Making Planets on Earth: How Experimental Petrology Is Essential to Planetary Exploration

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Kayla Iacovino , Nicole G Lunning, Gordon Moore, Kathleen E Vander Kaaden, Kevin Righter, Francis M McCubbin, Kelsey B Prissel, Paul D Asimow


Our knowledge of the evolution of the solar system relies upon our ability to interpret a limited set of observations, including geochemical data from returned samples and meteorites, remotely sensed data from spacecraft and telescopes, and information measured in situ via landers and rovers. Our ability to obtain these data is constantly improving in quality and quantity, but the understanding of the universe derived from these data is only as good as our interpretive tools. Experimental petrology is the most powerful way in which we define fundamental geochemical principles, e.g., thermodynamic equations of state, volatile solubilities and partitioning, partitioning of elements between gaseous, fluid, silicate and/or metal phases, and pressure-temperature-redox-composition-time controls on phase composition, stability, and texture. These laboratory-derived insights are critical to precisely translating hard-won geochemical data sets into constrained models of the formation and evolution of our solar system.



Planetary Geochemistry, Planetary Sciences


Experimental Petrology, Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032


Published: 2023-04-26 10:54


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