Lunar and Planetary Institute

Dr. Oliver White

Dr. Oliver White

Postdoctoral Fellow

Lunar and Planetary Institute, USRA
3600 Bay Area Blvd
Houston, Texas 77058, USA

My research at the Lunar and Planetary Institute concerns the investigation of the topography of Io, the innermost Galilean moon of Jupiter and the most volcanically active body in the Solar System. The research uses stereo and shape-from-shading techniques based on imagery returned by the Voyager and Galileo missions.  A variety of landforms will be mapped, including volcanoes, as well as regional and global scale shape deviations. Ultimately, the research should help us to understand the internal structure of Io and its relation to observed volcanic processes to a better degree. I am also using the same techniques to characterize crater morphologies on the Saturnian moons in order to learn more about the process of crater modification on these bodies and how this is related to their thermal histories.

My PhD research, based at University College London, aimed to refine our knowledge of how environmental conditions influence volcanic morphologies and processes on the terrestrial planets. This was investigated by cataloguing the morphologies and distribution of intermediate-sized (20 to 100 km diameter) volcanic features on Mars and Venus, which experience very different surface conditions. The research also incorporated the study of MARSIS radargrams, the aim of which was to constrain the Martian crustal volatile inventory and assess the potential for the occurrence of water-magma interaction in the planet’s history, and the study of the formation conditions and subsequent modification of Icelandic rootless cones, the results of which were correlated with analogue features that exist on Mars.


Dr. White's CV

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Last updated
October 20, 2010