Chairs: Rajdeep Dasgupta ( and David Brain (

Surface habitability of rocky planets depend heavily on the compositions of their atmosphere. However, such atmospheric composition can vary widely depending on a range of factors from the composition of the building blocks of planets, planet formation mechanism and location, to early evolution of planets. Many of the critical processes involve feedback between the solid reservoirs of planets or the interiors and the planetary surfaces or the exteriors and the nature of such feedback and their relative importance also vary with time spanning millions to billions of years.

In this science working group, we plan on constraining the origin and evolution of atmosphere of rocky planets in our Solar System and exoplanetary systems. In particular, we aim to explore all mechanisms of loss and gain of atmosphere and its constituents for different rocky exoplanetary systems from Earth-like planets to Super-Earths and Sub-Neptunes. Our goal is to tackle the following list of topics and specifically improve communication between them such that better holistic models of atmospheric compositions of rocky planets can be developed.

The communication will mostly take place via group mailing list and NExSS Slack workspace.

Interested new members should e-mail the Science Working Group chairs.

Our topics of interest include the following:

Origin of volatiles and generation of primary atmosphere:

  1. Role of planetary building blocks
  2. Role of accretion mechanisms (Solar System example)
  3. Role of disk processes and dynamics
  4. Role of impacts

Role of magma on secondary atmosphere generation:

  1. Styles of magmatism (depth of emplacement, magma flux)
  2. Role of Interior properties (e.g., redox)

Role of weathering and tectonic activities in sequestering atmophile elements; climate-tectonic feedback

Climate-tectonic feedback

Limits/throttles to escape:

  1. Diffusion/vertical transport
  2. Supply
  3. Energy

Stellar drivers of loss

Neutral Loss:

  1. Hydrodynamic outflow
  2. Jeans escape
  3. Photochemical escape
  4. Sputtering
  5. Impacts
  6. Atmospheric fractionation

Ion Loss:

  1. Forces (pickup, magnetic tension, ambipolar fields)
  2. Role of planetary magnetic field