Geoscience for Understanding Habitability in the Solar System and Beyond

Veronique Dehant*, Vinciane Debaille, Vera Dobos, Fabrice Gaillard, Cedric Gillmann, Steven Goderis, John Lee Grenfell, Dennis Höning, Emmanuelle J. Javaux, Özgür Karatekin, Alessandro Morbidelli, Lena Noack, Heike Rauer, Manuel Scherf, Tilman Spohn, Paul Tackley, Tim Van Hoolst, Kai Wünnemann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


This paper reviews habitability conditions for a terrestrial planet from the point of view of geosciences. It addresses how interactions between the interior of a planet or a moon and its atmosphere and surface (including hydrosphere and biosphere) can affect habitability of the celestial body. It does not consider in detail the role of the central star but focusses more on surface conditions capable of sustaining life. We deal with fundamental issues of planetary habitability, i.e. the environmental conditions capable of sustaining life, and the above-mentioned interactions can affect the habitability of the celestial body. We address some hotly debated questions including: How do core and mantle affect the evolution and habitability of planets?What are the consequences of mantle overturn on the evolution of the interior and atmosphere?What is the role of the global carbon and water cycles?What influence do comet and asteroid impacts exert on the evolution of the planet?How does life interact with the evolution of the Earth’s geosphere and atmosphere?How can knowledge of the solar system geophysics and habitability be applied to exoplanets? In addition, we address the identification of preserved life tracers in the context of the interaction of life with planetary evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number42
Pages (from-to)1-48
Number of pages48
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number6
Early online date20 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


  • Early Earth
  • Exoplanets
  • Habitability
  • Planet evolution


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