I6: From dust to planets

Check out the project news!


  • The processes leading to the formation and subsequent evolution of terrestrial bodies are currently being lively debated. Whereas there is a general agreement that planets form in a protoplanetary disk, rich in dust and gas, many important questions remain unanswered concerning the earliest phases of planet formation: how did the dust coagulate to form planetary building blocks, and how were the different chemical and isotopic compositions found on planets generated? Answers and constraints may be found within this LabEx project by the observation of young protoplanetary disks (VISIR and JWST), through laboratory experiments on meteorites that constrain their formation conditions and timescales, and through numerical simulation of disk evolution.

    Later, once a planet or a satellite has formed, a wealth of information on its assemblage and differentiation processes may be explored. Clues to these processes can be obtained by studying the interior structure of a planet, by investigating the composition of its major geochemical reservoirs, and by investigating the planet’s subsequent thermal evolution. These questions can be addressed by the use of geophysical data (such as through the planet’s gravity field or by seismic measurements) and spacecraft derived topographic maps and images of volcanic landforms. High-pressure laboratory experiments are also crucial for understanding the physics of differentiation, and the partitioning of elements between the crust, mantle, and core.

    Artist view of a planetary system formation


    La structure interne des planètes peut être contrainte en étudiant la composition de ses principaux réservoirs géochimiques et en étudiant leur évolution thermique ultérieure. Les données ont des origines diverses : données géophysiques (obtenues notamment par le biais du champ de gravité de la planète, ou mesures sismiques, ou mesures physiques de surface) observations in-situ grâce à des satellites ou véhicules d’observation (cartes topographiques, images de paysages volcaniques). Egalement, les expériences de laboratoire à haute pression sont cruciales pour la compréhension de la physique de la différenciation planétaire, et en particulier pour comprendre la répartition des éléments entre la croûte, le manteau, le noyau.

    Artist’s impression of the final stage of the formation of a terrestrial planet


    As a fully interconnected system, a planet’s atmosphere evolves jointly with its surface and interior evolution. This may lead to the formation of dynamical surface structures like dunes, as has been observed throughout the Solar System, which provide a powerful tool to constrain the atmospheric dynamics and surface materials, but whose morphogenesis and link with climatic conditions are still poorly understood. Furthermore, future studies of exoplanets will be able to make use of spectra of their atmospheres, which will inform us of the planet’s surface and geologic evolution.

    These three research axes are naturally intertwined, and correspond to three broad time periods in planetary evolution. These will be the subject of three ambitious research themes:

    • Formation (theme 1): from dust and gas to planet embryos
    • Early evolution (theme 2): Differentiation, interior structure and geologic evolution of the terrestrial planets
    • Long term evolution (theme 3): atmosphere-surface-interior interactions

    These three research themes are inter-related, and together will constrain planetary formation and evolution processes via experiments, and observations (such as from planetary missions). This will foster the design of evolution scenarios that will be tested using numerical simulations.

    This project was launched in January 2014 and is based on two previous projects “Formation and early evolution of Planetary systems” and “The formation of dunes and climate on Titan”.

  • Detailed description of the different research themes

    From dust to planet embryos

    The purpose of research theme 1 is to study the earliest evolution of planetary systems by combining three complementary approaches (observation, laboratory measurements and experiments, and numerical simulations) in order to build a global picture of the earliest phases of planetary formation, either in our Solar System or in exo-planetary systems. Our aim is to (1) investigate the mechanism and chronology of dust and planetesimal transport in the protoplanetary disk and (2) constrain processes at the origin of the fist solids and of their transformation (i.e., condensation, irradiation) through the study of variations in the chemical and isotopic compositions of the components of primitive meteorites.

    Observations of young protoplanetary disks will provide crucial information on the large-scale structure and transport of dust and also on the disk thermodynamical structure. Laboratory measurements of meteorites and experimental simulations of some key processes will provide important information on the isotopic and chemical composition of dust, then giving constrains on the nebula thermodynamical structure and on transport. Numerical simulation of protoplanetary disks will be the ideal tool to test scenarios of protoplanetary disks evolution in order to interpret the data. Our project is to implement in the numerical code isotopic tracers in order to reproduce the observed compositions in meteorites.

    For the observational aspects, AIM is involved in the VISIR instrument (Visible and Infrared Spectro imager, at VLT in Chile) and has guaranteed time on the spectro-imager and coronograph (MIRI) on the future James Webb Space Telescope that will be launched in 2018. Infrared Images of protoplanetary disks surrounding young stars (<107 years) will reveal the earliest phases of planetary formation. These instruments are ideal to constrain the large structure (in the infrared) of young circumstellar disks that are still gas rich, in terms of spatial distribution of dust and temperature as a function of distance. They provide important constrains on the early dynamics of dust in the protoplanetary disk and will help to calibrate the numerical models, as well as give contextual information to interpret the isotopic data. On the observation side two key tasks will be led to answer the following questions:

    • What is the radial distribution of dust in the disk as a function of the star’s age?
    • How dust sediments to the midplane: do big grains settle in the midlplane and does dust stay in the upper layers?
    • What is the influence of turbulence and is it possible to infer the presence of dead zones (zones devoid of turbulence due to low ionization)?

    Working on dead-zones is especially promising as there is more and more evidence that dead zones could be regions favorable for the formation of big objects (cm sized) that are necessary today to form planetesimals or even planet embryos through processes of streaming instability or peeble accretion. To this respect, we will estimate the coagulation rate of dust in these regions as well as their thermal structure in order to see if isotopic signatures may be expected.

    This information will be interpreted in the light of experimental data. Indeed, it is necessary to improve and develop the study of isotopic tracers (short-lived radioactive nuclides; noble gases; equilibrium, kinetic and non-mass dependent stable isotope variations), which could constrain more precisely the timing and the nature of processes such as high-temperature condensation, gas-dust interaction and planetary accretion. These processes, which produced and shaped the first micrometer-size solids, the first planets, as well as the building blocks of the terrestrial planets, can also be simulated experimentally. State of the art analytical techniques combining high spatial resolution and high precision are required to extract all the information from natural samples (meteorites, Moon, Mars, Earth) and from experimental (high-pressure equilibrium, volatilization/condensation, irradiation, adsorption, diffusion) samples. A new platform of experimental cosmochemistry is under construction at IPGP that aims to simulate some key physical processes regarding gas-dust interaction.

    Our approach will be developed in 5 tasks:

    • What do the age and composition of CAIs and chondrules really tell us about the formation of the solar system?
    • How can we constrain irradiation processes in the early solar system from analyses of lunar soil grains and meteoritic chondrules and CAIs?
    • Why and how did the isotopic composition of major volatiles elements (O, N and C) change so rapidly in the inner accretion disk?
    • What is the origin of highly volatile elements in parent bodies from laboratory simulations of gas-dust interactions?
    • How and when did the first planetesimals form?

    As disk observations and laboratory measurements will provide constrains on the transport of solids, it will be necessary to provide scenarios of large scale transport relying on the physics of gaseous and dusty protoplanetary disks based on numerical simulations. On this side AIM is leading the development of a large modeling program focusing on the transport of the first solids in the protoplanetary disk and their incorporation into embryos, including turbulent dynamics, radiative effects, and planet-disk interactions. Simple chemical and isotopic fractionation models will be included into simulations of turbulent dust transport in order to test different scenarios to interpret isotopic data. Three important modeling tasks will be lead:

    • Development of a dust transport model in the protoplanetary disk, taking into account turbulence and dust condensation (refractories near the Sun and volatiles near the snow line)
    • Coupling of the dust transport model with a radiative transfer code in order to create synthetic images to space observation of disks.
    • Development of a protoplanetary disk thermodynamical model in order to constrain the condition of formation of dust, in order to compare with laboratory data.
    • Estimation of the irradiation flux of dust in the disk in order to calibrate experiments of fractionation of dust under irradiation.

    Beside the earliest phases of planet formation, N-body simulations of embryo transport in the disk (in the frame of the Nice model) will be lead to constrain the radial origin of the building blocks that assembled into the modern terrestrial planets. This will lead naturally to interactions with research theme 2 that concerns itself with the initial differentiation and interior structure of the terrestrial planets.


    Differentiation, interior structure and geologic evolution of the terrestrial planets

    The processes that took place during the initial differentiation of the Earth are reasonable well understood, the composition of the major chemical reservoirs (crust, mantle, and core) are relatively well known, and the manner by which internal heat is lost to space via plate tectonics is understood from both observational of modeling perspectives. For the other terrestrial planets, however, our understanding of these processes is considerably more limited, and many first-order questions remain unresolved. For example:


    1. What is the thickness and composition of the crust of Mercury, the Moon, and Mars?
    2. At what depths do the major phase transitions occur in the mantles of Mars and Venus, and how do these phase transitions affect mantle convection and plume dynamics?
    3. What is the size of the metallic core of Mercury, Mars, and the Moon? And what are the abundances of light alloying elements such as sulfur, carbon, and silicon in the liquid portion of their cores?
    4. Do Mercury, Mars and the Moon possess a solid inner core? And is core crystallization the source of energy that is powering the dynamo-generated magnetic field of Mercury today?
    5. What was the energy source that powered the early dynamos of Mars and the Moon, and why did their dynamos later shut off?


    To address these and other question, this project will rely upon a three-pronged approach, making use of geophysical data collected by planetary missions, high-pressure laboratory experiments, and numerical and geophysical modeling. Members of this research axe are currently involved in several NASA and ESA planetary missions at both the co-investigator and principal-investigator level, including NASA’s geophysical missions to the Moon (GRAIL) and Mars (InSight), and ESA’s orbital missions to Mercury (BepiColumbo) and Jupiter (JUICE). Furthermore, members of our project have recently finished the construction of a world-class high-pressure geo-materials laboratory that is currently making its first measurements. Together, these datasets will offer us a unique perspective to unravel the above listed questions concerning the differentiation, interior evolution, and geologic evolution of the terrestrial planets.


    The first two years of the UnivEarthS I1 project funded our analyses of lunar gravitational data acquired during the primary mission of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. Results from our group have shown that the crust of the Moon is significantly thinner than once thought, that the crust has been highly fractured by billions of years of impact cratering, and that lateral variations in crustal temperature have had a dramatic influence on the morphology of giant impact basins. During this initial stage of analysis, the UnivEarthS funded a LabEx postdoc, and contributed to the publications of two articles in the journal Science. We now have at our disposal gravitational data from the extended mission, which has a spatial resolution that is two times better than that acquired during the primary mission. Over the following three years, we aim to study processes that were previously beyond reach, such as the gravitational signature of magnetic anomalies and magmatic intrusions, and the subsurface structure of medium-sized simple and complex impact craters. For these studies, we ask that the UnivEarthS LabEx fund a post-doc in additional to our initial demand three years ago.


    At the time the initial UnivEarthS proposal was selected, our group anticipated on providing a seismometer to the Japanese lunar geophysical mission SELENE-2 (with a launch near 2018). Since this time, NASA selected the Martian geophysical mission InSight, which will be launched and land on Mars in 2016. Members of our research group are providing, at the principal investigator level, the sole instrument that is above the mission’s “science threshold.” This instrument is the very broad-band seismometer that is being developed at IPGP, and which will make the first seismic measurements ever on the surface of Mars. Data from this mission will constrain the size of the martian core, determine if a solid inner core exists, determine the thickness of the crust, and search for seismic discontinuities in the mantle (among other objectives). The UnivEarthS project previously agreed to fund a LabEx postdoc and a co-financed thesis student for seismic analysis related to the SELENE-2 mission, and these resources will be redirected towards the InSight mission in this revised project. In addition to our initial demand, we ask the UnivEarthS LabEx for an additional co-financed thesis student to help with the flood of data that will arrive when InSight lands on Mars in 2016.


    The proposed experimental approach aims at combining astrophysical models of planetary accretion with geochemical models of planetary differentiation, and cosmochemical constraints provided by meteorites. During the first two years funded by the UnivEarthS LabEx, the young research group (JE1) developed protocols to use the laser-heated diamond anvil cell for studying the geochemical imprint of planetary core formation. We have shown notably in a recent publication in Science that the partitioning of slightly siderophile elements (V and Cr) during core formation imply that accretion of the Earth could have occurred under conditions that were more oxidizing than previously thought. In this way, Earth can accrete from materials as oxidized as the most common meteorites (i.e., ordinary or carbonaceous chondrites) and imply large mixing of proto-planetary materials in the inner solar system. Similarly Ni and Co partitioning shows clearly that the core cannot form at pressures lower than 35 GPa, nor can it form at pressure higher than 65 GPa, bracketing for the first time the depth of the terrestrial magma ocean in the first 50 million years after the birth of the Solar System.


    The research we propose to develop over the next 5 years will help us constrain and understand the primordial differentiation of terrestrial bodies in the Solar System. We plan to understand the early evolution of Vesta by combining high-precision isotope geochemistry with experimental geochemistry through the study of isotopic fractionation of siderophile and volatile elements (Si, Cr, Ga, Cu, Zn, Sn), as well as moderately siderophile elements (W, Mo). One of the aims is to understand the accretion of the so-called Late Veneer on small planetary embryos. These studies can be applied to understanding the Earth-Moon system after the giant impact through the comparison between Apollo samples and experimental charges, once again with a special focus on volatile elements and their isotropic fractionation. We have access to a very large collection of SNCs and have plans to propose refined models of Martian differentiation, to understand the processes that can occur in a very short timescale and compare it with the relatively long timescale of terrestrial accretion. These studies all require a savvy mix of experiments and cosmochemical observation and access to “rare” samples, and represent a perfect integration of the experimentalists in this proposal with the cosmochemists.


    Planetary interfaces: atmosphere-surface-interior interactions

    The atmosphere of planetary body with no plate tectonics mainly forms and survives through the release of volatiles from the mantle (or ice shell) by volcanism (or cryovolcanism) and the persistence of surface reservoirs for those volatiles. The presence and survival of an atmosphere provides in that way a window into the evolution of the volcanic activity, the atmospheric dynamics and composition (climate), and the geology and geodynamics of a planetary body.


    The aim of research theme 3 is thus to study the strong coupling between planetary bodies’ interiors, surfaces and atmospheres, constraining their concomitant formation and evolution throughout the age of the Solar System. This axis combines the joint characterization of the solid and fluid envelops of terrestrial planets, satellites and exoplanets following a complete comparative planetology approach (with Mars, Titan and “exoplanets with an atmosphere” as archetypes), in a multi-disciplinary way. This project will include analysis of planetary mission data, numerical simulations, and laboratory experiments.


    Atmosphere/interior/habitability coupling on Mars.

    The INSIGHT mission, planned to land on Mars in 2016, will provide the first constraints on martian mantle discontinuities and better constrain the thickness and composition of the crust composition. Constraints on the mantle size, if coupled with better constraints on the thermodynamical properties of the mantle phase transitions, can be used for better modeling and understanding of early martian mantle dynamics, mantle convection, rates of crustal production, and evolution in basaltic composition. Furthermore, constraints on the crust and mantle melt density can be used to estimate the amount of melt that is stored within or below the crust relative to the amount of melt that reaches the surface and hence releases its volatiles into the atmosphere. With the new data provided by the INSIGHT mission, we thus aim to constrain the coupled interior/atmosphere co-evolution of Mars and its impact on the primitive habitability of the planet. For this project, we ask for a co-financed thesis student to help in the analysis of the data that will be provided by InSight.


    INSIGHT will also provide the first coupled geophysical and meteorological observatory on Mars. We expect the mission to detect the micro-seismic noise generated by the interaction of wind with the surface. This will be used to monitor and constraint the structure of the atmospheric boundary layer dynamics and to constrainthe surface saltation processes.

    Dune physics and the link with planetary climate.

    During the last two years, new collaborations have been established with the Chinese Academy of Science to develop a novel type of field experiment designed to examine the physics of sand dunes within their natural environment using controlled initial and boundary conditions. This so-called landscape-scale experiment is a new and unique concept that is particularly well-suited for validation and quantification purposes. Given the extreme conditions encountered in arid deserts and the time scales associated with the development of bedforms, in-situ experiments on aeolian sand dunes have to combine logistics facilities with long term measurements. By successfully meeting these challenges in China, thanks to the local climate and the field expertise of Chinese scientists, we will be able to obtain new experimental evidences for the formation of dunes and their alignment in multimodal wind regimes. The current ANR project “EXODUNES” provides financial support for the two first missions of fall 2013 and spring 2014, and no PhD grant on that topic. Considering the timescale of Earth’s aeolian dune dynamics, this fieldwork needs to be extended over several years (up to 2017 at least) and will provides a huge amount of data, which will require the recruiting of a thesis student. Hence, the main objective of the Ph.D. thesis will be to continue the landscape-scale experiment from fall 2014 to spring 2017, carrying out the field measurements and all the statistical data analysis. From this, we will have a unique set of data to investigate dune morphodynamics, which is intended to be put in close relation to dune morphodynamics and climate on Earth and other planetary bodies were dunes have been observed (Mars and Saturn largest moon Titan). Of the three new thesis topics that are being proposed for this project, this topic is the project’s highest priority.




    • 34 papers published (or under review) in total since september 2013 in international peer reviewed journal.
    • 2 papers in Science (accepted)
    • 2 papers in Nature Geoscience (under review)


    Theme 1:

    [1] Baillié K., Charnoz S., Time Evolution of a Viscous Protoplanetary Disk with a Free Geometry: Toward a More Self-consistent Picture. 2014. Apj 786, id.35

    [2] Tajeddine R; N., Rambaux; Lainey, , S. charnoz and 3 co-authors. Constraints on Mimas’ interior from Cassini ISS libration measurements. Accepted in SCIENCE (publication in Nov. 2014)

    [3] S. Charnoz, J. Aléon, N. Chaumard, E. Tailliffet. Formation of CAI by coagulation and fragmentation. Submitted to Icarus. Moderate revisions required.

    [4] Baillié K., Charnoz S., Pantin E. Evolution of front regions and planet traps in an evolving protoplanetary disk. Submitted to A&A

    [5] Charnoz S. , Michaut C. Dynamical and thermodynamical evolution of the protoluar disk. Submitted to Icarus.

    [6] Chaussidon M. & Liu M.C. Early Solar System processes: from nebular gas to the precursors of the Earth. AGU Monograph “Early Earth”

    [7] Furi E, Chaussidon M. & Marty B. (accepté) Evidence for an early nitrogen isotopic evolution in the solar nebula from volatile analyses of a CV3 CAI. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta

    [8] Luu T.-H., Young E.D. , Gounelle M. & Chaussidon M. (en révision) A short time interval for condensation of high temperature silicates in the solar accretion disk. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci.

    [9] Mishra R. & Chaussidon M. (2014) Fossil records of high level of 60Fe in chondrules from unequilibrated chondrites. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 398, 90-100.
    [10] Moreira M., Charnoz S. . The origin of the neon isotopes in chondrites and Earth, Submitted to EPSL

    [11] Paul S. Savage, Heng Chen, Igor S. Puchtel, Gregory Shofner, J. Siebert, J. Badro, F. Moynier. Under review, Nature Geoscience.

    [12] Moynier, F. et Fegley, B. The Earth’s building blocks. AGU monograph, accepted with revisions.

    [13] Chen, H., Moynier, F., Humayun, M., Bishop, MC, Williams, J. Cosmogenic effects on Cu isotopes in IVB iron meteorites: Implications for the Hf-W chronometry. Geochimica et cosmochimica acta. Accepted with revisions



    Theme 2:

    [1] Miljković, K., M. A. Wieczorek, G. S. Collins, M. Laneuville, G. A. Neumann, H. J. Melosh, S. C. Solomon, R. J. Phillips, D. E. Smith and M. T. Zuber (2013). Asymmetric distribution of lunar impact basins caused by variations in target properties, Science, 342, 724-726, doi:10.1126/science.1243224.

    [2] Laneuville, M., M. A. Wieczorek, D. Breuer, and N. Tosi (2013). Asymmetric thermal evolution of the Moon, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 118, 1435-1452, doi:10.1002/jgre.20103.

    [3] Thorey, C., and C. Michaut (2014), A model for the dynamics of crater-centered intrusion: Application to lunar floor-fractured craters, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 119, 286–312, doi:10.1002/2013JE004467.

    [4] Laneuville, M., M. A. Wieczorek, D. Breuer, J. Aubert, G. Morard, T. Rückriemen (2014). A long-lived lunar dynamo powered by core crystallization, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 401, 251-260, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2014.05.057.

    [5] Miljkovic, K., M. A. Wieczorek, G. S. Collins, S. C. Solomon, D. E. Smith, M. T Zuber, Excavation of the lunar mantle by basin-forming events on the Moon, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., in revision.

    [6] Price, M.C., Ramkissoon, N. K., McMahon, S., Miljkovic, K., Parnell, J., Wozniakiewicz, P. J., Kearsley, A. T., Blamey, N. J. F., Cole, M. J., Burchell, M. J. (2014). Limits on methane release and generation via hypervelocity impact of Martian analogue materials, Int. J. Astrobiology, 13, 132-140, doi: 10.1017/S1473550413000384.

    [7] Thorey C., Michaut C. (2014). A model for the dynamics of crater-centered intrusion: Application to lunar floor-fractured craters, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, DOI: 10.1002/2013JE004467

    [8] Thorey C., Michaut C., Wieczorek M. (2015). Gravitational signatures of lunar floor-fractured craters, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2015.04.021

    [9] Charnoz, S. and C. Michaut, Evolution of the protolunar disk: Dynamics, cooling timescale and implantation of volatiles onto the Earth, Icarus 260, p. 440-463, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.07.018, 2015.

    [10] Michaut, C., M. Thiriet and C. Thorey, Insights into mare basalt thicknesses on the Moon from intrusive magmatism, Phys. Earth Planet. Int. 257, p.187-192, doi:10.1016/j.pepi.2016.05.019, 2016.

    [11] Thorey, C. and C. Michaut, Elastic-plated gravity currents with a temperature-dependent viscosity, J. Fluid Mech. 805, p. 88-117, doi:10.1017/jfm.2016.538, 2016.

    [12]Thiriet, M., C. Michaut, D. Breuer, and A.-C. Plesa, Consequence of a hemispheric dichotomy in crustal composition on the thermal evolution of Mars, to be submitted to J. Geophys. Res. Planets.


    Theme 3:

    [1] A. Lucas, S. Rodriguez, C. Narteau, B. Charnay, T. Tokano, A. Garcia, M. Thiriet, S. Courrech du Pont, A.G. Hayes, R.D. Lorenz. Origin and morphology of Titan’s dune, GRL 41, Issue 17, pp. 6093-6100, doi: 10.1002/2014GL060971 (2014).
    [2] B. Charnay, E. Barth, S. Rafkin, C. Narteau, S. Lebonnois, S. Rodriguez, S. Courrech du Pont and A. Lucas. Methane storms control Titan’s dune orientation, Nature Geoscience 8, 362-366,  doi: 10.1038/ngeo2406 (2015).
    [3] T. Hatano, C. Narteau, P. Shebalin, Common dependence on stress for the statistics of granular avalanches and earthquakes, Scientific Reports 5, 12280 (2015).

    [4] M. Mandea, C. Narteau, I. Panet, J.L. Le Mouel, Gravimetric and magnetic anomalies produced by dissolution-crystallization at the core mantle boundary, Journal of Geophysical Research  120, doi:10.1002/2015JB012048 (2015).

    [5] X. Gao, C. Narteau, O. Rozier, S. Courrech du Pont, Phase diagrams of dune shape and orientation depending on sand availability, Scientific Reports, 5, 14677, doi:10.1038/srep14677 (2015).

    [6] A. Lucas, C. Narteau, S. Rodriguez, O. Rozier, Y. Callot, A. Garcia  and S. Courrech du Pont. Sediment flux from the morphodynamics of elongating linear dunes, Geology 43, 1027–1030, doi:10.1130/G37101.1 (2015).

    [7] X. Gao, C. Narteau, O. Rozier, Development and steady states of transverse dunes: a numerical analysis of dune pattern coarsening and giant dunes, Journal of Geophysical Research 120, 2200–2219, doi:10.1002/2015JF003549 (2015).

    [8] P. Lv, Z. Dong, C. Narteau, O. Rozier. Morphodynamic mechanisms for the formation of asymmetric barchans: improvement of the Bagnold and Tsoar models , Environmental Earth Sciences, 75:259, doi:10.1007/s12665-015-5083-2 (2016).

    [9] X. Gao, C. Narteau, O. Rozier. Controls on and effects of armoring and vertical sorting in aeolian dune fields: A numerical simulation study, GRL 43, 2614–2622, doi:10.1002/2016GL068416 (2016).
    [10] I. Vorobieva, P. Shebalin, C. Narteau. Break of slope in earthquake size distribution and creep rate along the San Andreas Fault system, GRL 43, 6869–6875, doi:10.1002/2016GL069636 (2016).

    [11] P. Lv, C. Narteau, Z. Dong, O. Rozier, S. Courrech du Pont. Unravelling raked linear dunes to assess sediment flux in complex dunefields, Nature Communication, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14239 (2017).

    [12] S. Rodriguez, S. Le Mouélic, J. W. Barnes, B. Charnay, J. F. Kok, R. D. Lorenz, J. Radebaugh, T. Cornet, O. Bourgeois, A. Lucas, P. Rannou, C. A. Griffith, A. Coustenis, T. Appéré, M. Hirtzig, C. Sotin, J. M. Soderblom, R. H. Brown, J. Bow, G. Vixie, L. Maltagliati, S. Courrech du Pont, C. Narteau, R. Jaumann, K. Stephan, K. H. Baines, B. J. Buratti, R. N. Clark, P. D. Nicholson. Dust storms on Titan, under review in Nature Geoscience.

    [13] A. Lucas, S. Rodriguez, F. Lemonnier, A. Le Gall, C. Ferrari, P. Paillou, C. Narteau. Texture and composition of Titan’s equatorial sand seas inferred from Cassini SAR data: Implications for aeolian transport and dune morphodynamics at Saturn’s largest moon, under review in JGR.

    [14] L. Fernandez-Cascales?, A. Lucas, S. Rodriguez, A. Spiga, C. Narteau. From dunes to aeolian sediment transport in north polar sand seas of Mars, under review in EPSL.


    43 presentations at international conferences + 1 special session organisation.


    Theme 1

    [1] Taillifet E., Baillié K., Charnoz S., Aléon J. Origin of refractory inclusion diversity by turbulent transport in the inner solar nebula. 2013. 45th LPSC conference, Houston TX

    [2] Crida, A.; Charnoz, S. SATELLITE FORMATION :spreading of rings beyond the Roche radius. 2014. SF2A conference.

    [3] Crida, A.; Charnoz, S. SATELLITE FORMATION :spreading of rings beyond the Roche radius. 2014. Protostar and Planets 6 conference.

    [4] S. Charnoz. Satellite formation from rings . 2014. PNP meeting, October 2014

    [5] Charnoz S., Crida A. Formation of regular satellites from the spreading of massive rings : Why some planets have one moon and other have many ? 45th DPS conference. Denver

    [6] Charnoz S., Michaut C. Dynamical and thermodynamical evolution of the protoplanetary disk. ACCRETE meeting, Nice, 2014

    [7] Charnoz S., Michaut C.. Dynamical and thermodynamical evolution of the protoplanetary disk. DPS 2014 (Arizona)

    [8] Charnoz, S.. Challenge in coupling dynamical and collisional evolution of particulate disks. Namur 2014, complex planetary systems, (Invited)

    [9] Moreira M, Versailles (Université inter-âges), l’état de la Terre aux origines de la Vie, 7 octobre 2014

    [10] Roubinet , Moreira, Noble Gas Systematics in MORBs and OIBs and Reconstitution of the Time-Evolution of Mantle Composition for Heavy Noble Gases: the Role of Subduction of Atmospheric Noble Gases. AGU 2014

    [11] Aurelia P Colin, Manuel A Moreira, Cecile Gautheron and Peter Burnard, Constraints on the noble gas composition of the Icelandic plume source by laser analyses of individual vesicles in the volcanic glass DICE 11, AGU 2014

    [12] K. Metzler and M. Chaussidon, Early chondrule formation and accretion in the Krymka LL3.2 chondrite, 77th annual meeting of the Meteoritical Society, abstract #5257.

    [13] Chaussidon M. and Bischoff A., Is there a difference in age of formation and precursor composition between large and normal chondrules? 77th annual meeting of the Meteoritical Society, abstract #5256.
    [14] Chaussidon M., Oxygen and Magnesium isotopic constraints on the presence of planetary fragments in meteoritic chondrules, ACCRETE meeting, Nice, 2014

    [15] Charnoz. Evolution of the protolunar disk and constrains on the origin of the Moon. Invited talk. PURE workshop (IPGP, 2014)

    [16] Crida A., Charnoz S. A general model of satellite formation. 2014. Namur (Invited]

    [17] Roubinet , Moreira, Noble Gas Systematics in MORBs and OIBs and Reconstitution of the Time-Evolution of Mantle Composition for Heavy Noble Gases: the Role of Subduction of Atmospheric Noble Gases. AGU 2014

    [18] Aurelia P Colin, Manuel A Moreira, Cecile Gautheron and Peter Burnard, Constraints on the noble gas composition of the Icelandic plume source by laser analyses of individual vesicles in the volcanic glass DICE 11, AGU 2014

    [19] Charnoz, S.. Evolution of the protolunar disk: the origin of the moon material. SF2A 2014.

    [20] Charnoz S. The Protolunar Disk. Organization of a special session at the ACCRETE meeting (2014)
    Theme 2:

    [1] C. Thorey and C. Michaut, Thermal evolution of a magmatic intrusion, Abstract V13E-2663 presented at Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 9-13 Dec, 2013.

    [2] C. Michaut and C. Thorey (présentation invitée), Consequences of the low density of the primary crust on the magmatic history of the Moon, Abstract P51H-05 presented at Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, CA, 9-13 Dec, 2013.

    [3] C. Thorey, C. Michaut and M. Wieczorek, Gravitational Signatures of Lunar Floor-Fractured craters, 45th LPSC, abstract 2225, 2014.

    [4] C. Thorey and C. Michaut, Effect of a Temperature-Dependent Viscosity on the Spreading of Laccoliths, to be presented at Fall Meeting, AGU, 2014.

    [5] K. Miljkovic et al., Excavation of the mantle in basin forming impact events on the Moon, 45th LPSC, abstract 1828, 2014.

    [6] M. Laneuville et al., A long-lived lunar dynamo powered by core crystallization, 45th LPSC, abstract 1819, 2014.

    [7] Thorey, C. and  C. Michaut, Effect of a Temperature-Dependent Viscosity on the Spreading of Laccoliths, Abstract P51A-3898, AGU Fall Meeting  2014.

    [8] Michaut, C., and C. Thorey, Detection and characterization of shallow magmatic intrusions in terrestrial planets, IUGG-0829, Prague, June  2015,  solicited talk.

    [9] Michaut, C., and C. Thorey, Magmatic intrusions in the lunar crust, EPSC, Abstract 2015-59, held in Nantes, Oct 2015, Talk.

    [10] Michaut C., and C. Thorey, A general model for shallow magmatic intrusions, AGU Fall Meeting held in San Francisco Dec.  2015.

    [11] Thiriet, M.,  C. Michaut and D. Breuer, Effect of a buried felsic component in the Southern crust of Mars on lithosphere growth, 47th LPSC held in the Woodlands, Texas, March  2016.

    [12] Michaut, C., C. Thorey and V. Pinel, Magmatism on the Moon, EGU meeting held in Vienna, Austria, April  2016, solicited talk.

    [13] Michaut C., and C. Thorey, Shallow magmatic intrusions in planetary crusts, GeoMod 2016 conference Montpellier, France | 17–20 October 2016,  présentation invitée, keynote speaker.

    [14] Thiriet, M.,  C. Michaut and D. Breuer, Hemispheric dichotomy in lithosphere growth on Mars caused by differences in crustal composition, AGU Fall Meeting held in San Francisco Dec. 2016.

    [15] Michaut, C., Forced-floding by laccolith and saucer-shaped sill intrusions on the Earth, planets and icy satellites, EGU General Assembly, Vienna, Austria, April 2017,  solicited talk.



    Theme 3:

    [1] A. Garcia, S. Rodriguez, A. Lucas, T. Appéré, A. Le Gall, E. Reffet, L. Le Corre, S. Le Mouélic, T. Cornet, S. Courrech Du Pont, C. Narteau, O. Bourgeois, J. Radebaugh, K. Arnold, J.W. Barnes, C. Sotin, R.H. Brown, R.D. Lorenz, E.P. Turtle. Global characterization of Titan’s dune fields by RADAR and VIMS observations, AGU 8-13 December 2013 in San Francisco.

    [2] B. Charnay, E.L. Barth, S.C. Rafkin, C. Narteau, S. Lebonnois, S. Rodriguez. Is Titan’s dune orientation controlled by tropical methane storms? AGU 8-13 December 2013 in San Francisco.

    [3] C. Narteau, Ping L., Dong Z., Courrech Du Pont S., Emergence of oblique dunes in a landscape scale experiment, AGU Fall Meeting, Eos Trans. 94, abstract No. EP43F-02, 2013.

    [4] D. Zhang, Yang, X., Rozier O., Narteau C., Mean residence time in barchan dunes, AGU Fall Meeting, Eos Trans. 94, abstract No. EP53B-0836, 2013.

    [5] O. Rozier, Narteau C., A Real Space Cellular Automaton Laboratory, AGU Fall Meeting, Eos Trans. 94, abstract No. NG43A-1667, 2013.

    [7] [invited] S. Rodriguez, S. Le Mouélic, C. Sotin, T. Cornet, J.W. Barnes, R.H. Brown. Titan’s surface and atmosphere as seen by the VIMS hyperspectral imager onboard Cassini, IEEE, proceedings of the Workshop on Hyperspectral Image and Signal Processing: Evolution in Remote Sensing (Whispers), Lausanne, Switzerland, 24-27 June 2014.



    14 conferences / lectures given to the public in 2014.


    Seven of our permanent members are professor or assistant professor, so they do their regular teaching duty and several lectures are directly connected to the labex activity (planet formation, cosmochemistry, interior and structure of Earths etc;.)


    Theme 1:

    [1] S. Charnoz. Les comètes et la mission Rosetta . Palais de la Découverte (Paris)

    [2] S. Charnoz. Numerical simulation in planetary sciences. Labex Fall School (Florence, Italy)


    [3] S. Charnoz. Invitation radio sur France Inter dans l’emission « La tête au carré » : Les satellites du Système Solaire.

    [4] Moreira M, Versailles (Université inter-âges), l’état de la Terre aux origines de la Vie, 7 octobre 2014

    [5] Moynier, F. Origin of volatile element depletions in the solar system. School IPGP/UCL on deep Earth.
    [6] Moynier, F. Application of Si isotopes to understand core formation. Lecture given at IPGP doctoral school

    [7] S. Charnoz, Crida A. The Origin of Saturn’s icy moons. Paper published in LA RECHERCHE (popular science magazine), in issue 486 (April 2014)


    Theme 2:

    [1] M. Wieczorek, “Recent results from the NASA’s lunar gravity mapping mission, GRAIL”, Bureau des longitudes, May 7, 2014.


    Theme 3:

    [1] S. Rodriguez, “History of water on Mars”, Fête de la Science, October 2013, University Paris Diderot, France.

    [2] C. Narteau, Les mers de sable du système solaire, 23 Octobre 2013, Institut Cervantes, Pékin, Chine.

    [3] S. Rodriguez, “Titan: twin sister of the Earth. Last news from Cassini”, “Les Conférences du pôle Kerichen-Vauban” association, December 2013, Brest, France.

    [4] Press release CNRS-INSUM, Emergence de dunes obliques en Mongolie Intérieure, une expérience originale à l’échelle des paysages.

    [5] Press release Physics Today (http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/magazine/physicstoday/news/10.1063/PT.5.7045).

    [6] S.Rodriguez, invitation émission de radio Europe 1 « Les origines du futur : Sommes-nous seuls dans l’Univers ? », diffusion août 2014.