2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (1922 October 2014)
Paper No. 136-5
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM

VENUS IN A BOTTLE: HIGH FIDELITY SIMULATIONS OF VENUS SURFACE CONDITIONS WITH NASA'S GLENN EXTREME ENVIRONMENT RIG (GEER)

HARVEY, R.P.1, RADOMAN-SHAW, Brandon1, JACOBSON, Nathan S.2, VENTO, Daniel2, COSTA, Gustavo2, KULIS, Michael2, NAKLEY, Leah2, and KREMIC, Tibor2, (1) Dept. of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Science, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106-7216, rph@case.edu, (2) Glenn Research Center, NASA, 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, OH 44135

Both historical and current investigations of Venus suggest that atmosphere/rock interactions may play a critical role in the evolution of that planet's atmosphere and crust. Such interactions have also been invoked to explain many of that planet's key features (including its massive greenhouse state) but have been dogged by multiple contradictory theories and experimental results over the past 50 years.

Using GEER (the NASA Glenn Extreme Environment Rig) we are conducting a series of experiments that explore the messy and complex nature of such reactions through high-fidelity simulations of Venus surface conditions. GEER offers unequalled capability to simulate the Venus surface environment to the fullest possible degree. Developed originally for testing of full-scale Venus Lander spacecraft, the huge chamber (over 28 cubic feet) provides the ideal high gas/rock ratio for long-duration experiments of atmosphere/surface interactions at up to 1500 PSI and 500° C , while the gas mixing system can simulate Venus' atmosphere composition, including both major and minor gases, with ppb accuracy.

Our main objective is to expose a range of basaltic minerals and glass phases to a high-fidelity simulation of Venus surface conditions, with a focus on phases commonly thought to play key roles in atmosphere/crust interactions. Multiple exposures of varying duration are underway to allow identification of reactive phases and associated reaction rates and kinetics to a first order. Compositional and textural changes are being tracked in "before" and "after" samples of exposed materials while thermogravimetric studies are being used to independently verify the rates of key reactions. We hope to produce a catalog describing the key reactions observed between primary volcanic compositions and a "real world" Venusian atmosphere, an improved identification of their relative importance in the evolution of Venus' atmosphere, and data that can support new, improved models of the interplay of atmosphere-surface interactions, atmospheric evolution and climate change for Venus and Venus-like planets. Early results suggest that that "real world" experiments produce dramatically different results than more highly-constrained experiments.

2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (1922 October 2014)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 136--Booth# 267
Topics in Planetary Geology (Posters)
Vancouver Convention Centre-West: Exhibition Hall C
9:00 AM-6:30 PM, Monday, 20 October 2014


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