Department of Geological Sciences
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Research Areas: Planetary Science

1. Aqueous Geochemistry
2. Environmental and Theoretical Geochemistry
3. Mineral Physics and Petrology
4. Paleoecology
5. Paleoclimatology and Paleoceanography
6. Planetary Science    
7. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
8. Seismology
9. Space Geodesy
10. Tectonics and Structural Geology                                                                                         
Donna Jurdy's research group uses data returned by Magellan's Venus mission to understand the tectonic features of our nearest neighbor. Modified craters are used to map regions of tectonic and volcanic activity. Further information comes from coronae, volcanic-tectonic features unique to Venus. Work continues on coronae, craters and their relation to chasmata - what may be active rift zones on Venus.

Professor Jurdy's research group further studies Mars' magnetic lineations in the southern hemisphere to understand the history of its crust. This magnetization is very strongly preserved in the absence of any magnetic field at present. The group attempts analysis in this region to determine the pattern and characteristics of magnetization and model the observed field, matching the scalar magnetic potential with a set of vertical dipoles, and compares with surface stratigraphy and features such as ancient craters and faults. The magnetic pattern does not require reversed lineations, but does not exclude them either.

Volcanoes dominate Io's surface and the massive outpourings documented in short intervals could cause an instability in Io's rotation and a corresponding reorientation of its spin axis. Donna Jurdy's research group has also examined the potential effect of volcanic distribution on the orientation of Io's spin axis.

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