ASTR 6577: Planetary Surface Processes
3 or 4 credit course; 3 credits for course only. 4 credits if registered for the lab trip. Course is limited to 15 students
Survey of processes involved in the formation and evolution of the surfaces of solar system bodies. Surface morphology and landforms of terrestrial planets, planetary satellites, asteroids, and comets. Fundamentals of impact cratering, volcanism, tectonism, and erosion as applied to planetary surfaces, with significant emphasis on terrestrial field examples as analogs and study sites. Basic introduction to physical, geochemical, and "space" weathering of planetary surfaces. Basic introduction to field methods and remote sensing techniques and data sets (terrestrial, spacecraft). Students enrolled in the course can participate in an optional field trip over Spring Break to a "classic" planetary surface process analog field site (e.g., Meteor Crater, Amboy, White Sands, Hawaii, Grand Canyon, Death Valley) for 1 additional credit. Grading based on participation in discussions, critical literature reviews, and final project/presentation.