Science

I am pursuing a PhD in geological sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. My current research involves studying the north polar region of Mars. I use orbital radar sounders, high-resolution imagery and General Circulation Models (GCMs).

My broader scientific interests include near-surface geologic characterization of terrestrial planets via remote sensing and in-situ geophysical surveys. I also enjoy designing and building geophysical instrumentation.

I am always eager to talk about these and other ideas. If you are interested in my project, I encourage you to contact me via the web form, or send me an email directly at stefano [dot] nerozzi [at] utexas [dot] edu.

Useful links: my github

Mars polar science: unveiling the Rosetta stone of Planum Boreum

The overarching objective of my PhD project is to gain a more profound knowledge of the evolution of the Planum Boreum of Mars as a record of past global climate. The first goal is to reconstruct the distribution, stratigraphy and morphology of water ice and aeolian lithic deposits. Then, I compare observations to water ice accumulation models and general circulation models (GCMs) specifically tuned for Planum Boreum and driven by orbital forcing. My ultimate goal is to determine which processes and driving forces are responsible for the initial emplacement of the North Polar Layered Deposits, the largest water ice reservoir in the northern hemisphere of Mars.

Martian outflow channels and magma-cryosphere interactions of Hebrus Valles

I am developing a new research project that focuses on the fluvial and volcanic history of Hebrus Valles and Hephaestus Fossae in south-eastern Utopia Planitia, Mars. Outflow channel systems on Mars have been largely interpreted as resulting from sporadic but intense episodes of liquid water flow, and the Hebrus Valles and Hephaestus Fossae systems are unique among these due to their well-preserved state and relatively recent activity (Early Amazonian, ~3 Ga). Geologic evidence in these regions points to a water-rich, habitable past environment, characterized by multiple episodes of melting and liquid water flow, yet little is known about their history, and this represents a significant gap in our understanding of geologic processes occurring on Mars in the Amazonian Period. This project currently involves geologic and facies mapping, radar surface and subsurface sounding, impact crater morphology analysis and statistical counts. I am also exploring the feasibility of multispectral mineralogy of dust-free surfaces and fluvial morphology analysis.

Publications and Presentations

Check out my publications and presentations.