Through my research, I try to understand the physical principles underlying volcanic eruptions and formation of volcanic landforms across the solar system. I am also interested in the exploration of geophysical tools and techniques, primarily radar and radiometry, to study the surfaces and interiors of other planets.
Volcanic Processes and Products
I investigate how differences in atmospheric and gravity conditions between various rocky planets impact volcanic processes and morphology. Towards this end, I use numerical modeling to simulate the dynamics of lava flows and pyroclastic density currents under ambient conditions different from Earth's . I am also interested in understanding the controls on effusive-explosive transition in basaltic magma, and the conditions required for explosive eruption of basaltic magma on other planets.
Surface Modification Processes
Studying flows of volcanic origin led me to being interested in other types of mass flows, particularly granular flows. I have recently started studying how high atmospheric temperature, pressure, and density conditions (found on Venus) would impact granular flow transport and deposit properties.
My research has also addressed other topics related to planetary surfaces, mainly the investigation of surface modification processes in the crustal plateaus of Venus using radar data.
Radar and Radiometry
I use a variety of radar datasets, including Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) backscatter data, orbital and ground-based Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) observations, and passive microwave (radiometry) data, to study geologic history, shallow-subsurface stratigraphy, and surface material properties on Earth as well as other planets , . I am also interested in the development of electromagnetic (EM) scattering models to describe interaction between EM waves and planetary surfaces .
Spacecraft Missions and Instruments
I am an avid advocate for geophysical techniques. I am currently a Science Team member of the SAR instrument, VenSAR, selected to fly onboard the European Space Agency's EnVision mission to Venus. I am a collaborator on the VERITAS mission (selected for flight to Venus) and the SHAllow RADar instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. I served on the Measurement Definition Team for the International - Mars Ice Mapper Mission, culminating in a final report released in 2023 . I work with scientists and engineers from NASA Glenn and UAF on the development of a landed seismometer that can operate under Venus conditions .