—June 2005 —


Sponsored by —
Lunar and Planetary Institute,
Mars Crater Consortium,
National Aeronautics and Space Administration,
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory,
Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group

Organizing Committee
Nadine Barlow, Chair
Northern Arizona University
Olivier Barnouin-Jha, Co-Chair
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Sarah Stewart, Co-Chair
Harvard University
Joseph Boyce,
University of Hawai'i
John Grant,
Smithsonian Institution
Robert Herrick,
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Horton Newsom,
University of New Mexico
Jeffrey Plescia,
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Paul Schenk,
Lunar and Planetary Institute
Virgil Sharpton,
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Livio Tornabene,
University of Tennessee
Shawn Wright,
Arizona State University

(Images courtesy of THEMIS team, Natalie Artemieva, David Roddy, and Peter Schultz.)


  The Workshop on the Role of Volatiles and Atmospheres on Martian Impact Craters will be held July 11–14, 2005, at the Kosiakoff Conference and Education Center, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL), in Laurel, Maryland.

The Applied Physics Laboratory, a research and development division of Johns Hopkins University, supports several NASA spacecraft missions, including the MESSENGER Discovery mission to Mercury, the CRISM instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the New Horizon's Pluto-Kuiper Belt mission. JHU/APL is located midway between Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, DC, and the workshop format gives participants the option to spend a day sight-seeing in the capital. The nearest airport is the Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Maps, directions, and local information are available at

  The presence of an atmosphere or volatile-rich environment can modify both the initial appearance and subsequent evolution of impact craters in ways not seen on dry, airless bodies. Martian impact craters display a variety of features that have been attributed to subsurface volatiles and/or the planet's atmosphere. For example, models for the formation of layered ejecta morphologies surrounding fresh impact craters on Mars include both fluidization by a liquid or vapor from impact into subsurface volatile reservoirs and interactions between the ejecta curtain and the atmosphere. Similar layered ejecta morphologies are observed on Venus and Ganymede and may also have formed on Earth. In addition, martian craters have the appearance of modification by fluvial erosion and terrain softening due to the presence of subsurface volatiles.

The goals of this workshop are to critically evaluate the evidence supporting the influence of volatiles and atmospheres in crater formation and evolution and to probe the physical processes that control the observed features on Mars. Understanding and deconvolving the individual roles of volatiles and the atmosphere in the formation and modification of crater forms requires the combined efforts of numerical analyses, experimental studies, geomorphologic analyses, and observations of impacts into sedimentary and/or volatile-rich environments on Earth and other planets.

The following questions are to be discussed at the workshop:

  • How does the presence of subsurface volatiles (solid, liquid, or hydrated phases) affect the crater formation process and the final crater and ejecta morphologies?
  • What is the role of the atmosphere during crater formation and the subsequent distribution of ejecta?
  • What are the physical processes that control ground-hugging flows in crater ejecta? What are the observable implications of different processes?
  • What geochemical, spectroscopic, or geomorphic observations support the relative roles of volatiles and atmospheres?
  • In what ways do other planetary and terrestrial craters (natural or artificial) serve as analogs for craters formed on Mars?
  • Does the state of the volatile, as a solid, liquid, or hydrated mineral, matter in the production of observable features?
  • How have crater forms been modified by the presence of surface or subsurface volatiles and changes in the martian climate?
  • Do impact craters preserve a record of changes in the history of the climate on Mars? What are the implications for the evolution of the martian atmosphere and presence of volatile reservoirs?
  • What future research directions are required for researchers to better understand the role of volatiles and atmospheres in the formation of martian impact craters?
  • What future research directions and observations, by both orbiting spacecraft and surface rovers, are required to better understand the role of volatiles and atmospheres in the formation of martian impact craters?
This workshop will bring together observations and models of martian impact craters by focusing on the primary physical processes surrounding crater formation and modification. Special topic sessions will consist of invited tutorials, contributed talks, poster presentations, and extended discussion periods. Terrestrial and planetary scientists with an interest in the role of surface/subsurface volatiles and atmospheres on impact cratering, with particular applications to Mars, are encouraged to participate.

  The four-day workshop will consist of morning and afternoon oral sessions, including invited talks and tutorials that will provide background for each topic. Approximately 30 minutes of discussion time has been set aside at the end of each oral session. Morning sessions begin at 9:00 a.m. each day.

Poster sessions will be held on Monday and Wednesday afternoons in the entry lobby to the Kosiakoff Conference and Education Center. Drill cores from the Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater will be on display during the Wednesday afternoon poster session. For more information, refer to the online program and abstracts.

Audio-visual equipment available for oral presentations will include one LCD projector and two overhead projectors. NOTE: A 35-mm carousel slide projector will NOT be available.

Poster display space available to authors is 44" × 44". Posters will be displayed on free-standing panels that are 4' x 8' (including frame). Two presenters will share one side of one panel, so it is important that displays are confined to the 44" × 44" limit. Posters may be designed to be attached to the panel with either pushpins or velcro.

All electronic presentations must follow workshop guidelines as detailed in the Instructions for Electronic Presentations.

  A walking tour of JHU/APL will take place on Thursday afternoon, July 14, 2005. This tour is open to all meeting participants. The tour will introduce you to JHU/APL and its 45-year history of innovative space science and engineering. Since 1959, APL engineers and scientists have designed, built, and launched 61 spacecraft and more than 150 instruments. APL not only helped pioneer quick reaction spacecraft but also invented many of the techniques now standard in today's space program. Recently APL has undertaken several NASA planetary missions, including NEAR to Eros, MESSENGER to Mercury, and New Horizons to Pluto. APL has also built the CRISM instrument that will fly on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Please be sure to mark on the registration form whether you plan to attend this field trip. Also please answer the question on citizenship and provide correct e-mail information where we can contact you. We may require additional information from all non-U.S. citizens (e.g., passport number).

  Papers related to the topic of this meeting will be published as a special proceedings issue in Meteoritics & Planetary Science. The manuscript deadline is September 30, 2005.

  The registration fee includes the abstracts on CD-ROM, refreshments at the Sunday night reception, daily lunches, coffee, snack breaks, and refreshments at two poster sessions. The early registration fee is $150.00 ($120.00 for students). The deadline for preregistration at the reduced rate is June 10, 2005. After June 10, the registration fee will increase to $200.00 ($170.00 for students). Note that the downloadable registration form needs to be filled out and returned by mail or fax only, to the APL and not the LPI.

The late registration deadline at the increased rate is June 27, 2005. After this date, only onsite registration will be possible. Please note that no credit cards will be accepted for onsite registration. Only checks, cash, money orders, or bank drafts will be accepted at onsite registration.

  Registration and a reception will be held Sunday, July 10, 2005, at the Sheraton Columbia from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Participants arriving after Sunday night will be able to register at the workshop site.

  A gourmet banquet will be held on Tuesday, July 12, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Kosiakoff Conference and Education Center. The cost for the banquet is $35.00.

  We have reserved rooms for participants at the Sheraton Columbia. This hotel will provide a discounted rate ($100.00 per night). When making reservations, please provide the hotel with the full name of the workshop "The Role of Volatiles and Atmospheres on Martian Impact Craters." The location of the hotel relative to JHU/APL and contact information, as well as the location and contact information for alternate accommodations, are available at

  Foreign scientists and students who wish to attend this workshop may require a visa for travel to the United States. General information about visas is available at

The U.S. State Department requires citizens of many countries to obtain visas to attend a scientific meeting. In addition, as of October 26, 2004, the State Department requires citizens from visa waiver program (VWP) countries to obtain visas if they do not have machine-readable passports and they wish to visit the United States. If a VWP national does not possess a machine-readable passport or a non-immigrant visa, the traveler may be granted a one-time exemption. This exemption will be noted in their passport.

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) advises anyone who may need a visa for the Workshop on the Role of Volatiles and Atmospheres on Martian Impact Craters to apply early. Visa applicants should apply at least three months in advance. Security- related policies have greatly increased the processing time for visa applications. U.S. consular officers will now be interviewing most applicants as part of the application process.

Information on procedures for obtaining a visa or a machine-readable passport and suggested actions in the event of a visa delay or denial are provided at

If you need a letter to document your scheduled presentation, e-mail to make your request. Please provide your name, country of citizenship (if different from host), institution, address, and a title of your abstract.

  For further information regarding the format and scientific objectives of the meeting, contact one of the conference organizers:
    Nadine Barlow
    Northern Arizona University
    Phone: 928-523-5452
    Olivier Barnouin-Jha
    Applied Physics Laboratory
    Phone: 240-228-7654
    Sarah Stewart
    Harvard University
    Phone: 617-496-6462

For registration questions, contact:
    Jeffrey Plescia
    The Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory
    Phone: 240-228-1468
    Fax: 240-228-8939

For information regarding meeting logistics and announcements, contact the LPI meeting coordinator:
    Mary Cloud
    Publications and Program Services Department
    Lunar and Planetary Institute
    3600 Bay Area Boulevard
    Houston TX 77058-1113
    Phone: 281-486-2143
    Fax: 281-486-2125

June 10, 2005Preregistration deadline at reduced rate
June 27, 2005Registration deadline at increased rate
(onsite registration only after this date)
July 10, 2005Sunday night Registration and Reception
July 11–14, 2005Workshop on the Role of Volatiles
and Atmospheres on Martian Impact Craters
July 14, 2005Optional tour of JHU/APL
September 30, 2005Deadline for submissions for Proceedings

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