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Publications page.

Publications by David Catling

Atmospheric Evolution

For graduate students and researchers:

Along with
Prof. Jim Kasting from Penn State University, I've written the following technical book:

D. C. Catling and J. F. Kasting, Atmospheric Evolution on Inhabited and Lifeless Worlds, Cambridge University Press.†

In bookstores in early 2017!

Astrobiology VSI book cover
2) For the educated layman:

David C. Catling (2013) Astrobiology: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press.

Various reviews of the book.

Questions & Answers about astrobiology & the book.

Guest blog @Oxford University Press: "Astrobiology: Pouring Cold Asteroid Water on Aristotle"

Reading Guide: Questions for Thought and Discussion for Astrobiology: A Very Short Introduction.

3) For the person-in-the-street: (currently being written!):

David C. Catling, Grandest View: Revisiting the Voyage that Changed the World

This book is about revisiting the landfalls of Charles Darwin's 5-year voyage around the world (1831-1836), which he eloquently describes in The Voyage of the Beagle. Following Darwin's footsteps has been my hobby for over 15 years, and Darwin himself has been a great guide. Darwin undertook his voyage as a young man only in his twenties, and his innate brilliance at observing the world continues to amaze me. The book is a personal view of what has changed between then and now in the places that Darwin visited from scientific, human and environmental perspectives. It is also about the voyage of change and discovery that is part of the human condition.

Articles with DOI (digital object identifier) links to publisher pages: ORCID David Catling page
Articles listed by most cited via David Catling Google Scholar Page


118. D. C. Catling & K. J. Zahnle. The Archean atmosphere, invited for Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Sciences, in prep., to be published in 2017.

117. B. Charnay, G. Le Hir, F. Fluteau, F. Forget, D. C. Catling, A warm or cold early Earth? New insights from a 3-D climate-carbon model, Earth & Planetary Science Letters, submitted.

116. J. Krissansen-Totton & D. C. Catling. The search for another Earth-like planet and life elsewhere. In What is Life? On Earth and Beyond. (Ed. A. Losch), Cambridge Univ. Press, to be published, 2017.

115. R. M. Haberle, D. C. Catling, M. H. Carr, K. J. Zahnle. Early Mars, in The Atmosphere and Climate of Mars (Eds. R. M. Haberle et al.), Cambridge Univ. Press, to be published, 2017.

114. D. C. Catling, S. Stroud. The greening of Green Mountain, Ascension Island,† in M. Joachim, M. Silver (eds.) XXL-XS: New Directions in Ecological Design, ACTAR Publishing, New York, 2017. [preprint]

113. D. C. Catling & J. Krissansen-Totton. General models for global redox controls on atmospheric O2, CH4, and N2 levels over Earth history, in prep., 2017.

112. O. R. Lehmer, D. C. Catling, K. J. Zahnle, The longevity of water ice on Ganymedes and Europas around migrated giant planets, for Astrophysical Journal, in prep. 2017.

111. J. D. Toner, D. C. Catling, R. S. Sletten. The geochemistry of Don Juan Pond: Evidence for a deep groundwater flow system in Wright Valley, Antarctica, to be submitted, 2017.

110. J. D. Toner & D. C. Catling, A low-temperature thermodynamic model for the Na-K-Ca-Mg-Cl system incorporating new experimental heat capacities in KCl, MgCl2, and CaCl2 solutions, Journal of Chemical and Engineering Data, reviewed & revised, 2017.

109. J. Krissansen-Totton & D. C. Catling. The global carbon cycle since the mid-Cretaceous: Implications for climate sensitivity and continental versus seafloor weathering, reviewed & revised, Nature Communications, 2017.
Because the authors believe in unselfish cooperation in research, the Python source code for the new carbon cycle model used in this paper will be linked here after review and† acceptance of this paper.

108. S. F. Sholes, M. L. Smith, M. W. Claire, K. J. Zahnle, D. C. Catling. Anoxic atmospheres on Mars driven by past volcanism: Implications for past environments and life, reviewed & revised, Icarus, 2016.

107. D. C. Catling & K. J. Zahnle. How impact delivery and erosion control the existence of ††† planetary atmospheres, in prep.
††† A presentation outlining this topic was submitted to the 2013 Lunar & Planetary Sci. Conference, along with a related presentation called "The Cosmic Shoreline".

106. D. C. Catling, C. B. Leovy, S. E. Wood, M. D. Day. Does the Vastitas Borealis Formation contain oceanic or volcanic† deposits?:† Subsurface sampling using small craters, in prep..

105. B. L. Ehlmann, F. S. Anderson, J. Andrews-Hanna, D. C. Catling, et al. The sustainability of habitability on terrestrial planets: Insights, questions, and needed measurements from Mars for understanding the evolution of Earth-like worlds, Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets, doi:10.1002/2016JE005134, 2016. [Open Access Paper].

104. R. C. Payne, A. V. Britt, H. Chen, J. F. Kasting, D. C. Catling. The response of Phanerozoic surface temperature to variations in atmospheric oxygen concentration, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 121, doi:10.1002/2016JD025459 , 2016.

103. S. M. Som, R. Buick, J. W. Hagadorn, T. S. Blake, J. M. Perreault, J. P. Harnmeijer, D. C. Catling. Earth's air pressure 2.7 billion years ago constrained to less than half of modern levels, Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/ngeo2713, 2016. [E-print].
We present measurements suggesting the surprising discovery that the Earth's atmosphere was thinner than today's air by a factor of two or more. See a university news release or news commentary at Science magazine; also a clip from BBC World Service radio of Roger Buick talking about the discovery.

102. G. M. Marion, D. C. Catling, J. S. Kargel, J. K. Crowley. Modeling calcium sulfate chemistries with application to Mars, Icarus 278, 31-37, 2016. 10.1016/j.icarus.2016.05.016

101. J. Krissansen-Totton, D. Bergsman, D. C. Catling, On detecting biospheres from chemical disequilibrium in planetary atmospheres, Astrobiology 16, 39-67, 2016.
††† [E-print]††
It took us a considerable amount of time to find suitable databases and write computer code for this project. So, to encourage unselfish cooperation in research, the Matlab code and thermodynamic databases used to calculate available Gibbs energy in planetary atmospheres in this paper are available here within a zipped folder for download:
Please be sure to read the ReadMe.txt file and all comments to use the code.

A great discussion of this paper appeared in a BBC Sky At Night magazine piece.

100. J. Krissansen-Totton, E. Schwieterman, B. Charnay, G. Arney, T. D. Robinson, V. Meadows, D. C. Catling, Is the Pale Blue Dot unique? Optimized photometric bands for identifying Earth-like planets, Astrophysical Journal,† 817, 31, 2016. [E-print].
†† ††† ††† A nice summary of this paper was blogged in astrobites.

99. J. D. Toner & D. C. Catling, Water activities of NaClO4, Ca(ClO4)2 and Mg(ClO4)2 brines from experimental heat capacities: Water activity >0.6 below 200 K, Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, 181, 164-174, 2016.† [E-print].

98. P. Pogge von Strandmann, E. E. StŁeken, T. Elliott, S. W. Poulton, C. M. Dehler, D. E. Canfield, D. C. Catling. Selenium isotope evidence for post-glacial oxygenation trends in the Ediacaran ocean, Nature Communications, 6:10157, doi: 10.1038/ncomes10157, 2015. [Open Access Paper].
††† ††† A nice discussion of this paper was blogged on Centauri Dreams.

97. J. D. Toner, D. C. Catling, B. Light, A revised Pitzer model for low-temperature soluble salt assemblages at the Phoenix site, Mars. Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, 166, 327-343, 2015. [E-print].

96. D. C. Catling, Planetary Atmospheres. In G. Schubert (ed.), Treatise on Geophysics (2nd Ed.), vol. 10, Elsevier, New York, 429-472, 2015. [E-print].
††† ††† ††† Reviews essentials of planetary atmospheres--mainly physics with some chemistry.

95. J. Krissansen-Totton, R. Buick, D. C. Catling. A statistical analysis of the carbon isotope record from the Archean to Phanerozoic and implications for the rise of oxygen, American Journal of Science, 315, 275-316, 2015. [E-print]
For complete transparency and to encourage cooperation in research, the isotope data and computer source code used in this paper are freely available here.

94. J. D. Toner, D. C. Catling, B. Light, Modeling salt precipitation from brines on Mars evaporation versus freezing origin for soil salts,† Icarus, 250, 451-461, 2015. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2014.12.013. [E-print].
††† We show that salts found in the soil at the landing site of NASA's Phoenix Mars lander were not formed by evaporation of an aqueous salty solution but could have formed as a salty liquid froze. In freezing, a salty solution becomes more and more concentrated as ice forms, and certain types of salts precipitate, producing a chemical mixture diagnostic of an origin by freezing. Thus, the chemistry constrains the past environment, which was cold.

93. E. E. StŁeken, R. Buick, A. Bekker, D. Catling, J. Foriel, B. M. Guy, J. C. Kah, H. G. Macel, K. P. Montanez, S. W. Poulton, The evolution of the global selenium cycle: Secular trends in Se isotopes and abundances, Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, 162, 109-125.

92. E. Pecoits, M. L. Smith, D. C. Catling, P. Philippot, A. Kappler, K. O Konhauser,† Atmospheric hydrogen peroxide and Eoarchean iron formations, Geobiology 13, 1-14, 2015. doi:10.1111/gbi.12116


91. D. C. Catling. Mars Atmosphere: History and Surface Interactions. In: T. Spohn,† D. Breuerm, T. V. Johnson (Eds.), Encyclopedia of the Solar System (3rd Edition), Elsevier, 343-357, 2014. [ E-print ]. [This book won the 2015 American Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) in the Cosmology & Astronomy category].

90. G. M. Marion, D. C. Catling, J. S. Kargel, J. I. Lunine, Modeling nitrogen-gas, -liquid, -solid chemistries at low temperature (173-298 K), Icarus 236, 1-8, 2014.

89. D. C. Catling, The Great Oxidation Event Transition, In Treatise on Geochemistry (2nd. Ed.), edited by H. D. Holland and K. K. Turekian, vol. 6, Elsevier, Oxford, 177-195, 2014.† [E-print].

88. J. D. Toner, D. C. Catling, B. Light, Reanalysis of Wet Chemistry Laboratory data at the Phoenix Lander site on Mars with implications for the soluble soil salts, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2014.03.030, 142-168, 2014. [E-print].

87. M. L. Smith, M. W. Claire, D. C. Catling, K. J. Zahnle, The formation of sulfate, nitrate and perchlorate salts in the martian atmosphere,† Icarus, 231, 51-64, 2014. Open Access full article
Using a photochemical simulation, we calculate deposition fluxes of salts formed in the ancient martian atmosphere by oxidation of volcanic gases. The resulting sulfate soil concentrations are consistent with observations. Results also show that pernitric acid forms predominantly in Mars' atmosphere rather than nitric acid. Purely gas-phase reactions are insufficient to account for perchlorate in the soil so that gas-solid reactions (which are currently unknown) are implied.

86. T. D. Robinson & D. C. Catling, Common 0.1 bar tropopause in thick atmospheres set by pressure-dependent infrared transparency, Nature Geoscience,† 7, 12-15, 2014. doi:10.1038/NGEO2020 [E-print].
The minimum air temperature between the troposphere (the lowest atmospheric layer where temperature declines with altitude) and stratosphere (where temperature increases with altitude in an 'inversion') occurs a pressure of about 0.1 bar on Earth, Titan, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. We used the physics of radiation to explain why the tropopause temperature minimum in these very different atmospheres occurs at the comŚmon pressure near 0.1 bar. Physics suggests that a tropopause temperature minimum around 0.1 bar should be a fairly general rule for planets with stratospheric temperature inversions. This rule could constrain the atmospheric structure on exoplanets and hence their surface temperature and habitability. Accompanying Univ. of Washington news story.
Also a nice summary of the paper was blogged in astrobites.

85. J. D. Toner, D. C. Catling, B. Light, The formation of supercooled brines, viscous liquids, and low-temperature glasses on Mars, Icarus 233, 36-47, 2014, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2014.01.018. [E-print].
We report a discovery that perchlorate salts tend not to crystallize if cooled even at relatively slow rates but become gradually more viscous and turn into glass (amorphous, non-crystalline solids). Glasses are great for preserving microorganisms, so this is relevant for looking for signs of microbial life on Mars and other cold bodies.

84. P. Pogge von Strandmann, C. D. Coath, D. C. Catling, S. W. Poulton, T. Elliott, Analysis of mass dependent and mass independent selenium isotope variability in black shales, Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 29, 1648-1659, 2014. doi:10.1039/c4ja00124a

83. K. J. Zahnle & D. C. Catling, Waiting for oxygen, in Special Paper 504: Earth's Early Atmosphere and Surface Environment (Shaw, G. H., ed.), Geological Society of America Conference Proceedings, 2014, 37-48. [E-print].

82. Marion, G. M., Kargel, J. S., Crowley, J. K., Catling, D. C., Sulfite-sulfide-sulfate- carbonate equilibria with applications to Mars, Icarus, 225, 342-351, 2013. [E-print].

81. S. M. Som, J. W. Hagadorn, W. A. Thelen, A. R. Gillespie, D. C. Catling, R. Buick, Quantitative discrimination between geological materials with low density contrast by high resolution X-ray computer tomography: An example using amygdule size-distribution in ancient lava flows, Computers & Geosciences, 54, 231-238, 2013, doi: 10.1016/j.cageo.2012.11.019 .[E-print].

80. P. B. Niles, D. C. Catling, G. Berger, E. Chassefiere, B. L. Ehlmann, J. Michalski, R, Morris, S. W. Ruff, B. Sutter, Carbonates on Mars, Space Science Reviews, 174, 301-328, 2013. [E-print].

79. B. L. Ehlmann, G. Berger, N. Mangold, J. R. Michalski, D. C. Catling, S. W. Ruff, Eric ChassefiŤre, P. B. Niles, V. Chevrier, F. Poulet, Geochemical consequences of widespread clay mineral formation in Mars' ancient crust, Space Science Reviews, 174, 329-364, 2013.

78. E. E. StŁeken, J. Foriel, B. K. Nelson, R. Buick, D. C. Catling. Selenium isotope analysis of organic-rich shales: Advances in sample preparation and isobaric interference correction, J. Analytical Atomic Spectroscopy, doi:10.1039/C3JA50186H, 2013.

77. K. J. Zahnle, D. C. Catling,† M. W. Claire. The rise of oxygen and the hydrogen hourglass, Chemical Geology, 362, 26-34, 2013. (Open Access; just click on the title)

76. D. C. Catling. How long will the Earth remain habitable? Sky & Telescope Special Edition: Astronomy's 60 Greatest Mysteries, 2013, p.16-17.

75. E. E. StŁeken, D. C. Catling, R. Buick, Contributions to Late Archaean sulphur cycling by life on land, Nature Geoscience, 5, 722-725, doi:10.1038/ngeo1585, 2012. Accompanying University of Washington News Story. [E-print]

74. T. D. Robinson & D. C. Catling, An analytic radiative-convective model for planetary atmospheres, Astrophysical Journal, 757, 104. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/757/1/104. [E-print] Because we believe in unselfish cooperation in research, the IDL (Interactive Data Language) source code used in this paper is available to everyone here:
††† ††† ,,

73. J. F. Kasting, D. C. Catling, K. J. Zahnle, Atmospheric oxygenation and volcanism, Nature 487, E1, 2012.

72. E. Sefton-Nash, D. C. Catling, S. E. Wood, P. Grindrod, Topographic, spectral and thermal inertia analysis of interior layered deposits in Iani Chaos, Mars,† Icarus, 221, 20-42, 2012. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2012.06.036[E-print]

71. S. M. Som, D. C. Catling, J. P. Harnmeijer, P. M. Polivka, R. Buick. Air density 2.7 billion years ago limited to less than twice modern levels by fossil raindrop imprints, Nature, 484, 359-362, 2012.† doi:10.1038/nature10890
- We use fossil raindrop impressions in 2.7 billion-year-old rocks made of volcanic ash to determine an upper limit on the air density and hence the barometric pressure at that time. The method use calibration experiments of drops falling into modern, comparable ash. This is the first time constraints on the barometric pressure on the early Earth have been made using direct physical geology. Air pressure was probably less than ~50-110% of today's value. (University of Washington Press Release ).

70. M. W. Claire, J. Sheets, M. Cohen, I. Ribas, D.C. Catling, The evolution of solar flux from 2 nm to 160 microns: Quantitative estimates for planetary studies, Astrophysical Journal 757, 95, 2012. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/757/1/95 [E-print]

69. G. M. Marion, J. S. Kargel, D. C. Catling, J. I Lunine, Modeling ammonia-ammonium chemistries in the outer planet regions, Icarus 220, 932-946, 2012. [E-print]


68. D. Schulze-Makuch et al. (inc. D. C. Catling). A two-tiered approach to assessing the habitability of exoplanets, Astrobiology, 11,† doi:10.1089/ast.2010.0592, 2011.
- In the future, thousands of exoplanets will be known, so how will we judge whether they might be habitable from basic astronomical parameters? This paper presents some metrics and considerations of what makes a planet habitable.

67. D. C. Catling. Oxygenation of the Earth's atmosphere. In Encyclopedia of Astrobiology (Eds. M. Gargaud et al.),† Springer, 1200-1208, 2011. [E-print]

66. G. M. Marion, D. C. Catling, J K. Crowley, J. S. Kargel. Modeling hot spring chemistries with applications to Martian silica formation, Icarus, 212, 629-642 doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2011.01.035. [E-print]

65. K. J. Zahnle, R. S. Freedman, D. C. Catling. Is there methane on Mars?, Icarus, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2010.11.027, 2011.
- We argue that reports of rapidly-varying methane on Mars (which has led to much speculation about biogenic sources) violate basic principles of redox chemistry.† This led us to uncover hitherto undocumented interferences in the observations, which cast doubt on the robustness of the data. [E-print]


64. P. Withers. D. C. Catling.† Observations of atmospheric tides on Mars at the season and latitude of the Phoenix atmospheric entry, Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L24204, doi:10.1029/2010GL045382, 2010.
- The first in situ atmospheric structure from the polar regions of Mars. We report on the atmospheric structure that we derive from accelerometer data obtained during the descent of the Phoenix Lander to the surface of Mars in 2008.† The temperature profile of the atmosphere was strongly influenced by thermal tides, i.e., global oscillations caused by day-night heating of the atmosphere by the Sun that are also influenced by the global-scale topography of Mars. [E-print]

63. F. Tian, M. W. Claire, J. D. Haqq-Misra, M. Smith, D. C. Crisp, D. Catling, K. Zahnle, J. F. Kasting. Photochemical and climate consequences of sulfur outgassing on early Mars, Earth & Planetary Science Letters, 295, 412-418 , 2010. [E-print]
- We show that the net effect of volcanic sulfur gases on early Mars was to cool the planet because of the formation of reflective sulfate aerosols. That this is so should be intuitive because sulfate aerosols cool Earth and Venus by reflecting sunlight. However,† papers previously published by others had argued that SO2 gas would keep early Mars "warm and wet". Although SO2 is a greenhouse gas, prior studies did not account for the larger cooling effect of sulfate aerosols.

62. S. P. Kounaves, M. H. Hecht, J. Kapit, R. C. Quinn, D.C. Catling, B. C. Clark, D. W. Ming, et al., Soluble sulfate in the Martian soil at the Phoenix landing site, Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L09201, 2010. doi:10.1029/2010GL042613
- The first measurement of the amount of soluble sulfate in the soil on Mars

61. S. P. Kounaves, S. T. Stroble, R. M. Anderson, Q. Moore, D. C. Catling, S. Douglas,
C. P. McKay, D. W. Ming, P. H. Smith, L. K. Tamppari, A. P. Zent, Discovery of natural perchlorate in the Antarctic Dry Valleys and its global implications, Environmental Science and Technology, DOI: 10.1021/es9033606, 2010.
†- The first detection of perchlorate (ClO4-) salts in the Antarctic Dry Valleys.

60. G. M. Marion, D. C. Catling, M. W. Claire, K. J. Zahnle. Modeling aqueous perchlorate chemistries with applications to Mars, Icarus, 207, 675-685, 2010. [E-print]

59.†† D. C. Catling, M. W. Claire, K. J. Zahnle, et al.,† Atmospheric origins of perchlorate on Mars and in the Atacama, J. Geophys. Res., 115, E00E11, doi:10.1029/2009JE003425, 2010. See First Results From the Phoenix Mission to Mars Special Issue. [E-print]
- The first photochemical model to calculate fluxes of atmospheric salts that bulit up the salt deposits (nitrate and perchlorate) in the Atacama desert of Chile. Also, we discuss chemical pathways to form perchlorate on Mars.

58. S. P. Kounaves et al. (incl. D. C. Catling),† The wet chemistry experiments on the 2007 Phoenix Mars Scout Lander Mission: Data analysis and results, J. Geophys. Res., 115, E00E10, doi:10.1029/2009JE003424, 2010.
††† †† ††† †† - The first direct measurement of soluble soil salts on Mars made by adding soil on ††† ††† ††† ††† Mars to water and measuring anions and cations with ion selective electrodes.

57. D. Fisher et al. (incl. D. C. Catling), A perchlorate-lubricated brine deformable bed could facilitate flow of the Mars North Polar Cap: Possible mechanism for water table recharging, J. Geophys. Res., 115, E00E12, doi:10.1029/2009JE003405, 2010.

56. C. Stoker, A. Zent, D. C. Catling et al., Habitability of the Phoenix Landing Site, J. Geophys. Res., 115, E00E20, 2010. doi:10.1029/2009JE003421.


55. Renno, N. O., B. J. Boss, D. Catling, et al., Possible physical and thermodynamical evidence for liquid water at the Phoenix landing site, J. Geophys. Res., 114, E00E03, doi:10.1029/2009JE003362, 2009.

54. Smith, P. H., L. Tamppari, R. E. D. Arvidson, D. S. Bass, D. Blaney, W. V. Boynton, A. Carswell, D. C. Catling et al., H2O at the Phoenix landing site,† Science, 325, 58-61, 2009.

53. M. H. Hecht et al. (incl. D. C. Catling), Detection of perchlorate and soluble chemistry of† martian soil: Findings from the Phoenix Mars Lander, Science, 325, 64-67, 2009.

52. W. V. Boynton et al. (incl. D. C. Catling), Evidence for calcium carbonate at the Phoenix landing site, Science, 325, 61-64, 2009.

51. D. C. Catling and K. J. Zahnle, The escape of planetary atmospheres, Scientific American, 300, 36-43, May 2009. [E-print]

50.† G. M.† Marion, J. S. Kargel and D. C. Catling. Br/Cl partitioning in chloride minerals in the Burns Formation on Mars, Icarus, 200, 436-445, 2009.

49. D. C. Catling, Atmospheric Evolution of Mars. In: V. Gornitz (ed.) Encyclopedia of Paleoclimatology and Ancient Environments, Springer, Dordrecht, 2009, pp.† 66-75, [preprint]

In celebration of† the bicentennial of Charles Darwin's birth on February 12, 1809:
48. D. C. Catling, Revisiting Darwin's Voyage, in Darwin: For the Love of Science, A. Kelly, M. Kelly, B. Dolan, J. Hodge, M. Waithe, A. C. Grayling, K.† Ward, G. Dyson, and D. C. Catling. Bristol Cultural Development Partnership, 2009, pp. 240-251. [preprint] [E-print]

47. Smith, P. H., L. Tamppari, R. E. D. Arvidson, D. S. Bass, D. Blaney, W. V. Boynton, A. Carswell, D. C. Catling et al., The Phoenix mission to Mars, J. Geophys. Res., 13, E00A18,† doi:10.1029/2008JE003083.
Describes the first space probe to successfully land in the "arctic" equivalent of the planet Mars.

46.† P. A. Taylor, D. C. Catling, M. Daly, C. S. Dickinson, H. O. Gunnlaugsson, A-M. Harri, C. F. Lange, Temperature, pressure and wind instrumentation on the Phoenix meteorological package, J. Geophys. Res., 113, EA0A10, doi:10.1029/2007JE003015, 2008. [E-print]

45.† G. M.† Marion, J. S. Kargel and D. C. Catling. Modeling ferrous-ferric iron chemistry with application to Martian surface geochemistry, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 72, 242-266, 2008. [E-print]

44. D. C. Catling. Where did the oxygen in our atmosphere come from? In: The Seventy Great Mysteries of the Natural World, M. J. Benton (Ed.), Thames and Hudson, London, pp.69-71, 2008. [E-print]

43. E. Sefton-Nash and D. C. Catling. Hematitic concretions at Meridiani Planum, Mars: Their growth timescale and possible relationship with iron sulfates, Earth Plan. Sci. Lett.,† 269, 366-376, 2008. [E-print]

42. K. J. Zahnle, R. M Haberle, D. C. Catling, J. F. Kasting. Photochemical instability of the ancient Martian atmosphere, J. Geophys. Res, 113, E11004, doi:10.1029/2008JE003160, 2008. [E-print]

41.† D. C. Catling. Earth's early atmosphere, Catalyst: Secondary Science Review, 18, 16-18, 2008.† (an article aimed at secondary school students) [E-print]
40. D. C. Catling, Mars: Ancient fingerprints in the clay, Nature 448, 31-32, 2007. [E-print]
    39. D. C. Catling, M. W. Claire, and K. J. Zahnle, Anaerobic methanotrophy and the rise of oxygen, Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. A 365, 1867-1888, 2007. [E-print]
38. D. C. Catling and J. F. Kasting, Planetary Atmospheres and Life, In W. Sullivan , J. Baross (eds.) Planets and Life: The Emerging Science of Astrobiology, Cambridge University Press,† p. 91-116, 2007. [E-print]

37. D. Catling, Book Review, Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life's Origins by Robert M. Hazen,† American Mineralogist 92, 1543, 2007. [E-print]


36. D. C. Catling, and R. Buick. Introduction to Special Issue: Oxygen and Life in the Precambrian, Geobiology, vol. 4, 225-226, 2006. [E-print]
35. K. J. Zahnle, M. W. Claire, and D.C. Catling, The loss of mass-independent fractionation in sulfur due to a Paleoproterozoic collapse of atmospheric methane, Geobiology, vol. 4, 271-283, 2006. [E-print]
    • A 1D numerical photochemical model is used to study the atmospheric photochemistry of oxygen, methane, and sulphur after the advent of oxygenic photosynthesis. We show that collapse of atmospheric methane in the early Proterozoic aeon to levels of† ~10s of ppmv provides the best explanation of the disappearance of mass-independent fractionation in sulphur isotopes.
34. M. W. Claire, D.C. Catling and K. J. Zahnle, Biogeochemical modeling of the rise in atmospheric oxygen. Geobiology, vol. 4, 239-269, 2006. [E-print]
    • Here we present analytical and numerical computations for how the Earth's early atmosphere transitioned to an O2-rich state about 2.4. billion years ago. Understanding this transition is important for life on Earth because the rise of O2 allowed a stratospheric ozone layer to develop and allowed a greater variety of oxygen-dependent eukaryotic life.
33. Mix, L., et al., The astrobiology primer: An outline of general knowledge - Version 1, 2006. Astrobiology 6,† 735-813, 2006.

32. Marion G. M., Catling D. C., Kargel J. S., Modeling gas hydrate equilibria in electrolyte solutions. CALPHAD - Computer Coupling of Phase Diagrams and Thermochemistry, 30, 248-259, 2006.

31. G. T. Delory, W. M. Farrell, S. Atreya, N. O. Renno, A-S. Wong, S. A. Cummer, D. D. Sentman, J. R. Marshall, S. C. R. Rafkin and D. C. Catling, Oxidant enhancement in Martian dust devils and storms: Storm electric fields and electron dissociative attachment. Astrobiology 6, 453-454, 2006.
30. S. K. Atreya, A-S Wong, N. O. Renno, W. M. Farrell, G. T. Delory, D. D. Sentman, S. A. Cummer, J. R. Marshall, S. C. R. Rafkin, D. C. Catling, Oxidant enhancement in Martian dust devils and storms: Implications for life and habitability, Astrobiology, 6, 439-450, 2006.
29. D.C. Catling, Comment on "A Hydrogen-rich Early Earth Atmosphere". Science 311, 38a, 2006.
    • Here I commented on a paper by Tian et al., noting that Earth's early thermosphere, under the high extreme ultraviolet flux of the early Sun, would have been hot enough for hydrogen to escape readily so that hydrogen would not accumulate to high abundance. My back-of-envelope calculations are supported by independent detailed calculations of early Earth's thermosphere by Kulikov et al. (2006) Space Sci. Rev., submitted.†
28. D.C. Catling, S. E. Wood, C. Leovy, D. R. Montgomery, H. Greenberg, C. R. Glein, J. M. Moore, Light-toned layered deposits in Juventae Chasma, Mars, Icarus, 181, 26-51, 2006.[E-print]
    • This paper discusses the origin of enigmatic sulfate deposits, as large as mountains, in a deep chasm on Mars. Using spacecraft data, we made a new geomorphic map of Juventae Chasma and the deposits in its interior.
27. D. C. Catling, C. Leovy, Mars Atmosphere: History and Surface Interactions. In: L. McFadden, P. Weissman (eds.) Encyclopedia of the Solar System, Academic Press, 2006, p.301-314. [preprint][E-print]

26. D. C. Catling and M. Claire, How Earth's atmosphere evolved to an oxic state: A status report, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 237, 1-20, 2005. [E-print]
    • A review of the how the level of molecular oxygen (O2) in the Earth's atmosphere has changed over the last 4 billion years and what caused the changes, to the best of our knowledge.
25. D C. Catling, Twin studies on Mars. Nature 436, 42-43, 2005. [E-print]
††† ††† Invited commentary on the results of the Mars Exploration Rovers.
24. D. W. Beaty, S. M. Clifford, L. E. Borg, D. Catling et al., Key science questions from the Second Conference on Early Mars: Geologic, hydrologic, climate evolution, and the implications for life, Astrobiology , 5, 663-689, 2005.
23. D. C. Catling, C.R. Glein, K.J. Zahnle, and C. P. McKay. Why O2 is required by complex life on habitable planets and the concept of planetary "oxygenation time",† Astrobiology, 5, 415-438, 2005. [E-print] Commentary on this paper by Norm Sleep.
    • We explain how O2 provides the highest feasible energy release per electron transfer for carbon-based life, a universal property set by the limits of the periodic table. We also calculate theoretical biomass spectra for anaerobic (non-O2-using) life, which shows why such life does not grow large and complex. The upshot is that the evolution of water-splitting metabolism (photosynthesis) and subsequent atmospheric evolution are the important factors for determining the distribution of complex life on planets elsewhere in our galaxy and in the universe.
    • See also "Why E.T. would also breathe oxygen", Forbes Magazine.

22. D. C. Catling, Coupled evolution of Earth's atmosphere and biosphere. In: A. Kleidon, R. Lorenz (eds.) Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics and the Production of Entropy: Life, Earth and Beyond, Springer, 2005, p.191-206. [E-print]
    • Of solar system planets with atmospheres, the Earth is the sunniest in terms of flux reaching its surface. Earth also has an anomalous atmosphere, chemically and dynamically. The chemistry is in a low entropy state, pushed far from thermodynamic equilibrium by surface gas fluxes. Dynamically, the Earth has the most unpredictable weather (e.g., compare Jupiter's Great Red Spot) and the slowest jets. In this paper, I discuss how life and entropy production have roles in producing Earth's weird atmosphere, which in turn allows life to flourish.
21. G. M. Marion, J. S. Kargel, D. C. Catling, S. D. Jakubowski. Effects of pressure on aqueous chemical equilibria at subzero temperatures with applications to Europa, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 69, 259-274, 2005.

20. D. C. Catling, Planetary Science: On Earth, as it is on Mars? Nature 429, 707-708, 2004. [E-print]
    • A "News and Views" piece that gives recent thinking on Martian hematite concretions (nicknamed "blueberries") that were discovered by the Opportunity Mars rover. The write-up discusses similar (but different!) phenomena on Earth, in Utah.

19. W. M. Farrell, P. H. Smith, G. T. Delory, G. B. Hillard, J. R. Marshall, D. Catling et al., Electric and magnetic signatures of dust devils from the 2000-2001 MATADOR desert tests, J. Geophys. Res., 109(E), doi:10.1029/2003JE002088, 2004. [E-print]
†18. D. C. Catling, M. W. Claire, K. J. Zahnle, Understanding the evolution of atmospheric redox state from the Archaean to the Proterozoic, In: Reimold, W.U. and Hofmann, A. (Eds.), Abstract volume, Field Forum on Processes on the Early Earth, Kaapvaal Craton, S. Africa, July 4-9, 2004, p.17-19.† [E-print]
    • Here, we presented a quantitative model of the rise of oxygen around 2.4 billion years ago.† We showed how the rise of O2 occurred when the flux of organic carbon burial (which is the source of O2) exceeded the geothermal flux of reductants (such as reduced volcanic and metamorphic gases that react with oxygen, as well as hydrothermal cations such as ferrous iron). We also showed that as† O2 rises, ultraviolet shielding of the troposphere by ozone causes a positive feedback on the increase in atmospheric oxygen.† See the subsequent paper by Claire et al. (2006) for full details.


17. D. M. Tratt, M. H. Hecht, D. C. Catling, E. C. Samulon, and P. Smith, In situ measurement of dust devil dynamics: Toward a strategy for Mars J. Geophys. Res., 108, doi:10.1029/2003JE002161, 2003. [E-print]
16. J. F. Kasting and D. C. Catling, Evolution of a habitable planet, Annual Reviews of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 41, 429-463, 2003.[E-print]
    • In this paper, we review why Earth's climate has remained conducive to life on Earth for the past 3.5 billion years.
15. D. C. Catling and J. M Moore, The nature of coarse-grained crystalline hematite and its implications for the early environment of Mars, Icarus, 165, 277-300, 2003.[E-print]
    • Gray, crystalline hematite is a mineral that has been found in certain locations on Mars, in particular at the landing site of the NASA Mars Exploration Rover called "Opportunity" that landed in 2004. In this paper, before we knew about the Opportunity findings, we discussed† the possible environments in which gray hematite might have formed on Mars.
14. G. M. Marion, D. C. Catling , and J. S. Kargel, Modeling aqueous ferrous iron chemistry at low temperatures with application to Mars, Geochem. Cosmochem. Acta, 67, 4251-4266, 2003. [E-print]

13.† D. Catling and K. Zahnle, Evolution of atmospheric oxygen, in Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences (Ed. J. Holton, J. Curry, J. Pyle), Academic Press, 754-761, 2003. [E-print]

D. C. Catling, K. J. Zahnle, and C. P. McKay, What caused the second rise of O2 in the late Proterozoic? Methane, sulfate, and irreversible oxidation, Astrobiology 2, 569, 2002.† [E-print]
  • In this conference paper, we presented an idea -- completely new at the time -- that methane could have been at high levels (10s or 100s of ppmv) during the middle Proterozoic. We argued that CH4 could have still been an important greenhouse gas if there had been a large (biogenic) CH4 flux from the large areas of anoxic seafloor in the Proterozoic. We also noted how this could drive a second rise of atmospheric O2 in the Neoproterozoic because of decomposition of methane in the upper atmosphere and associated hydrogen escape to space. Finally, we noted that a lot of sedimentary sulfide should have been subducted in the Proterozoic (because of large areas of euxinia), which would also oxidize the surface environment over time.
12. M. R. Patel, J. C. Zarnecki, and D. C. Catling, Ultraviolet radiation on the surface of Mars and the Beagle 2 ultraviolet sensor, Planetary and Space Science, 2, 569, 2002.

11. D. C. Catling, K. J. Zahnle, and C. P. McKay, Biogenic methane, hydrogen escape, and the irreversible oxidation of early Earth, Science, 293, 839-843, 2001. [E-print]
    • In this paper, we advanced a theory to answer the question of why the Earth's atmosphere became oxygen-rich about 2.4-2.2 billion years ago. This transition was an important event in Earth's history because all complex life forms (animals and multicellular plants) rely on molecular oxygen (O2). Consequently, understanding the rise of oxygen is critical for understanding biological evolution on our planet.

10.† J. C. Bridges, D. C. Catling, J. M. Saxton, T. D. Swindle, I. C. Lyon and M. M. Grady, Alteration assemblages in Martian meteorites: Implications for near-surface processes, in Chronology and Evolution of Mars , Kluwer Academic, New York, 2001, pp.365-392. [E-print]

9. C. S., Cockell, D. C. Catling, W. L. Davis, K. Snook, R. L. Kepner, and P. Lee, and McKay, C. P., The ultraviolet environment of Mars: Biological implications past, present, and future. Icarus, 146, 343-459, 2000. [E-print]
8. J. K. Reynolds, D. Catling, R. C. Blue, N. I. Maluf, and T. Kenny, Packaging a piezoresistive pressure sensor to measure low absolute pressures over a wide sub-zero temperature range, Sensors and Actuators, A83, 142-149, 2000. [E-print]
7. D. C. Catling. A chemical model for evaporites on early Mars: Possible sedimentary tracers of the early climate and implications for exploration, J. Geophys. Res., 104, 16,453-16,470, 1999. [E-print.]
6. S. Smrekar, D. Catling, R. Lorenz, J. Magalhaes, M. Meyer, J. Moersch, P. Morgan, J. Murphy, B. Murray, M. Presley-Holloway, A. Yen, and A. Zent, Deep Space 2: The Mars Microprobe Mission, J. Geophys. Res., 104, 27013-27030, 1999. [E-print]
5. C. S. Cockell, D. C. Catling and H. F. Waites. Insects at low-pressures: Applications to artificial ecosystems and implications for global windborne distribution, Life Support and Biosphere Sci., 6, 161-167, 1999.

prior to 1999

4. D. C. Catling. High sensitivity silicon capacitive sensors for measuring medium vacuum gas pressures, Sensors and Actuators, A64, 157-164, 1998. [E-print.]
3. R. M. Haberle and† D. C. Catling, A micro-meteorological mission for global network science on Mars: Rationale and measurement requirements, Planet. Space Sci. 44, 1361-1384, 1996. [E-print.]
    • This article was about a concept that Bob Haberle and I† came up with for measuring the global climate system on Mars using a network of miniature, automated weather stations. Later, along with other scientists and engineers, we developed a detailed NASA mission concept called "Pascal" to do this. Pascal is yet to fly, but such a mission will be an essential precursor for a future human mission.†
2. M. M. Joshi, S. R. Lewis, P. L. Read and D. C. Catling. Western boundary currents in the Martian atmosphere: Numerical simulations and observational evidence, J. Geophys. Res.† 100, 5485-5500, 1995. [E-print.]
1. M. M. Joshi, S. R. Lewis, P. L. Read and D. C. Catling. Western boundary currents in the atmosphere of Mars, Nature, 367, 548-551, 1994.
    • Western boundary currents are important fluid flows† in the climate system on Earth. The Gulf Stream in the north Atlantic ocean helps keep western Europe warm and the East African Jet in the atmosphere plays an important role in the Asian monsoon. In this paper, we pointed out how western boundary currents are a significant feature of the atmosphere of Mars.[E-print.]

Article analysis by subject, coauthor, etc.:† David Catling SciVal Expert Page

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