Master’s Thesis

Research focused on identifying and analyzing melt pool emplacement around craters on the Martian surface. Particularly, continuing works by Dr. Catherine Neish and Dr. Livio Tornabene, where the over-arching goal is to compare melt pool emplacement on Mars to other terrestrial bodies, such as the Moon, Venus, and Mercury.

The Problem

Mechanisms for melt pool emplacement are not completely understood at present. They can be distinct to each terrestrial body and therefore an encompassing model for all bodies has been elusive. Because of Mars’ unique properties and location in the solar system, study of Martian melt pools can detail how influential impact velocity, impact angle, surface composition, topography, and atmosphere are to emplacement. For future study, the cool Martian temperatures can provide clues about emplacement on icy bodies.


  1. Find a statistically significant number of Martian craters where melt pools are present and discernible;

  2. Map and identify where melt pool emplacements in relation to their craters;

  3. Analyze data to assess if emplacement correlates with local topography or impactor angle.

Spacecraft Data Sources

  • High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE)

  • Context Camera (CTX)

  • Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS)

  • Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA)