Lunar and Planetary Institute

Science at LPI

The science at the Lunar and Planetary Institute is focused on the formation, evolution, and current state of our solar system through analysis of data and samples obtained through NASA's long history of missions and exploration.  Our current major research topics include the origin and evolution of the early solar system; petrology and geochemistry of planetary materials and volatiles; planetary interiors, volcanism, and tectonism; and impact cratering.

Research Foci

Lunar Science and Exploration
Resources to support the scientific research and exploration strategy of the Moon

Center for Lunar Science and Exploration
The Center for Lunar Science and Exploration is part of the NASA Lunar Science Institute and is designed to investigate lunar science issues, develop strategies for future lunar exploration, and train a new community of talent that will be needed to assure the success of the Constellation Program.

Staff Highlights

Prockter L.M., Shirley J.H., Dalton J.B. III, and Kamp L. (2016) "Surface composition of pull-apart bands in Argadnel Regio, Europa: Evidence of localized cryovolcanic resurfacing during basin formation, Icarus, 285, 27-42.

Kiefer W. (2016) "The influence of crustal radioactivity on mantle convection and lithospheric thickness on Mars." Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, doi:10.1002/2016JE005202

Clegg-Watkins R.N., Jolliff B.L., Watkins M.J., Coman E., Giguere T.A., Stopar J.D., and Lawrence S.J.  (2016) 'Non-mare Volcanism on the Moon: Photometric Evidence for the Presence of Evolved Silicic Materials." Icarus,

Timms N.E., Erickson T.M., Pearce M.A., Cavosie A.J., Schmieder M., Tohver E., Reddy S.M., Zanetti M.R., Nemchin A.A. and Wittmann A. (2016) "A pressure-temperature phase diagram for zircon at extreme conditions." Earth-Science Reviews 165, 185–202.

Kiefer W.S. and Qingsong Li (2016)  "Water undersaturated mantle plume volcanism on present-day Mars," Meteoritics Planetary Science 51, 1993-2010.

Filiberto J., Baratoux D., Beaty D., Breuer D., Farcy B.J., Grott M., Jones J.H., Kiefer W.S., Mane P., McCubbin F.M., and Schwenzer S.P. (2016) "A review of volatiles in the martian interior," Meteoritics Planetary Science 51, 1935-1958.

Morgan J. V., Gulick P. S., Bralower T.,  Chenot T., Kring D. (2016) "The formation of peak rings in large impact craters," Science 354, 6314, pp 878-882. DOI:10.1126/science.aah6561.

Zuber M., Kiefer W., McGovern, et al (2016) “Gravity field of the Orientale basin from the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission," Science 354, 438-441. Article is featured on the LPI website GRAIL Gravity Observations Reveal Structure of Lunar Impact Basins.

Kring D., Kramer G.Y., Collins G.S., Potter R.W.K., and Chandnani M. (2016) “Peak-ring structure and kinematics from a multi-disciplinary study of the Schrödinger impact basin,” Nature Communication 7, Article number: 13161.  doi:10.1038/ncomms13161.

Bamford R.A., Alves E.P., Cruz F., Kramer G., et al (2016) “3D Pic Simulations of Collisionless Shocks at Lunar Magnetic Anomalies and Their Role in Forming Lunar Swirls.The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 830, Number 2.

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