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TVRG - Curiosity at Gale Crater, Mars: Investigating an ancient lake

08 December 2021
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Event type:
Virtual event, Regional Group, Evening meeting
Organised by:
Geological Society Events, Thames Valley Regional Group
Event status:

Location and time

Virtual via Zoom. 18.55hrs for a 19.00hrs start


Susanne P. Schwenzer

Dr Susanne P. Schwenzer is a senior lecturer and associate director of AstrobiologyOU at The Open University in Milton Keynes, UK. Her research interests are planetary volatiles, such as noble gases and their sources, pathways and sinks, as well as fluid rock interactions. She has studied at University of Mainz, Germany, where she gained a Diplom (Masters) in Mineralogy, working on fluid-rock interactions in various German hydrothermal systems for her final thesis. Her PhD on noble gases in Martian meteorites (Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz) saw her entering Martian research. Her career took her to the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, TX, USA, where she researched impact-generated hydrothermal systems. She came back to Europe, to The Open University, where she now leads a modelling group that investigates fluid-rock interactions across the solar system. Her own research centres around the NASA Curiosity rover, where she is a science and operations team member.

Event details

The Curiosity rover landed at Gale Crater, Mars, on 6th August 2012, and has explored its environment since. This talk will follow Curiosity's mission at Gale Crater. Dr Susanne P Schwenzer is a scientist on the team, who studies water-rock reactions. She will introduce the rover, the mission goals and what was found along the over 25 km long traverse the rover has investigated to date. This includes sediments, ranging from conglomerates to mudstones, and a plethora of evidence for water-rock reactions, all painting a consistent picture of an active lake and inflow system at Gale Crater 4.2 Ga ago.

Convenor Contact

Thames Valley Regional Group

Thames Valley Regional Group