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2009 Annual Science Report

University of California, Berkeley Reporting  |  JUL 2008 – AUG 2009

Executive Summary

There is no executive summary for this team at this time.

Field Sites
5 Institutions
4 Project Reports
0 Publications
2 Field Sites

Project Reports

  • Relationship Between Hydrogeology and Microbiology at Active Springs

    Springs formed by groundwater discharge may be the most likely sites for supporting life in the past or at present on Mars. We have been studying the processes that govern spatial and temporal variability of water properties at springs and the biological diversity in microbial communities supported by the springs.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 3.2 5.3 6.1
  • Water Delivery to the Surface of Icy Satellites

    Oceans below the icy surface of the moons of Saturn and Jupiter may be habitable. Sampling this ocean directly is difficult. This ocean water may, however, erupt onto the surface of these moons and there are active and fossil features that suggest this is possible. We show, however, that cracks are unlikely to penetrate all the way through the ice shell. We also develop models for the coupled orbital and interior evolution of icy satellites.

  • Mars in the Context of Planetary Evolution

    Explaining the persistence of volcanism on Mars is a challenging target for geodynamic models. Mars and other planets within our solar system form the basis for understanding plate tectonics and habitability on rocky planets around other stars.

  • Coupled Evolution of Mars’ Surface Water and Interior

    The delivery and availability of water on the Martian surface depends on the coupled evolution of the Martian interior and atmosphere. We developed models for the history of volcanism on Mars. We also determined the conditions under which the location of the Martian spin axis remains stable. We find that some true polar wander — motion of the spin axis — may have occurred, but not enough to explain the observed deformation of hypothesized shorelines that circumscribed a large paleo-ocean.