Ocean Worlds are now known to be widespread in our Solar System. In the present day, for example, the outer Solar System is rich in icy moons that host liquid water oceans. A subset of those moons, in turn, host liquid water oceans in contact with a submarine rocky interior. Similar “rocky seafloor” conditions may also have been present closer to Earth on Mars and Ceres in the past. On Earth, physical and geochemical interactions between water and silicates at and beneath the seafloor give rise to the release of chemical energy that can be exploited for life, independent of sunlight giving rise to chemosynthetic ecosystems. Might the same conditions for life have arisen elsewhere in our solar system, in the past or in the present day?
In the next of a series of Ocean Worlds meetings, the focus will be on the potential for silicate-water interactions to occur on Ocean Worlds beyond Earth, from a multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary perspective. As with past Ocean Worlds meetings, a primary motivation is to engender a cross-fertilization of ideas and expertise by soliciting contributions from both the Ocean Sciences and Planetary Sciences communities. Consequently, contributions are invited that address any aspects of this broad water-rock interaction theme, across the Planetary and Ocean Science fields, including geophysics, hydrogeology, geochemistry and microbiology.
Meeting attendance will be limited to about 160 participants, so early application is recommended. In the case of oversubscription, the Scientific Organizing Committee will select participants on the basis of balance between sub-disciplines and to ensure an even distribution of Planetary and Ocean scientists.
All contributions will appear in print accessible form on this website.