Lunar and Planetary Institute

Workshop on Venus Geochemistry: Progress, Prospects, and New Missions  February 23-24, 2009   Houston, Texas




Lunar and Planetary Institute
NASA Science Mission Directorate
NASA Mars Exploration Program

Allan Treiman,
   Lunar and Planetary Institute
Adriana Ocampo,
   NASA Science Mission Directorate
Ellen Stofan,
   Proxemy, VEXAG
Stephen Mackwell,
   Lunar and Planetary Institute




    The Workshop on Venus Geochemistry: Progress, Prospects, and New Missions will be held February 23-24, 2009, at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), located in the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) building, 3600 Bay Area Boulevard, Houston, Texas. The workshop will be held prior to the general VEXAG meeting, planned for Wednesday, February 25.


February 23–24, 2009
Houston, Texas


Although Venus is the “Terra Incognita” of the inner solar system, it is supremely important for understanding the formation and evolution of terrestrial planets. Venus, which is Earth’s twin in size (and possibly bulk composition), is fundamentally different in its surface geology, tectonics and internal processes, and atmosphere composition and dynamics. These differences contain clues to the evolution of Earth’s geology/climate system, Earth’s current habitability, and the detectability and habitability of planets circling other stars.

Our understanding of Venus’ origins and evolution is hampered by the dearth of data about its surface. The few images and chemical analyses from the Venera and VEGA landers (crucial but limited) show that Venus’ lowland plains are basaltic, with some unusual (and unexplained) compositions. To date, we know nothing of the geochemistry of Venus’ highlands, central volcanos, coronae, domes, etc. Venus’ atmosphere provides significant constraints on its history (e.g., noble gases and light isotopes), but its chemical interactions with surface materials are poorly constrained.


Given the limited knowledge about Venus’ geochemistry, along with NASA’s interest in Venus, as demonstrated in the recent Venus Science and Technology Definition Team study, the Venus Geochemistry workshop has several objectives:

  • to assess current knowledge of Venus’ geochemistry
  • to consider Earth-based investigations (laboratory and theoretical) that will enhance understanding of current data and enable future investigations
  • to explore concepts for spacecraft instruments and missions that will increase knowledge of Venus’ geochemistry
  • to energize and reconstitute the Venus geochemistry community in preparation for future spacecraft investigations.

To support these objectives, the workshop sessions will focus on:

  • present knowledge of Venus’ geochemistry: atmosphere, surface, mantle core, and whole planet
  • chemical interactions between Venus’ surface and atmosphere
  • laboratory investigations (solids, fluids, gases) to further understanding of Venus’ geochemistry
  • recent Venus missions and remote sensing of its surface and interior
  • geochemistry on future missions to Venus: concepts, investigations, and instruments


The workshop will include invited and contributed talks and contributed poster presentations. Oral presentations will be limited to 15 minutes including discussion. Plenary lectures will be 30 minutes including discussion. Oral sessions will start Monday morning, February 23, and continue through Tuesday, February 24. On Monday evening there will be a reception and poster session. Posters will be displayed during the entire workshop.

A general VEXAG meeting is planned for Wednesday, February 25, 2009.


Further details regarding the workshop with guidelines for abstract submission will be included in the second announcement, available on this website by October 21, 2008. The deadline for abstract submission will be December 2, 2008.


To subscribe to a mailing list to receive electronic reminders and special announcements relating to the meeting via e-mail, please submit an electronic Indication of Interest form by October 21, 2008.




For further information regarding the format and scientific objectives of the meeting, contact

Allan Treiman
Lunar and Planetary Institute
phone: 281-486-2117

For further information regarding meeting logistics, please contact

Kimberly Taylor
Lunar and Planetary Institute
phone:  281-486-2151

  October 21, 2008  

Deadline for Indication of Interest
Second announcement, including call for abstracts
and registration form, available on this website

  December 2, 2008  
Deadline for abstract submission
  January 6, 2009  
Final announcement with program and
abstracts available on this website
  January 23, 2009  
Deadline for registration at reduced rate
  February 23–24, 2009  
Workshop on Venus Geochemistry: Progress, Prospects,
and New Missions
in Houston, Texas
  February 25, 2009  

VEXAG meeting



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