Status Report

Workshop On Martian Sulfates as Recorders of Atmospheric-Fluid-Rock Interactions

By SpaceRef Editor
March 23, 2006
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Workshop On Martian Sulfates as Recorders of Atmospheric-Fluid-Rock Interactions


Sulfate compounds are abundant at the martian surface — as first discovered by the Viking landers and now convincingly proven by instruments on current rovers and orbiter spacecraft. By analogies with terrestrial systems, the martian sulfates can provide crucial clues about present and past environments on Mars, including the source of sulfate (weathering, magmatic gas), fluid compositions during sulfate transport (pH, oxygen fugacity, etc.), the timing of sulfate deposition and mobility, atmospheric evolution, the martian sulfur cycle in relation to biotic potential, and the possibilities of ore deposits to support human habitation.

This workshop will focus on understanding how to interpret martian sulfate minerals in the larger pictures of Mars: its present surface environment, its geological and chemical histories, and the targets for its future exploration. The workshop will bring together researchers from all relevant disciplines: orbital and landed Mars missions, martian meteorites, terrestrial analogs and their microbiology, spectroscopic and chemical characterization, and laboratory experiments and analyses. Through invited talks, contributed talks, and abundant discussion, attendees will learn the scope of knowledge about martian sulfate minerals and how the minerals might be used to reveal the history and chemistry of Mars.


  • Lunar and Planetary Institute
  • Curation and Analysis Planning Team for Extraterrestrial Materials (CAPTEM)
  • NASA Mars Data Analysis Program


  • Jim Papike, University of New Mexico


  • Brad Jolliff, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Virgil Lueth, New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology
  • Douglas Ming, NASA Johnson Space Center
  • Clive Neal, University of Notre Dame
  • Chip Shearer, University of New Mexico
  • Allan Treiman, Lunar and Planetary Institute
  • Dave Vaniman, Los Alamos National Laboratory

The workshop will be held October 22 – 24, 2006, at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), in Houston, Texas. For information regarding the purpose and scope of the meeting, please refer to the first announcement at:

To subscribe to a mailing list to receive electronic reminders relating to the meeting via e-mail, please submit an electronic Indication of Interest form by June 12, 2006.

If you do not wish to receive future e-mails concerning LPI-sponsored meetings, please contact us at Please be aware that this will remove you from all future e-mail correspondence related to meeting activities and updates.

The Lunar and Planetary Institute is a nonprofit organization whose focus is on academic participation in studies of the current state, evolution, and formation of the solar system. The Institute is located at 3600 Bay Area Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77058-1113, USA.

SpaceRef staff editor.