Lunar and Planetary Institute

LPI Seminar Series

LPI seminars will be held on Thursdays.

LPI seminars are held from 3:30–4:30 p.m. in the Lecture Hall at USRA, 3600 Bay Area Boulevard, Houston, Texas. Refreshments are served at 4:30 p.m. For more information, please contact Martin Schmieder (phone: 281-486-2116; e-mail: or Nick Castle (phone: 281-486-2144; e-mail: A map of the Clear Lake area is available here. This schedule is subject to revision.

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See also the Rice University Department of Physics and Astronomy Colloquia and the Department of Earth Science Colloquia pages for other space science talks in the Houston area.

June 2018

Friday, June 22, 2018 - Lecture Hall, 3:30 PM

Kirsten Siebach, Rice University
LPI Seminar: Sedimentary Records from Another World: Exploring Gale Crater with the Curiosity Rover
Since landing on the floor of Gale crater in August 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover has explored over 350 m of basin-fill stratigraphy primarily consisting of fluvio-deltaic deposits and lacustrine mudstones. Curiosity's findings have revolutionized our understanding of Mars: the planet had more igneous diversity than predicted, long-lived liquid water in rivers and lakes at the surface, environments that would have been habitable for life, multiple episodes of diagenetic fluids, and multiple cycles of crater fill and erosion. I will present the developing story of the history of the Gale crater basin, and the basin analysis work I have done to understand source-to-sink processes by separating effects from source rock diversity, sediment transport, and diagenetic influences for multiple sedimentary cycles.

July 2018

Thursday, July 12, 2018 - Lecture Hall, 3:30 PM

Terik Daly, Johns Hopkins
LPI Seminar: When impacts impart: New insights into the delivery of water by impacts
Dynamical models and observational evidence indicate that water-rich asteroids and comets deliver water to objects throughout the solar system, but the mechanisms by which this water is captured have been unclear. New experiments reveal that impact melts and breccias capture up to 30% of the water carried by carbonaceous chondrite–like projectiles under impact conditions typical of the main asteroid belt impact and the early phases of planet formation. This impactor-derived water resides in two distinct reservoirs: in impact melts and projectile survivors. Impact melt hosts the bulk of the delivered water. Entrapment of water within impact glasses and melt-bearing breccias is therefore a potential source of hydration features associated with craters on the Moon and elsewhere in the solar system and likely contributed to the early accretion of water during planet formation.


Previous Seminars

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