The First International Planetary Cave Research Workshop is a follow-up to the 2008 Lava Tube Workshop held in Grant, New Mexico, which brought together researchers with interests in lava tubes from diverse backgrounds, ranging from image analysis to modeling to robotics.
This workshop is the first in a continuing series of meetings that are intended to promote the exchange of knowledge and ideas between planetary and terrestrial scientists interested in cave exploration and research across the solar system. In recognition of the broad scope, interdisciplinary nature, and strong international interest in this topic, the participation of any interested scientist with relevant theoretical, experimental, or field experience is strongly encouraged.
The workshop will incorporate oral and poster presentations as well as extended discussion dispersed around a one-day field trip to local caves. The workshop will bring together researchers with interests in planetary caves from diverse backgrounds in image analysis, modeling, and terrestrial analog studies. A small group setting will facilitate intensive discussion of problems and issues in an attempt to identify the most promising approaches to understanding these cave systems and to develop a collaborative interdisciplinary research agenda.
Meeting Location and Date
The First International Planetary Cave Research Workshop: Implications for Astrobiology, Climate, Detection, and Exploration will be held October 25–28, 2011, at the National Cave and Karst Research Institute, 400-1 Cascades Avenue, Carlsbad, NM 88220 USA (phone: 575-887-5518). The workshop will also include a one-day field trip.
Meeting Themes and Format
- General Themes
- Cave Definitions/Categories
- Definition, classification, and types — What is a cave?
- Cave formation mechanisms (extraterrestrial speleogenetic mechanisms)
- Astrobiology and Cave Biodiversity
- Microbiology of caves on Earth with astrobiological significance
- Cave biosignatures (fossils, biotextures, geochemical traces, isotopic signals, etc.)
- Cave Microclimates
- Micrometeorology of caves, processes observable in Earth caves, and modelable as applicable to extraterrestrial caves
- Paleoclimate signals in caves, the planetary potential for similar data
- Cave Detection
- Orbital methods
- Landed methods
- Cave Exploration (Robotic) Techniques and Mapping
- Remote methods
- Human utilization of extraterrestrial caves on Moon and Mars
- Cave Funding Sources