as a potential host rock allowing flexibility of siting. The recent tectonic activities are limited to localized particular area, which can be avoided by excluding in the early stage of siting. Three rock types such as plutonic rocks, crystalline gneisses and massive volcanic rocks were suggested as the preferred host rocks for the further study on HLW disposal system. This report contains grouping of regional faults, and on the distributional characteristics of faults and fractures(zones) in terms of lithological domain and tectonical provinces. The regional groundwater regime can be grouped into 3 regimes by tectonic setting and four groundwater regions based on an altitute. Groundwaters can be grouped by their chemistry and host rocks. The origin of groundwater was proposed by isotope ({sup 1}8O, {sup 2}H, {sup 1}3C, {sup 3}4S, {sup 8}7Sr, {sup 1}5N) studies and the residence time of groundwater was inferred from their tritium contents. Based on the geochemical and isotope characteristics, the geochemical evolutions of each types of groundwater were simulated using SOLVEQ/CHILLER and PHREEQC programs.

  19. Deterministic geologic processes and stochastic modeling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rautman, C.A.; Flint, A.L.


    Recent outcrop sampling at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, has produced significant new information regarding the distribution of physical properties at the site of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository. Consideration of the spatial distribution of measured values and geostatistical measures of spatial variability indicates that there are a number of widespread deterministic geologic features at the site that have important implications for numerical modeling of such performance aspects as ground water flow and radionuclide transport. These deterministic features have their origin in the complex, yet logical, interplay of a number of deterministic geologic processes, including magmatic evolution; volcanic eruption, transport, and emplacement; post-emplacement cooling and alteration; and late-stage (diagenetic) alteration. Because of geologic processes responsible for formation of Yucca Mountain are relatively well understood and operate on a more-or-less regional scale, understanding of these processes can be used in modeling the physical properties and performance of the site. Information reflecting these deterministic geologic processes may be incorporated into the modeling program explicitly, using geostatistical concepts such as soft information, or implicitly, through the adoption of a particular approach to modeling. It is unlikely that any single representation of physical properties at the site will be suitable for all modeling purposes. Instead, the same underlying physical reality will need to be described many times, each in a manner conducive to assessing specific performance issues

  20. Planetary Science with Balloon-Borne Telescopes (United States)

    Kremic, Tibor; Cheng, Andy; Hibbitts, Karl; Young, Eliot


    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the planetary science community have recently been exploring the potential contributions of stratospheric balloons to the planetary science field. A study that was recently concluded explored the roughly 200 or so science questions raised in the Planetary Decadal Survey report and found that about 45 of those questions are suited to stratospheric balloon based observations. In September of 2014, a stratospheric balloon mission called BOPPS (which stands for Balloon Observation Platform for Planetary Science) was flown out of Fort Sumner, New Mexico. The mission had two main objectives, first, to observe a number of planetary targets including one or more Oort cloud comets and second, to demonstrate the applicability and performance of the platform, instruments, and subsystems for making scientific measurements in support planetary science objectives. BOPPS carried two science instruments, BIRC and UVVis. BIRC is a cryogenic infrared multispectral imager which can image in the.6-5 m range using an HgCdTe detector. Narrow band filters were used to allow detection of water and CO2 emission features of the observed targets. The UVVis is an imager with the science range of 300 to 600 nm. A main feature of the UVVis instrument is the incorporation of a guide camera and a Fine Steering Mirror (FSM) system to reduce image jitter to less than 100 milliarcseconds. The BIRC instrument was used to image targets including Oort cloud comets Siding Spring and Jacques, and the dwarf planet 1 Ceres. BOPPS achieved the first ever earth based CO2 observation of a comet and the first images of water and CO2 of an Oort cloud comet (Jacques). It also made the first ever measurement of 1Ceres at 2.73 m to refine the shape of the infrared water absorption feature on that body. The UVVis instrument, mounted on its own optics bench, demonstrated the capability for image correction both from atmospheric disturbances as well as some

  1. A working environment for digital planetary data processing and mapping using ISIS and GRASS GIS (United States)

    Frigeri, A.; Hare, T.; Neteler, M.; Coradini, A.; Federico, C.; Orosei, R.


    Since the beginning of planetary exploration, mapping has been fundamental to summarize observations returned by scientific missions. Sensor-based mapping has been used to highlight specific features from the planetary surfaces by means of processing. Interpretative mapping makes use of instrumental observations to produce thematic maps that summarize observations of actual data into a specific theme. Geologic maps, for example, are thematic interpretative maps that focus on the representation of materials and processes and their relative timing. The advancements in technology of the last 30 years have allowed us to develop specialized systems where the mapping process can be made entirely in the digital domain. The spread of networked computers on a global scale allowed the rapid propagation of software and digital data such that every researcher can now access digital mapping facilities on his desktop. The efforts to maintain planetary missions data accessible to the scientific community have led to the creation of standardized digital archives that facilitate the access to different datasets by software capable of processing these data from the raw level to the map projected one. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have been developed to optimize the storage, the analysis, and the retrieval of spatially referenced Earth based environmental geodata; since the last decade these computer programs have become popular among the planetary science community, and recent mission data start to be distributed in formats compatible with these systems. Among all the systems developed for the analysis of planetary and spatially referenced data, we have created a working environment combining two software suites that have similar characteristics in their modular design, their development history, their policy of distribution and their support system. The first, the Integrated Software for Imagers and Spectrometers (ISIS) developed by the United States Geological Survey

  2. Synthetic Study on the Geological and Hydrogeological Model around KURT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Park, Kyung Woo; Kim, Kyung Su; Koh, Yong Kwon; Choi, Jong Won


    To characterize the site specific properties of a study area for high-level radioactive waste disposal research in KAERI, the several geological investigations such as surface geological surveys and borehole drillings were carried out since 1997. Especially, KURT (KAERI Underground Research Tunnel) was constructed to understand the further study of geological environments in 2006. As a result, the first geological model of a study area was constructed by using the results of geological investigation. The objective of this research is to construct a hydrogeological model around KURT area on the basis of the geological model. Hydrogeological data which were obtained from in-situ hydraulic tests in the 9 boreholes were estimated to accomplish the objective. And, the hydrogeological properties of the 4 geological elements in the geological model, which were the subsurface weathering zone, the log angle fracture zone, the fracture zones and the bedrock were suggested. The hydrogeological model suggested in this study will be used as input parameters to carry out the groundwater flow modeling as a next step of the site characterization around KURT area

  3. Mathematical Statistics in the Geology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blišťan Peter


    Full Text Available During the last period is modern geology oriented toward intensive utilisation of mathematical methods. Utilisation of these methods was conditioned by complicated structure of geological bodies, which resulted from interaction of a couple of factors. In the period of projection, realisation and evaluation of geological works one meet many problems of description of a character of geological data. These problems – very often trivial – arise from the poor knowledge of the principles of statistical methods. Transformation of real geological object into the form of abstract mathematical model is the basic and usually also the most complicated step of mathematical solution. There is also to be mentioned that there is no unitary approach to the modelling or uniform direction for a method of data processing selection. Complicacy of geological objects needs rational simplification of the model, otherwise the solution would be too complicated or even impossible.

  4. The Role of Planetary Data System Archive Standards in International Planetary Data Archives (United States)

    Guinness, Edward; Slavney, Susan; Beebe, Reta; Crichton, Daniel

    A major objective of NASA's Planetary Data System (PDS) is to efficiently archive and make accessible digital data produced by NASA's planetary missions, research programs, and data analysis programs. The PDS is comprised of a federation of groups known as nodes, with each node focused on archiving and managing planetary data from a given science discipline. PDS nodes include Atmospheres, Geosciences, Small Bodies (asteroids, comets, and dust), Rings, Planetary Plasma Interactions, and Imaging. There are also support nodes for engineering, radio science, and ancillary data, such as geometry information. The PDS archives include space-borne, ground-based, and laboratory experiment data from several decades of NASA exploration of comets, asteroids, moons, and planets. PDS archives are peer-reviewed, welldocumented, and accessible online via web sites, catalogs, and other user-interfaces that provide search and retrieval capabilities. Current holdings within the PDS online repositories total approximately 50 TB of data. Over the next few years, the PDS is planning for a rapid expansion in the volume of data being delivered to its archives. The archive standards developed by the PDS are crucial elements for producing planetary data archives that are consistent across missions and planetary science disciplines and that yield archives that are useable by the planetary research community. These standards encompass the full range of archiving needs. They include standards for the format of data products and the metadata needed to detail how observations were made. They also specify how data products and ancillary information such as documentation, calibration, and geometric information are packaged into data sets. The PDS standards are documented in its Planetary Science Data Dictionary and in its Standards Reference Document and Archive Preparation Guide. The PDS standards are being used to design and implement data archives for current and future NASA planetary missions

  5. From red giants to planetary nebulae: Asymmetries, dust, and polarization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, J.J.


    In order to investigate the development of aspherical planetary nebulae, polarimetry was obtained for a group of planetary nebulae and for objects that will evolve into planetary nebulae, i.e., red giants, late asymptotic giant branch (AGB) objects, proto-planetary nebulae, and young planetary nebulae. To study the dust around the objects in our sample, we also used data from the Infrared Astronomy Satellite (IRAS) mission. The youngest objects in our survey, red giants, had the hottest dust temperatures while planetary nebulae had the coolest. Most of the objects were intrinsically polarized, including the red giants. This indicated that the circumstellar dust shells of these objects were aspherical. Both carbon- and oxygen-rich objects could be intrinsically polarized. The intrinsic polarizations of a sample of our objects were modeled using an ellipsoidal circumstellar dust shell. The findings of this study suggest that the asphericities that lead to an aspherical planetary nebula originate when a red giant begins to undergo mass loss. The polarization and thus the asphericity as the star evolves, with both reaching a maximum during the proto-planetary nebula stage. The circumstellar dust shell will dissipate after the proto-planetary nebulae stage since no new material is being added. The polarization of planetary nebulae will thus be low. In the most evolved planetary nebulae, the dust has either been destroyed or dissipated into the interstellar medium. In these objects no polarization was observed

  6. ESTEC/GEOVUSIE/ILEWG Planetary Student Designer Workshop: a Teacher Training Perspective (United States)

    Preusterink, J.; Foing, B. H.; Kaskes, P.


    An important role for education is to inform and create the right skills for people to develop their own vision, using their talents to the utmost and inspire others to learn to explore in the future. Great effort has been taken to prepare this interactive design workshop thoroughly. Three days in a row, starting with presentations of Artscience The Hague to ESA colleagues, followed by a Planetary research Symposium in Amsterdam and a student design workshop at the end complemented a rich environment with the focus on Planetary exploration. The design workshop was organised by GeoVUsie students, with ESTEC and ILEWG support for tutors and inviting regional and international students to participate in an interactive workshop to design 5 Planetary Missions, with experts sharing their expertise and knowhow on specific challenging items: 1. Mercury - Post BepiColombo (with Sebastien Besse, ESA) 2. Moon South Pole Mission (with Bernard Foing, ESA) 3. Post-ExoMars - In search for Life on Mars (with Jorge Vago, ESA) 4. Humans in Space - Mars One investigated(with Arno Wielders, Space Horizon) 5. Europa - life on the icy moon of Jupiter? (with Bert Vermeersen, TU Delft. Lectures were given for more than 150 geology students at the symposium "Moon, Mars and More" at VU university, Amsterdam (organized by GeoVUsie earth science students). All students were provided with information before and at start for designing their mission. After the morning session there was a visit to the exhibition at The Erasmus Facility - ESTEC to inspire them even more with real artifacts of earlier and future missions into space. After this visit they prepared their final presentations, with original results, with innovative ideas and a good start to work out further in the future. A telescope session for geology students had been organized indoor due to rain. A follow-up visit to the nearby public Copernicus observatory was planned for another clear sky occasion.

  7. Geologic mapping of the Reull Vallis Region, Mars (United States)

    Mest, Scott C.; Crown, David A.


    Geologic mapping of the Reull Vallis region is being undertaken in order to determine the sequence of events that formed the Reull Vallis outflow channel system and to understand the geologic processes that modified the Martian southern highlands. The region is situated on the northeast rim of the Hellas Basin in the heavily cratered highlands and shows evidence of fluvial activity, volcanism, mass wasting, and tectonism. The western portion of the Reull Vallis region was previously mapped in a study of Hadriaca Patera.

  8. System-level modeling for geological storage of CO2


    Zhang, Yingqi; Oldenburg, Curtis M.; Finsterle, Stefan; Bodvarsson, Gudmundur S.


    One way to reduce the effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gases on climate is to inject carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial sources into deep geological formations such as brine formations or depleted oil or gas reservoirs. Research has and is being conducted to improve understanding of factors affecting particular aspects of geological CO2 storage, such as performance, capacity, and health, safety and environmental (HSE) issues, as well as to lower the cost of CO2 capture and related p...

  9. Albedos and spectral signatures determination and it connection to geological processes: Simile between Earth and other solar system bodies (United States)

    Suarez, J.; Ochoa, L.; Saavedra, F.


    Remote sensing has always been the best investigation tool for planetary sciences. In this research have been used data of Surface albedo, electromagnetic spectra and satelital imagery in search of understanding glacier dynamics in some bodies of the solar system, and how it's related to their compositions and associated geological processes, this methodology is very common in icy moons studies. Through analytic software's some albedos map's and geomorphological analysis were made that allow interpretation of different types of ice in the glacier's and it's interaction with other materials, almost all the images were worked in the visible and infrared ranges of the spectrum; spectral data were later used to connect the reflectance whit chemical and reologic properties of the compounds studied. It have been concluded that the albedo analysis is an effective tool to differentiate materials in the bodies surfaces, but the application of spectral data is necessary to know the exact compounds of the glaciers and to have a better understanding of the icy bodies.

  10. Geology of Europa (United States)

    Greeley, R.; Chyba, C.; Head, J. W.; McCord, T.; McKinnon, W. B.; Pappalardo, R. T.


    Europa is a rocky object of radius 1565 km (slightly smaller than Earth s moon) and has an outer shell of water composition estimated to be of order 100 km thick, the surface of which is frozen. The total volume of water is about 3 x 10(exp 9) cubic kilometers, or twice the amount of water on Earth. Moreover, like its neighbor Io, Europa experiences internal heating generated from tidal flexing during its eccentric orbit around Jupiter. This raises the possibility that some of the water beneath the icy crust is liquid. The proportion of rock to ice, the generation of internal heat, and the possibility of liquid water make Europa unique in the Solar System. In this chapter, we outline the sources of data available for Europa (with a focus on the Galileo mission), review previous and on-going research on its surface geology, discuss the astrobiological potential of Europa, and consider plans for future exploration.

  11. Geology of National Parks (United States)

    Stoffer, Philip W.


    This is a set of two sheets of 3D images showing geologic features of many National Parks. Red-and-cyan viewing glasses are need to see the three-dimensional effect. A search on the World Wide Web will yield many sites about anaglyphs and where to get 3D glasses. Red-blue glasses will do but red-cyan glasses are a little better. This publication features a photo quiz game: Name that park! where you can explore, interpret, and identify selected park landscapes. Can you identify landscape features in the images? Can you explain processes that may have helped form the landscape features? You can get the answers online.

  12. Drawings as a Tool for Understanding Geology in the Environment (United States)

    Martínez-Peña, Maria Begoña; Gil-Quílez, Maria José


    This study analyses graphic representations of landscapes, produced by 46 Spanish 10th-grade secondary students and 92 teacher-training students in the last year of their course at the Faculty of Education, and the descriptive power of these drawings in connection with questions posed on the systems being represented. The constituent parts of a…

  13. Impacts of Cosmic Dust on Planetary Atmospheres and Surfaces (United States)

    Plane, John M. C.; Flynn, George J.; Määttänen, Anni; Moores, John E.; Poppe, Andrew R.; Carrillo-Sanchez, Juan Diego; Listowski, Constantino


    Recent advances in interplanetary dust modelling provide much improved estimates of the fluxes of cosmic dust particles into planetary (and lunar) atmospheres throughout the solar system. Combining the dust particle size and velocity distributions with new chemical ablation models enables the injection rates of individual elements to be predicted as a function of location and time. This information is essential for understanding a variety of atmospheric impacts, including: the formation of layers of metal atoms and ions; meteoric smoke particles and ice cloud nucleation; perturbations to atmospheric gas-phase chemistry; and the effects of the surface deposition of micrometeorites and cosmic spherules. There is discussion of impacts on all the planets, as well as on Pluto, Triton and Titan.

  14. The Next Generation of Planetary Atmospheric Probes (United States)

    Houben, Howard


    Entry probes provide useful insights into the structures of planetary atmospheres, but give only one-dimensional pictures of complex four-dimensional systems that vary on all temporal and spatial scales. This makes the interpretation of the results quite challenging, especially as regards atmospheric dynamics. Here is a planetary meteorologist's vision of what the next generation of atmospheric entry probe missions should be: Dedicated sounding instruments get most of the required data from orbit. Relatively simple and inexpensive entry probes are released from the orbiter, with low entry velocities, to establish ground truth, to clarify the vertical structure, and for adaptive observations to enhance the dataset in preparation for sensitive operations. The data are assimilated onboard in real time. The products, being immediately available, are of immense benefit for scientific and operational purposes (aerobraking, aerocapture, accurate payload delivery via glider, ballooning missions, weather forecasts, etc.).

  15. Laser Mass Spectrometry in Planetary Science

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wurz, P.; Whitby, J. A.; Managadze, G. G.


    Knowing the chemical, elemental, and isotopic composition of planetary objects allows the study of their origin and evolution within the context of our solar system. Exploration plans in planetary research of several space agencies consider landing spacecraft for future missions. Although there have been successful landers in the past, more landers are foreseen for Mars and its moons, Venus, the jovian moons, and asteroids. Furthermore, a mass spectrometer on a landed spacecraft can assist in the sample selection in a sample-return mission and provide mineralogical context, or identify possible toxic soils on Mars for manned Mars exploration. Given the resources available on landed spacecraft mass spectrometers, as well as any other instrument, have to be highly miniaturised.

  16. Europa Planetary Protection for Juno Jupiter Orbiter (United States)

    Bernard, Douglas E.; Abelson, Robert D.; Johannesen, Jennie R.; Lam, Try; McAlpine, William J.; Newlin, Laura E.


    NASA's Juno mission launched in 2011 and will explore the Jupiter system starting in 2016. Juno's suite of instruments is designed to investigate the atmosphere, gravitational fields, magnetic fields, and auroral regions. Its low perijove polar orbit will allow it to explore portions of the Jovian environment never before visited. While the Juno mission is not orbiting or flying close to Europa or the other Galilean satellites, planetary protection requirements for avoiding the contamination of Europa have been taken into account in the Juno mission design.The science mission is designed to conclude with a deorbit burn that disposes of the spacecraft in Jupiter's atmosphere. Compliance with planetary protection requirements is verified through a set of analyses including analysis of initial bioburden, analysis of the effect of bioburden reduction due to the space and Jovian radiation environments, probabilistic risk assessment of successful deorbit, Monte-Carlo orbit propagation, and bioburden reduction in the event of impact with an icy body.

  17. N-body simulations of planetary formation (United States)

    Beauge, C.; Aarseth, S. J.


    Numerical simulations of the last stage of terrestrial planetary formation are performed using an N-body code similar to that of Lecar and Aarseth (1986). An improved treatment of collisions has been applied, which allows fragmentation and cratering, as well as accretion. Initial models consist of 200 bodies of total mass 2.3 x 10 to the 28th g, distributed in a two-dimensional ring of size 1 AU with initial circular orbits about the sun. Planetary embryos begin to form by accretion in the early stages when the relative velocities are small. Eventually, a small number of massive embryos emerge, and subsequently accrete nearly all the fragments. Final configurations of three different models yield four principal bodies with moderate eccentricities on a time-scale of 500,000 yr.

  18. Lunar and Planetary Webcam User's Guide

    CERN Document Server

    Mobberley, Martin


    Inexpensive webcams are revolutionizing imaging in amateur astronomy by providing an affordable alternative to cooled-chip astronomical CCD cameras, for photographing the brighter astronomical objects. Webcams – costing only a few tens of dollars – are capable of more advanced high resolution work than "normal" digital cameras because their rapid image download speed can freeze fine planetary details, even through the Earth's turbulent atmosphere. Also, their simple construction makes it easy to remove the lens, allowing them to be used at high power at the projected focus of an astronomical telescope. Webcams also connect direct to a PC, so that software can be used to "stack" multiple images, providing a stunning increase in image quality. In the Lunar and Planetary Webcam User’s Guide Martin Mobberley de-mystifies the jargon of webcams and computer processing, and provides detailed hints and tips for imaging the Sun, Moon and planets with a webcam. He looks at each observing target separately, descri...

  19. The planetary rate of sprite events

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ignaccolo, M.; Farges, T.; Mika, A.


    We propose a new formula to calculate the planetary rate of sprite events, based on observations with sprite detectors. This formula uses the number of detected sprites, the detection efficiency and the false alarm rate of the detector and spatial and temporal effectiveness functions. The role...... of these elements in the formula is discussed for optical and non-optical recordings. We use the formula to calculate an average planetary rate of sprite events of similar to 2.8 per minute with an accuracy of a factor similar to 2 - 3 by use of observations reported in the literature. The proposed formula can...... be used to calculate the occurrence rate of any physical event detected by remote sensing....

  20. Planetary tides during the Maunder sunspot minimum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smythe, C.M.; Eddy, J.A.


    Sun-centered planetary conjunctions and tidal potentials are here constructed for the AD1645 to 1715 period of sunspot absence, referred to as the 'Maunder Minimum'. These are found to be effectively indistinguishable from patterns of conjunctions and power spectra of tidal potential in the present era of a well established 11 year sunspot cycle. This places a new and difficult restraint on any tidal theory of sunspot formation. Problems arise in any direct gravitational theory due to the apparently insufficient forces and tidal heights involved. Proponents of the tidal hypothesis usually revert to trigger mechanisms, which are difficult to criticise or test by observation. Any tidal theory rests on the evidence of continued sunspot periodicity and the substantiation of a prolonged period of solar anomaly in the historical past. The 'Maunder Minimum' was the most drastic change in the behaviour of solar activity in the last 300 years; sunspots virtually disappeared for a 70 year period and the 11 year cycle was probably absent. During that time, however, the nine planets were all in their orbits, and planetary conjunctions and tidal potentials were indistinguishable from those of the present era, in which the 11 year cycle is well established. This provides good evidence against the tidal theory. The pattern of planetary tidal forces during the Maunder Minimum was reconstructed to investigate the possibility that the multiple planet forces somehow fortuitously cancelled at the time, that is that the positions of the slower moving planets in the 17th and early 18th centuries were such that conjunctions and tidal potentials were at the time reduced in number and force. There was no striking dissimilarity between the time of the Maunder Minimum and any period investigated. The failure of planetary conjunction patterns to reflect the drastic drop in sunspots during the Maunder Minimum casts doubt on the tidal theory of solar activity, but a more quantitative test

  1. Communication System Architecture for Planetary Exploration (United States)

    Braham, Stephen P.; Alena, Richard; Gilbaugh, Bruce; Glass, Brian; Norvig, Peter (Technical Monitor)


    Future human missions to Mars will require effective communications supporting exploration activities and scientific field data collection. Constraints on cost, size, weight and power consumption for all communications equipment make optimization of these systems very important. These information and communication systems connect people and systems together into coherent teams performing the difficult and hazardous tasks inherent in planetary exploration. The communication network supporting vehicle telemetry data, mission operations, and scientific collaboration must have excellent reliability, and flexibility.

  2. Planetary atmospheric physics and solar physics research (United States)


    An overview is presented on current and planned research activities in the major areas of solar physics, planetary atmospheres, and space astronomy. The approach to these unsolved problems involves experimental techniques, theoretical analysis, and the use of computers to analyze the data from space experiments. The point is made that the research program is characterized by each activity interacting with the other activities in the laboratory.

  3. Large-Scale Structures of Planetary Systems (United States)

    Murray-Clay, Ruth; Rogers, Leslie A.


    A class of solar system analogs has yet to be identified among the large crop of planetary systems now observed. However, since most observed worlds are more easily detectable than direct analogs of the Sun's planets, the frequency of systems with structures similar to our own remains unknown. Identifying the range of possible planetary system architectures is complicated by the large number of physical processes that affect the formation and dynamical evolution of planets. I will present two ways of organizing planetary system structures. First, I will suggest that relatively few physical parameters are likely to differentiate the qualitative architectures of different systems. Solid mass in a protoplanetary disk is perhaps the most obvious possible controlling parameter, and I will give predictions for correlations between planetary system properties that we would expect to be present if this is the case. In particular, I will suggest that the solar system's structure is representative of low-metallicity systems that nevertheless host giant planets. Second, the disk structures produced as young stars are fed by their host clouds may play a crucial role. Using the observed distribution of RV giant planets as a function of stellar mass, I will demonstrate that invoking ice lines to determine where gas giants can form requires fine tuning. I will suggest that instead, disk structures built during early accretion have lasting impacts on giant planet distributions, and disk clean-up differentially affects the orbital distributions of giant and lower-mass planets. These two organizational hypotheses have different implications for the solar system's context, and I will suggest observational tests that may allow them to be validated or falsified.

  4. Robots and humans: synergy in planetary exploration (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.


    How will humans and robots cooperate in future planetary exploration? Are humans and robots fundamentally separate modes of exploration, or can humans and robots work together to synergistically explore the solar system? It is proposed that humans and robots can work together in exploring the planets by use of telerobotic operation to expand the function and usefulness of human explorers, and to extend the range of human exploration to hostile environments. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Search for binary nuclei in planetary nebulae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jasniewicz, G.


    Two planetary nebulae with central stars of late spectral type were observed: LT 5 and Abell 35. The variation of the systemic velocity of the G-binary in HD 112313 gives strong support to the idea of a third body in the nucleus of LT 5. In addition, it is concluded that observed photometric variations of BD -22 deg 3467 (the central star of Abell 35) can best be explained by the binary nature of the star. 9 references

  6. Search for binary nuclei in planetary nebulae (United States)

    Jasniewicz, G.

    Two planetary nebulae with central stars of late spectral type were observed: LT 5 and Abell 35. The variation of the systemic velocity of the G-binary in HD 112313 gives strong support to the idea of a third body in the nucleus of LT 5. In addition, it is concluded that observed photometric variations of BD -22 deg 3467 (the central star of Abell 35) can best be explained by the binary nature of the star.

  7. Simulation of the planetary interior differentiation processes in the laboratory. (United States)

    Fei, Yingwei


    A planetary interior is under high-pressure and high-temperature conditions and it has a layered structure. There are two important processes that led to that layered structure, (1) percolation of liquid metal in a solid silicate matrix by planet differentiation, and (2) inner core crystallization by subsequent planet cooling. We conduct high-pressure and high-temperature experiments to simulate both processes in the laboratory. Formation of percolative planetary core depends on the efficiency of melt percolation, which is controlled by the dihedral (wetting) angle. The percolation simulation includes heating the sample at high pressure to a target temperature at which iron-sulfur alloy is molten while the silicate remains solid, and then determining the true dihedral angle to evaluate the style of liquid migration in a crystalline matrix by 3D visualization. The 3D volume rendering is achieved by slicing the recovered sample with a focused ion beam (FIB) and taking SEM image of each slice with a FIB/SEM crossbeam instrument. The second set of experiments is designed to understand the inner core crystallization and element distribution between the liquid outer core and solid inner core by determining the melting temperature and element partitioning at high pressure. The melting experiments are conducted in the multi-anvil apparatus up to 27 GPa and extended to higher pressure in the diamond-anvil cell with laser-heating. We have developed techniques to recover small heated samples by precision FIB milling and obtain high-resolution images of the laser-heated spot that show melting texture at high pressure. By analyzing the chemical compositions of the coexisting liquid and solid phases, we precisely determine the liquidus curve, providing necessary data to understand the inner core crystallization process.

  8. Wide-Field Ultraviolet Spectrometer for Planetary Exospheres and Thermospheres (United States)

    Fillingim, M. O.; Wishnow, E. H.; Miller, T.; Edelstein, J.; Lillis, R. J.; Korpela, E.; England, S.; Shourt, W. V.; Siegmund, O.; McPhate, J.; Courtade, S.; Curtis, D. W.; Deighan, J.; Chaffin, M.; Harmoul, A.; Almatroushi, H. R.


    Understanding the composition, structure, and variability of a planet's upper atmosphere - the exosphere and thermosphere - is essential for understanding how the upper atmosphere is coupled to the lower atmosphere, magnetosphere and near-space environment, and the Sun. Ultraviolet spectroscopy can directly observe emissions from constituents in the exosphere and thermosphere. From such observations, the structure, composition, and variability can be determined.We will present the preliminary design for a wide field ultraviolet imaging spectrometer for remote sensing of planetary atmospheres. The imaging spectrometer achieves an extremely large instantaneous 110 degree field of view with no moving scanning mirror. The imaging resolution is very appropriate for extended atmospheric emission studies, with a resolution of better than 0.3 degrees at the center to 0.4 degrees at the edges of the field. The spectral range covers 120 - 170 nm, encompassing emissions from H, O, C, N, CO, and N2, with an average spectral resolution of 1.5 nm. The instrument is composed of a 2-element wide-field telescope, a 3-element Offner spectrometer, and a sealed MCP detector system contained within a compact volume of about 40 x 25 x 20 cm. We will present the optical and mechanical design as well as the predicted optical performance.The wide instantaneous FOV simplifies instrument and spacecraft operations by removing the need for multiple scans (either from a scan mirror or spacecraft slews) to cover the regions of interest. This instrumentation can allow for two-dimensional spectral information to be built up with simple spacecraft operation or just using spacecraft motion. Applications to the terrestrial geocorona and thermosphere will be addressed as well as applications to the upper atmospheres of other planetary objects.

  9. Russian Planetary Exploration History, Development, Legacy, Prospects

    CERN Document Server

    Harvey, Brian


    Russia’s accomplishments in planetary space exploration were not achieved easily. Formerly, the USSR experienced frustration in trying to tame unreliable Molniya and Proton upper stages and in tracking spacecraft over long distances. This book will assess the scientific haul of data from the Venus and Mars missions and look at the engineering approaches. The USSR developed several generations of planetary probes: from MV and Zond to the Phobos type. The engineering techniques used and the science packages are examined, as well as the nature of the difficulties encountered which ruined several missions. The programme’s scientific and engineering legacy is also addressed, as well as its role within the Soviet space programme as a whole. Brian Harvey concludes by looking forward to future Russian planetary exploration (e.g Phobos Grunt sample return mission). Several plans have been considered and may, with a restoration of funding, come to fruition. Soviet studies of deep space and Mars missions (e.g. TMK, ...

  10. Reconstruction and visualization of planetary nebulae. (United States)

    Magnor, Marcus; Kindlmann, Gordon; Hansen, Charles; Duric, Neb


    From our terrestrially confined viewpoint, the actual three-dimensional shape of distant astronomical objects is, in general, very challenging to determine. For one class of astronomical objects, however, spatial structure can be recovered from conventional 2D images alone. So-called planetary nebulae (PNe) exhibit pronounced symmetry characteristics that come about due to fundamental physical processes. Making use of this symmetry constraint, we present a technique to automatically recover the axisymmetric structure of many planetary nebulae from photographs. With GPU-based volume rendering driving a nonlinear optimization, we estimate the nebula's local emission density as a function of its radial and axial coordinates and we recover the orientation of the nebula relative to Earth. The optimization refines the nebula model and its orientation by minimizing the differences between the rendered image and the original astronomical image. The resulting model allows creating realistic 3D visualizations of these nebulae, for example, for planetarium shows and other educational purposes. In addition, the recovered spatial distribution of the emissive gas can help astrophysicists gain deeper insight into the formation processes of planetary nebulae.

  11. HM Sagittae as a young planetary nebula

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kwok, S.; Purton, C.R.


    HM Sagittae is suggested to be a very young planetary nebula recently transformed from a red-giant star through continuous mass loss. The observational data for HM Sge have been analyzed in terms of the interacting stellar wind model of planetary nebula formation. The model is in accord with virtually all the spectral data available--radio, optical, and infrared--as well as with the remarkable brightening of HM Sge observed in 1975. In particular, all three gaseous components predicted by the model are observed in the optical spectrum. The density in the newly formed shell is found to be at least 5 x 10 7 cm -3 , a value considerably higher than that found by the conventional analysis, which assumes a single-component homogeneous nebula. The radio spectrum is dominated by free-free emission from the remnant red-giant wind. The infrared spectrum suggests the presence of two dust components, one consisting of silicate grains left over from the red-giant stage and the other of grains newly formed after the 1975 brightening. The low observed shell mass is consistent with the interacting stellar wind model but is not consistent with the conventional sudden-ejection model of planetary nebula formation

  12. The European standard on planetary protection requirements. (United States)

    Debus, André


    Since the beginning of solar system exploration, numerous spacecrafts have been sent towards others worlds, and one of the main goals of such missions is the search for extraterrestrial forms of life. It is known that, under certain conditions, some terrestrial entities are able to survive during cruises in space and that they may contaminate other planets (forward contamination). At another level, possible extraterrestrial life forms are unknown and their ability to contaminate the Earth's biosphere (back contamination) in the frame of sample return missions cannot be excluded. Article IX of the Outer Space Treaty (London/Washington, January 27, 1967) requires the preservation of planets and the Earth from contamination. All nations taking part in this Treaty must prevent forward and back contamination during missions exploring our solar system. Consequently, the United Nations (UN-COPUOS) has delegated COSPAR (Committee of Space Research) to take charge of planetary protection and, at present, all space-faring nations must comply with COSPAR policy and consequently with COSPAR planetary protection recommendations. Starting from these recommendations and the "CNES Planetary Protection Standard" document, a working group has been set up in the framework of the "European Cooperation for Space Standardization" (ECSS) to establish the main specifications for preventing cross-contamination between target bodies within the solar system and the Earth-moon system.

  13. Interstellar and Planetary Analogs in the Laboratory (United States)

    Salama, Farid


    We present and discuss the unique capabilities of the laboratory facility, COSmIC, that was developed at NASA Ames to investigate the interaction of ionizing radiation (UV, charged particles) with molecular species (neutral molecules, radicals and ions) and carbonaceous grains in the Solar System and in the Interstellar Medium (ISM). COSmIC stands for Cosmic Simulation Chamber, a laboratory chamber where interstellar and planetary analogs are generated, processed and analyzed. It is composed of a pulsed discharge nozzle (PDN) expansion that generates a free jet supersonic expansion in a plasma cavity coupled to two ultrahigh-sensitivity, complementary in situ diagnostics: a cavity ring down spectroscopy (CRDS) system for photonic detection and a Reflectron time-of-flight mass spectrometer (ReTOF-MS) for mass detection. This setup allows the study of molecules, ions and solids under the low temperature and high vacuum conditions that are required to simulate some interstellar, circumstellar and planetary physical environments providing new fundamental insights on the molecular level into the processes that are critical to the chemistry in the ISM, circumstellar and planet forming regions, and on icy objects in the Solar System. Recent laboratory results that were obtained using COSmIC will be discussed, in particular the progress that have been achieved in monitoring in the laboratory the formation of solid particles from their gas-phase molecular precursors in environments as varied as circumstellar outflow and planetary atmospheres.

  14. SmallSat Innovations for Planetary Science (United States)

    Weinberg, Jonathan; Petroy, Shelley; Roark, Shane; Schindhelm, Eric


    As NASA continues to look for ways to fly smaller planetary missions such as SIMPLEX, MoO, and Venus Bridge, it is important that spacecraft and instrument capabilities keep pace to allow these missions to move forward. As spacecraft become smaller, it is necessary to balance size with capability, reliability and payload capacity. Ball Aerospace offers extensive SmallSat capabilities matured over the past decade, utilizing our broad experience developing mission architecture, assembling spacecraft and instruments, and testing advanced enabling technologies. Ball SmallSats inherit their software capabilities from the flight proven Ball Configurable Platform (BCP) line of spacecraft, and may be tailored to meet the unique requirements of Planetary Science missions. We present here recent efforts in pioneering both instrument miniaturization and SmallSat/sensorcraft development through mission design and implementation. Ball has flown several missions with small, but capable spacecraft. We also have demonstrated a variety of enhanced spacecraft/instrument capabilities in the laboratory and in flight to advance autonomy in spaceflight hardware that can enable some small planetary missions.

  15. Degassing of reduced carbon from planetary basalts. (United States)

    Wetzel, Diane T; Rutherford, Malcolm J; Jacobsen, Steven D; Hauri, Erik H; Saal, Alberto E


    Degassing of planetary interiors through surface volcanism plays an important role in the evolution of planetary bodies and atmospheres. On Earth, carbon dioxide and water are the primary volatile species in magmas. However, little is known about the speciation and degassing of carbon in magmas formed on other planets (i.e., Moon, Mars, Mercury), where the mantle oxidation state [oxygen fugacity (fO2)] is different from that of the Earth. Using experiments on a lunar basalt composition, we confirm that carbon dissolves as carbonate at an fO2 higher than -0.55 relative to the iron wustite oxygen buffer (IW-0.55), whereas at a lower fO2, we discover that carbon is present mainly as iron pentacarbonyl and in smaller amounts as methane in the melt. The transition of carbon speciation in mantle-derived melts at fO2 less than IW-0.55 is associated with a decrease in carbon solubility by a factor of 2. Thus, the fO2 controls carbon speciation and solubility in mantle-derived melts even more than previous data indicate, and the degassing of reduced carbon from Fe-rich basalts on planetary bodies would produce methane-bearing, CO-rich early atmospheres with a strong greenhouse potential.

  16. Geologic Framework Model (GFM2000)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    T. Vogt


    The purpose of this report is to document the geologic framework model, version GFM2000 with regard to input data, modeling methods, assumptions, uncertainties, limitations, and validation of the model results, and the differences between GFM2000 and previous versions. The version number of this model reflects the year during which the model was constructed. This model supersedes the previous model version, documented in Geologic Framework Model (GFM 3.1) (CRWMS M&O 2000 [DIRS 138860]). The geologic framework model represents a three-dimensional interpretation of the geology surrounding the location of the monitored geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain. The geologic framework model encompasses and is limited to an area of 65 square miles (168 square kilometers) and a volume of 185 cubic miles (771 cubic kilometers). The boundaries of the geologic framework model (shown in Figure 1-1) were chosen to encompass the exploratory boreholes and to provide a geologic framework over the area of interest for hydrologic flow and radionuclide transport modeling through the unsaturated zone (UZ). The upper surface of the model is made up of the surface topography and the depth of the model is constrained by the inferred depth of the Tertiary-Paleozoic unconformity. The geologic framework model was constructed from geologic map and borehole data. Additional information from measured stratigraphic sections, gravity profiles, and seismic profiles was also considered. The intended use of the geologic framework model is to provide a geologic framework over the area of interest consistent with the level of detailed needed for hydrologic flow and radionuclide transport modeling through the UZ and for repository design. The model is limited by the availability of data and relative amount of geologic complexity found in an area. The geologic framework model is inherently limited by scale and content. The grid spacing used in the

  17. Geologic Framework Model (GFM2000)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    T. Vogt


    The purpose of this report is to document the geologic framework model, version GFM2000 with regard to input data, modeling methods, assumptions, uncertainties, limitations, and validation of the model results, and the differences between GFM2000 and previous versions. The version number of this model reflects the year during which the model was constructed. This model supersedes the previous model version, documented in Geologic Framework Model (GFM 3.1) (CRWMS M and O 2000 [DIRS 138860]). The geologic framework model represents a three-dimensional interpretation of the geology surrounding the location of the monitored geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain. The geologic framework model encompasses and is limited to an area of 65 square miles (168 square kilometers) and a volume of 185 cubic miles (771 cubic kilometers). The boundaries of the geologic framework model (shown in Figure 1-1) were chosen to encompass the exploratory boreholes and to provide a geologic framework over the area of interest for hydrologic flow and radionuclide transport modeling through the unsaturated zone (UZ). The upper surface of the model is made up of the surface topography and the depth of the model is constrained by the inferred depth of the Tertiary-Paleozoic unconformity. The geologic framework model was constructed from geologic map and borehole data. Additional information from measured stratigraphic sections, gravity profiles, and seismic profiles was also considered. The intended use of the geologic framework model is to provide a geologic framework over the area of interest consistent with the level of detailed needed for hydrologic flow and radionuclide transport modeling through the UZ and for repository design. The model is limited by the availability of data and relative amount of geologic complexity found in an area. The geologic framework model is inherently limited by scale and content. The grid spacing used in

  18. Distribution of scientific data from ESA's planetary missions via the Planetary Science Archive (PSA) (United States)

    Heather, D.; Zender, J.; Arviset, C.

    The Planetary Science Archive (PSA) is an online archive facility supporting all of ESA's planetary missions. Scientific and ancillary data from all of ESA's planetary missions will be distributed via the PSA, which is open to the worldwide scientific community, and should be the first port of call for all scientists looking for ESA planetary data. Currently, the PSA contains data from Giotto, several ground-based observatories, and Mars Express. In the long run, the PSA will also be the repository for missions such as Huygens, SMART-1, Rosetta and Venus Express. This presentation gives a demonstration of the use and functionality of the PSA to show how data products and data sets should be queried, requested and retrieved from the archive. An overview of the data flow from the spacecraft to the scientific community is also provided. The data release policy and the envisaged schedule of the expected data releases are given, and the archive process is detailed including the definition of data types and products, database ingestion and reviews for all instruments on-board ESA's planetary missions.

  19. A state geological survey commitment to environmental geology - the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wermund, E.G.


    In several Texas environmental laws, the Bureau of Economic Geology is designated as a planning participant and review agency in the process of fulfilling environmental laws. Two examples are legislation on reclamation of surface mines and regulation of processing low level radioactive wastes. Also, the Bureau is the principal geological reviewer of all Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements which the Office of the Governor circulates for state review on all major developmental activities in Texas. The BEG continues its strong interest in environmental geology. In February 1988, it recommitted its Land Resources Laboratory, initiated in 1974, toward fulfilling needs of state, county, and city governments for consultation and research on environmental geologic problems. An editorial from another state geological survey would resemble the about description of texas work in environmental geology. State geological surveys have led federal agencies into many developments of environmental geology, complemented federal efforts in their evolution, and continued a strong commitment to the maintenance of a quality environment through innovative geologic studies

  20. Status Report on the Geology of the Oak Ridge Reservation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hatcher, R.D., Jr.


    This report provides an introduction to the present state of knowledge of the geology of the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) and a cursory introduction to the hydrogeology. A detailed reported on hydrogeology is being produced in parallel to this one. An important element of this work is the construction of a modern detailed geologic map of the ORR containing subdivisions of all mappable rock units and displaying mesoscopic structural data. Understanding the geologic framework of the ORR is essential to many current and proposed activities related to land-use planning, waste management, environmental restoration, and waste remediation. This interim report is the result of cooperation between geologists in two Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) divisions, Environmental Sciences and Energy, and is a major part of one doctoral dissertation in the Department of Geological Sciences at The University of Tennessee--Knoxville. Major long-term goals of geologic investigations in the ORR are to determine what interrelationships exist between fractures systems in individual rock or tectonic units and the fluid flow regimes, to understand how regional and local geology can be used to help predict groundwater movement, and to formulate a structural-hydrologic model that for the first time would enable prediction of the movement of groundwater and other subsurface fluids in the ORR. Understanding the stratigraphic and structural framework and how it controls fluid flow at depth should be the first step in developing a model for groundwater movement. Development of a state-of-the-art geologic and geophysical framework for the ORR is therefore essential for formulating an integrated structural-hydrologic model. This report is also intended to convey the present state of knowledge of the geologic and geohydrologic framework of the ORR and vicinity and to present some of the data that establish the need for additional geologic mapping and geohydrologic studies. An additional intended

  1. An Analysis and Classification of Dying AGB Stars Transitioning to Pre-Planetary Nebulae (United States)

    Blake, Adam C.


    The principal objective of the project is to understand part of the life and death process of a star. During the end of a star's life, it expels its mass at a very rapid rate. We want to understand how these Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) stars begin forming asymmetric structures as they start evolving towards the planetary nebula phase and why planetary nebulae show a very large variety of non-round geometrical shapes. To do this, we analyzed images of just-forming pre-planetary nebula from Hubble surveys. These images were run through various image correction processes like saturation correction and cosmic ray removal using in-house software to bring out the circumstellar structure. We classified the visible structure based on qualitative data such as lobe, waist, halo, and other structures. Radial and azimuthal intensity cuts were extracted from the images to quantitatively examine the circumstellar structure and measure departures from the smooth spherical outflow expected during most of the AGB mass-loss phase. By understanding the asymmetrical structure, we hope to understand the mechanisms that drive this stellar evolution.

  2. Continued Development of in Situ Geochronology for Planetary Using KArLE (Potassium-Argon Laser Experiment) (United States)

    Devismes, D.; Cohen, B. A.


    Geochronology is a fundamental measurement for planetary samples, providing the ability to establish an absolute chronology for geological events, including crystallization history, magmatic evolution, and alteration events, and providing global and solar system context for such events. The capability for in situ geochronology will open up the ability for geochronology to be accomplished as part of lander or rover complement, on multiple samples rather than just those returned. An in situ geochronology package can also complement sample return missions by identifying the most interesting rocks to cache or return to Earth. The K-Ar radiometric dating approach to in situ dating has been validated by the Curiosity rover on Mars as well as several laboratories on Earth. Several independent projects developing in situ rock dating for planetary samples, based on the K-Ar method, are giving promising results. Among them, the Potassium (K)-Argon Laser Experiment (KArLE) at MSFC is based on techniques already in use for in planetary exploration, specifically, Laser-induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS, used on the Curiosity Chemcam), mass spectroscopy (used on multiple planetary missions, including Curiosity, ExoMars, and Rosetta), and optical imaging (used on most missions).

  3. WIPP site and vicinity geological field trip

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chaturvedi, L.


    The Environmental Evaluation Group is conducting an assessment of the radiological health risks to people from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. As a part of this work, EEG is making an effort to improve the understanding of those geological issues concerning the WIPP site which may affect the radiological consequences of the proposed repository. One of the important geological issues to be resolved is the timing and the nature of the dissolution processes which may have affected the WIPP site. EEG organized a two-day conference of geological scientists, on January 17-18, 1980. On the basis of the January conference and the June field trip, EEG has formed the following conclusions: (1) it has not been clearly established that the site or the surrounding area has been attacked by deep dissolution to render it unsuitable for the nuclear waste pilot repository; (2) the existence of an isolated breccia pipe at the site unaccompanied by a deep dissolution wedge, is a very remote possibility; (3) more specific information about the origin and the nature of the brine reservoirs is needed. An important question that should be resolved is whether each encounter with artesian brine represents a separate pocket or whether these occurrences are interconnected; (4) Anderson has postulated a major tectonic fault or a fracture system at the Basin margin along the San Simon Swale; (5) the area in the northern part of the WIPP site, identified from geophysical and bore hole data as the disturbed zone, should be further investigated to cleary understand the nature and significance of this structural anomaly; and (6) a major drawback encountered during the discussions of geological issues related to the WIPP site is the absence of published material that brings together all the known information related to a particular issue

  4. Magnetic dynamos in accreting planetary bodies (United States)

    Golabek, Gregor; Labrosse, Stéphane; Gerya, Taras; Morishima, Ryuji; Tackley, Paul


    Laboratory measurements revealed ancient remanent magnetization in meteorites [1] indicating the activity of magnetic dynamos in the corresponding meteorite parent body. To study under which circumstances dynamo activity is possible, we use a new methodology to simulate the internal evolution of a planetary body during accretion and differentiation. Using the N-body code PKDGRAV [2] we simulate the accretion of planetary embryos from an initial annulus of several thousand planetesimals. The growth history of the largest resulting planetary embryo is used as an input for the thermomechanical 2D code I2ELVIS [3]. The thermomechanical model takes recent parametrizations of impact processes [4] and of the magnetic dynamo [5] into account. It was pointed out that impacts can not only deposit heat deep into the target body, which is later buried by ejecta of further impacts [6], but also that impacts expose in the crater region originally deep-seated layers, thus cooling the interior [7]. This combination of impact effects becomes even more important when we consider that planetesimals of all masses contribute to planetary accretion. This leads occasionally to collisions between bodies with large ratios between impactor and target mass. Thus, all these processes can be expected to have a profound effect on the thermal evolution during the epoch of planetary accretion and may have implications for the magnetic dynamo activity. Results show that late-formed planetesimals do not experience silicate melting and avoid thermal alteration, whereas in early-formed bodies accretion and iron core growth occur almost simultaneously and a highly variable magnetic dynamo can operate in the interior of these bodies. [1] Weiss, B.P. et al., Science, 322, 713-716, 2008. [2] Richardson, D. C. et al., Icarus, 143, 45-59, 2000. [3] Gerya, T.V and Yuen, D.J., Phys. Earth Planet. Int., 163, 83-105, 2007. [4] Monteux, J. et al., Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L24201, 2007. [5] Aubert, J. et al

  5. Geology of hydrothermal uranium deposits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Korolev, K.G.; Belov, V.K.; Putilov, G.S.


    Geological characteristics of hydrothermal phosphorus-uranium deposits placed in sedimentary, igneous-sedimentary, metamorphic and intrusion formations are presented. Attention is paid to mineral composition, texture and structure of ores, their genesis, tectonics. Geochemical peculiarities of ores and age of molybdenum-uranium and uranium deposits are described. Geological criteria and prospecting features of uranium and uranium-molybdenum deposits are given

  6. Relationship between LIBS Ablation and Pit Volume for Geologic Samples: Applications for in situ Absolute Geochronology (United States)

    Devismes, D.; Cohen, Barbara A.


    In planetary sciences, in situ absolute geochronology is a scientific and engineering challenge. Currently, the age of the Martian surface can only be determined by crater density counting. However this method has significant uncertainties and needs to be calibrated with absolute ages. We are developing an instrument to acquire in situ absolute geochronology based on the K-Ar method. The protocol is based on the laser ablation of a rock by hundreds of laser pulses. Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) gives the potassium content of the ablated material and a mass spectrometer (quadrupole or ion trap) measures the quantity of 40Ar released. In order to accurately measure the quantity of released 40Ar in cases where Ar is an atmospheric constituent (e.g., Mars), the sample is first put into a chamber under high vacuum. The 40Arquantity, the concentration of K and the estimation of the ablated mass are the parameters needed to give the age of the rocks. The main uncertainties with this method are directly linked to the measures of the mass (typically some µg) and of the concentration of K by LIBS (up to 10%). Because the ablated mass is small compared to the mass of the sample, and because material is redeposited onto the sample after ablation, it is not possible to directly measure the ablated mass. Our current protocol measures the ablated volume and estimates the sample density to calculate ablated mass. The precision and accuracy of this method may be improved by using knowledge of the sample's geologic properties to predict its response to laser ablation, i.e., understanding whether natural samples have a predictable relationship between laser energy deposited and resultant ablation volume. In contrast to most previous studies of laser ablation, theoretical equations are not highly applicable. The reasons are numerous, but the most important are: a) geologic rocks are complex, polymineralic materials; b) the conditions of ablation are unusual (for example

  7. Computer Visualizations for K-8 Science Teachers: One Component of Professional Development Workshops at the Planetary Science Institute (United States)

    Kortenkamp, S.; Baldridge, A. M.; Bleamaster, L. F.; Buxner, S.; Canizo, T.; Crown, D. A.; Lebofsky, L. A.


    The Planetary Science Institute (PSI), in partnership with the Tucson Regional Science Center, offers a series of professional development workshops targeting K-8 science teachers in southern Arizona. Using NASA data sets, research results, and a team of PSI scientists and educators, our workshops provide teachers with in-depth content knowledge of fundamental concepts in astronomy, geology, and planetary science. Current workshops are: The Earth-Moon System, Exploring the Terrestrial Planets, Impact Cratering, The Asteroid-Meteorite Connection, Volcanoes of the Solar System, Deserts of the Solar System, and Astrobiology and the Search for Extrasolar Planets. Several workshops incorporate customized computer visualizations developed at PSI. These visualizations are designed to help teachers overcome the common misconceptions students have in fundamental areas of space science. For example, the simple geometric relationship between the sun, the moon, and Earth is a concept that is rife with misconceptions. How can the arrangement of these objects account for the constantly changing phases of the moon as well as the occasional eclipses of the sun and moon? Students at all levels often struggle to understand the explanation for phases and eclipses even after repeated instruction over many years. Traditional classroom techniques have proven to be insufficient at rooting out entrenched misconceptions. One problem stems from the difficulty of developing an accurate mental picture of the Earth-Moon system in space when a student's perspective has always been firmly planted on the ground. To address this problem our visualizations take the viewers on a journey beyond Earth, giving them a so-called "god's eye" view of how the Earth-Moon system would look from a distance. To make this journey as realistic as possible we use ray-tracing software, incorporate NASA mission images, and accurately portray rotational and orbital motion. During a workshop our visualizations are

  8. Permo-Carboniferous sedimentary basins related to the distribution of planetary cryptoblemes (United States)

    Windolph, J.F.


    Massive/high velocity solar, galactic, and cosmic debris impacting the Earths surface may account for the enormous energy required for the formation of Permo-Carboniferous sedimentary basins and related mountain building orogenies. Analysis of satellite immagry, sea floor sonar, geophysical data, and geotectonic fabrics show a strong correlation throughout geologic time between sedimentary basin origin and planetary cryptoblemes. Cryptoblemes are subtile, multi-ringed, radial centric impact shock signatures covering the entire terrestrial surface and ocean floors, having a geometry and distribution strikingly similar to the surfaces of the lunar planetary bodies in the solar system. Investigations of Permo-Carboniferous basins show an intensely overprinted pattern of cryptoblemes coinciding with partial obliteration and elliptical compression of pre-existing basins and accompanying shock patterns. Large distorted cryptoblemes may incorporate thin skin deformation, localized sediment diagenesis, regional metamorphism, and juxtaposed exotic terrains. These data, related to basin morphogenic symmetry, suggest that large episodic impact events are the primary cause of tectonogenic features, geologic boundary formation and mass extinction episodes on the planet Earth. Plate tectonics may be only a slow moving, low energy secondary effect defined and set in motion by megacosmic accretion events. Permo-Carboniferous sediments of note are preserved or accumulated in relatively small rectangular to arcuate rift valleys and synclinal down warps, such as the Narraganset basin of Massachusetts, USA, and Paganzo basin in Argentina, S.A. These deposits and depocenters may originate from dynamic reinforcement/cancellation impact effects, as can be seen in the Basin Range of Nevada and Utah, USA. Large circular to oval sedimentary basins commonly include internal ring structures indicating post depositional subsidence and rebound adjustments with growth faulting, notable in the

  9. The Geologic Nitrogen Cycle (United States)

    Johnson, B. W.; Goldblatt, C.


    N2 is the dominant gas in Earth's atmosphere, and has been so through the majority of the planet's history. Originally thought to only be cycled in significant amounts through the biosphere, it is becoming increasingly clear that a large degree of geologic cycling can occur as well. N is present in crustal rocks at 10s to 100s of ppm and in the mantle at 1s to perhaps 10s of ppm. In light of new data, we present an Earth-system perspective of the modern N cycle, an updated N budget for the silicate Earth, and venture to explain the evolution of the N cycle over time. In an fashion similar to C, N has a fast, biologically mediated cycle and a slower cycle driven by plate tectonics. Bacteria fix N2 from the atmosphere into bioavailable forms. N is then cycled through the food chain, either by direct consumption of N-fixing bacteria, as NH4+ (the primary waste form), or NO3- (the most common inorganic species in the modern ocean). Some organic material settles as sediment on the ocean floor. In anoxic sediments, NH4+ dominates; due to similar ionic radii, it can readily substitute for K+ in mineral lattices, both in sedimentary rocks and in oceanic lithosphere. Once it enters a subduction zone, N may either be volatilized and returned to the atmosphere at arc volcanoes as N2 or N2O, sequestered into intrusive igneous rocks (as NH4+?), or subducted deep into the mantle, likely as NH4+. Mounting evidence indicates that a significant amount of N may be sequestered into the solid Earth, where it may remain for long periods (100s m.y.) before being returned to the atmosphere/biosphere by volcanism or weathering. The magnitude fluxes into the solid Earth and size of geologic N reservoirs are poorly constrained. The size of the N reservoirs contained in the solid Earth directly affects the evolution of Earth's atmosphere. It is possible that N now sequestered in the solid Earth was once in the atmosphere, which would have resulted in a higher atmospheric pressure, and

  10. Developing Science Operations Concepts for the Future of Planetary Surface Exploration (United States)

    Young, K. E.; Bleacher, J. E.; Rogers, A. D.; McAdam, A.; Evans, C. A.; Graff, T. G.; Garry, W. B.; Whelley,; Scheidt, S.; Carter, L.; hide


    Through fly-by, orbiter, rover, and even crewed missions, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been extremely successful in exploring planetary bodies throughout our Solar System. The focus on increasingly complex Mars orbiter and rover missions has helped us understand how Mars has evolved over time and whether life has ever existed on the red planet. However, large strategic knowledge gaps (SKGs) still exist in our understanding of the evolution of the Solar System (e.g. the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group, Small Bodies Analysis Group, and Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group). Sending humans to these bodies is a critical part of addressing these SKGs in order to transition to a new era of planetary exploration by 2050.

  11. Short-Term Research Experiences with Teachers in Earth and Planetary Sciences and a Model for Integrating Research into Classroom Inquiry (United States)

    Morgan, P.; Bloom, J. W.


    For the past three summers, we have worked with in-service teachers on image processing, planetary geology, and earthquake and volcano content modules using inquiry methods that ended with mini-research experiences. Although almost all were science teachers, very few could give a reasonable definition of science at the start of the modules, and very few had a basic grasp of the processes of scientific research and could not include substantive scientific inquiry into their lessons. To build research understanding and confidence, an instructor-student interaction model was used in the modules. Studies have shown that children who participate in classrooms as learning and inquiry communities develop more complex understandings. The same patterns of complex understandings have resulted in similarly structured professional communities of teachers. The model is based on professional communities, emphasizing from the beginning that inquiry is a form of research. Although the actual "research" component of the modules was short, the teachers were identified as professionals and researchers from the start. Research/inquiry participation is therefore an excellent example by which to allow their teachers to learn. Initially the teachers were very reluctant to pose questions. As they were encouraged to share, collaborate, and support each other, the role of the instructor became less of a leader and more of a facilitator, and the confidence of the teachers as professionals and researchers grew. One teacher even remarked, "This is how we should be teaching our kids!' Towards the end of the modules the teachers were ready for their mini- research projects and collaborated in teams of 2-4. They selected their own research topics, but were guided toward research questions that required data collection (from existing studies), some data manipulation, interpretation, and drawing conclusions with respect to the original question. The teachers were enthusiastic about all of their

  12. The Planetary Data System - A solution to data management for the planetary science community (United States)

    Dobinson, Elaine R.


    An overview of the first release of the Planetary Data System (PDS) is presented, and some of the challenges encountered during development of the system are described. The principal goals of the PDS are to distribute planetary science data and information about these data to NASA, to provide scientific knowledge to users of these data, and to provide for permanent storage. The current architecture and capabilities of the PDS (Version 1.0) are examined, and some of the special challenges encountered and lessons learned during the application are highlighted. Finally, implications for future versions of the PDS as well as for other science data systems are discussed.

  13. Ontological Encoding of GeoSciML and INSPIRE geological standard vocabularies and schemas: application to geological mapping (United States)

    Lombardo, Vincenzo; Piana, Fabrizio; Mimmo, Dario; Fubelli, Giandomenico; Giardino, Marco


    Encoding of geologic knowledge in formal languages is an ambitious task, aiming at the interoperability and organic representation of geological data, and semantic characterization of geologic maps. Initiatives such as GeoScience Markup Language (last version is GeoSciML 4, 2015[1]) and INSPIRE "Data Specification on Geology" (an operative simplification of GeoSciML, last version is 3.0 rc3, 2013[2]), as well as the recent terminological shepherding of the Geoscience Terminology Working Group (GTWG[3]) have been promoting information exchange of the geologic knowledge. There have also been limited attempts to encode the knowledge in a machine-readable format, especially in the lithology domain (see e.g. the CGI_Lithology ontology[4]), but a comprehensive ontological model that connect the several knowledge sources is still lacking. This presentation concerns the "OntoGeonous" initiative, which aims at encoding the geologic knowledge, as expressed through the standard vocabularies, schemas and data models mentioned above, through a number of interlinked computational ontologies, based on the languages of the Semantic Web and the paradigm of Linked Open Data. The initiative proceeds in parallel with a concrete case study, concerning the setting up of a synthetic digital geological map of the Piemonte region (NW Italy), named "GEOPiemonteMap" (developed by the CNR Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources, CNR IGG, Torino), where the description and classification of GeologicUnits has been supported by the modeling and implementation of the ontologies. We have devised a tripartite ontological model called OntoGeonous that consists of: 1) an ontology of the geologic features (in particular, GeologicUnit, GeomorphologicFeature, and GeologicStructure[5], modeled from the definitions and UML schemata of CGI vocabularies[6], GeoScienceML and INSPIRE, and aligned with the Planetary realm of NASA SWEET ontology[7]), 2) an ontology of the Earth materials (as defined by the

  14. Uranium geology of Bulgaria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)



    Three major uranium districts containing several deposits, plus 32 additional deposits, have been identified in Bulgaria, all of which are detailed geologically in this article. Most of the deposits are located in the West Balkan mountains, the western Rhodope mountains, and the Thracian Basin. A few deposits occur in the East Balkan, eastern Rhodope and Sredna Gora mountains. The types of deposits are sandstone, vein, volcanic, and surficial. Sandstone deposits are hosted in Permian and Tertiary sediments. In early 1992, fifteen deposits were being exploited, of which roughly 70 percent of the uranium produced was being recovered using in-situ leaching (ISL) methods. The remainder was being recovered by conventional underground mining, except for one small deposit that utilized open-pit methods. Fifteen other Bulgarian deposits had been exhausted, while five deposits were still in the exploration stage. Uranium production began in Bulgaria in 1946, and cumulative production through 1991 exceeded 100 million pounds equivalent U3O8. Current annual production is on the order of one million pounds equivalent U3O8, about 750 thousand pounds of which are recovered by ISL operations

  15. Geological disposal system development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kang, Chul Hyung; Kuh, J. E.; Kim, S. K. and others


    Spent fuel inventories to be disposed of finally and design base spent fuel were determined. Technical and safety criteria for a geological repository system in Korea were established. Based on the properties of spent PWR and CANDU fuels, seven repository alternatives were developed and the most promising repository option was selected by the pair-wise comparison method from the technology point of view. With this option preliminary conceptual design studies were carried out. Several module, e.g., gap module, congruent release module were developed for the overall assessment code MASCOT-K. The prominent overseas databases such as OECD/NEA FEP list were are fully reviewed and then screened to identify the feasible ones to reflect the Korean geo-hydrological conditions. In addition to this the well known scenario development methods such as PID, RES were reviewed. To confirm the radiological safety of the proposed KAERI repository concept the preliminary PA was pursued. Thermo-hydro-mechanical analysis for the near field of repository were performed to verify thermal and mechanical stability for KAERI repository system. The requirements of buffer material were analyzed, and based on the results, the quantitative functional criteria for buffer material were established. The hydraulic and swelling property, mechanical properties, and thermal conductivity, the organic carbon content, and the evolution of pore water chemistry were investigated. Based on the results, the candidate buffer material was selected

  16. Radon in geological medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hricko, J.


    The paper presented deals with behavior of the radon in geological medium and with some results of the radon survey in Bratislava and Kosice regions. 1) The a v has been detected in the holes 0.80 m deep. The density of observations - 3 reference areas (one represents 20 stations) per 1 km 2 . The radon risk maps in 1:25000 and 1:50000 scales have been compiled. The 56.8% of the project area lies in low radon risk, 37.6% in medium radon risk and 5.6% in high radon risk. Follow-up monitoring of the equivalent volume radon activity (EVRA) at the flats, located in the areas with high radon risk of the surface layer, has showed values several times higher than Slovak limits (Marianka, Raca, Vajnory). The evidence that neotectonic is excellent medium for rising up emanation to the subsurface layer, is shown on the map. The tectonic zone of Liscie udolie in Bratislava-Karlova Ves area has been clearly detected by profile radon survey (a v > 50 kBq/m 3 ). 2) At present, northern half of the area of Kosice in question was covered by radon survey. The low and medium radon risks have been observed here, while localities with high radon risk are small in extent. The part of radon risk and soil permeability map from northern Kosice area is shown. (J.K.) 3 figs., 2 refs

  17. Geological disposal system development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kang, Chul Hyung; Kuh, J. E.; Kim, S. K. and others


    Spent fuel inventories to be disposed of finally and design base spent fuel were determined. Technical and safety criteria for a geological repository system in Korea were established. Based on the properties of spent PWR and CANDU fuels, seven repository alternatives were developed and the most promising repository option was selected by the pair-wise comparison method from the technology point of view. With this option preliminary conceptual design studies were carried out. Several module, e.g., gap module, congruent release module were developed for the overall assessment code MASCOT-K. The prominent overseas databases such as OECD/NEA FEP list were are fully reviewed and then screened to identify the feasible ones to reflect the Korean geo-hydrological conditions. In addition to this the well known scenario development methods such as PID, RES were reviewed. To confirm the radiological safety of the proposed KAERI repository concept the preliminary PA was pursued. Thermo-hydro-mechanical analysis for the near field of repository were performed to verify thermal and mechanical stability for KAERI repository system. The requirements of buffer material were analyzed, and based on the results, the quantitative functional criteria for buffer material were established. The hydraulic and swelling property, mechanical properties, and thermal conductivity, the organic carbon content, and the evolution of pore water chemistry were investigated. Based on the results, the candidate buffer material was selected.

  18. The Geology of Titan (United States)

    Jaumann, Ralf

    Titan, the largest and most complex satellite in the solar system exhibits an organic dominated surface chemistry and shares surface features with other large icy satellites as well as the terrestrial planets. It is subject to tidal stresses, and its surface appears to have been modified tectonically. Cassini's global observations at infrared and radar wavelengths as well as local investigations by the instruments on the Huygens probe has revealed that Titan has the largest known abundance of organic material in the solar system apart from Earth, and that its active hydrological cycle is analogous to that of Earth, but with methane replacing water. The surface of Titan exhibits morphological features of different sizes and origins created by geological processes that span the entire dynamic range of aeolian, fluvial and tectonic activities, with likely evidence that cryovolcanism might exists where liquid water, perhaps in concert with ammonia, methane and carbon dioxide, makes its way to the surface from the interior [e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18]. Extended dune fields, lakes, mountainous terrain, dendritic erosion patterns and erosional remnants indicate dynamic surface processes. Valleys, small-scale gullies and rounded cobbles require erosion by extended energetic flow of liquids. There is strong evidence that liquid hydrocarbons are ponded on the surface in lakes, predominantly, but not exclusively, at high northern latitudes. A variety of features including extensive flows and caldera-like constructs are interpreted to be cryovolcanic in origin. Chains and isolated blocks of rugged terrain rising from smoother areas are best described as mountains and might be related to tectonic processes. Impact craters form on all solid bodies in the solar system, and have been detected on Titan. But very few have been observed so they must be rapidly destroyed or buried by other geologic processes The morphologies of the impact

  19. An Outrageous Geological Hypothesis for the Early Mars Hydro-climatic Conundrum (United States)

    Baker, V. R.


    Nearly a century ago a Science paper by W. M. Davis described the role for an "outrageous geological hypothesis" (OGH) as encouraging, "…a contemplation deliberate enough to seek out what conditions would make the outrage seem permissible and reasonable." Davis even advocated in 1926 that Earth scientists seriously consider "the Wegener outrage of wandering continents"- the OGH that ultimately led to the most important unifying concept for understanding the nature of Earthlike planets. Does this concept of a mobile lithosphere, manifesting itself on Earth as plate tectonics, have relevance for understanding the nature of early Mars? Conceptual arguments have been presented claiming that Mars could never have had an early phase of lithospheric dynamics similar to that associated with Earth's plate tectonics. Nevertheless, a total rejection of this OGH precludes any possibility of considering (1) the conditions that might make such dynamics possible, and (2) connections among the many phenomena that can be collectively accounted for by the OGH. While all scientific arguments are intrinsically fallible, nature presents us with absolute realities. For Mars the latter consist of the numerous anomalies related to planetary evolution that either can be explained piecemeal by ad hoc hypotheses, or, alternatively, might be viewed as part of something to be explained by a unifying, working hypothesis that may seem outrageous in the light of current theory. Briefly stated, the Early Mars OGH envisions a pre-Late Heavy Bombardment (> 4 Ga) phase of lithospheric subduction that helped generate the very powerful core dynamo while also emplacing near the core-mantle boundary a reservoir of volatiles that subsequently influenced the later Mars history of punctuated evolution, involving episodic volcanism and transient states of a denser atmosphere with associated, active hydrological cycling, including the temporary surficial expressions of oceans, lakes, glaciers, and rivers.

  20. The Sustainability of Habitability on Terrestrial Planets: Insights, Questions, and Needed Measurements from Mars for Understanding the Evolution of Earth-Like Worlds (United States)

    Ehlmann, B. L.; Anderson, F. S.; Andrews-Hanna, J.; Catling, D. C.; Christensen, P. R.; Cohen, B. A.; Dressing, C. D.; Edwards, C. S.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Farley, K. A.; hide


    What allows a planet to be both within a potentially habitable zone and sustain habitability over long geologic time? With the advent of exoplanetary astronomy and the ongoing discovery of terrestrial-type planets around other stars, our own solar system becomes a key testing ground for ideas about what factors control planetary evolution. Mars provides the solar systems longest record of the interplay of the physical and chemical processes relevant to habitability on an accessible rocky planet with an atmosphere