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Perspectives on Atmospheric Evolution from Noble Gas and Nitrogen Isotopes on Earth, Mars & Venus

Abstract : The composition of an atmosphere has integrated the geological history of the entire planetary body. However, the long-term evolutions of the atmospheres of the terrestrial planets are not well documented. For Earth, there were until recently only few direct records of atmosphere's composition in the distant past, and insights came mainly from geochemical or physical proxies and/or from atmospheric models pushed back in time. Here we review innovative approaches on new terrestrial samples that led to the determination of the elemental and isotopic compositions of key geochemical tracers, namely noble gases and nitrogen. Such approaches allowed one to investigate the atmosphere's evolution through geological period of time, and to set stringent constraints on the past atmospheric pressure and on the salinity of the Archean oceans. For Mars, we review the current state of knowledge obtained from analyses of Martian meteorites, and from the direct measurements of the composition of the present-day atmosphere by rovers and spacecrafts. Based on these measurements, we explore divergent models of the Martian and Terrestrial atmospheric evolutions. For Venus, only little is known, evidencing the critical need for dedicated missions.
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Submitted on : Friday, August 7, 2020 - 4:14:30 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 1, 2020 - 3:06:53 AM

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Guillaume Avice, Bernard Marty. Perspectives on Atmospheric Evolution from Noble Gas and Nitrogen Isotopes on Earth, Mars & Venus. Space Science Reviews, Springer Verlag, 2020, 216 (3), ⟨10.1007/s11214-020-00655-0⟩. ⟨insu-02913153⟩

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