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Sam Birch

Research Associate, CCAPS


I’m a Research Associate at the Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences at Cornell University. My research focuses on understanding the evolution of the surfaces of planets, moons and small bodies, and deciphering what these surfaces tell us about their past. I do this using both spacecraft observations of planetary surfaces, and numerical simulations. Currently, my research focuses on both the evolution of the polar landscapes of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, and the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.


If you want to hear more about my research, download data products, or learn more about the Winnipeg Planet Walk, please feel free to visit my webpage at



Planetary Geomorphology, Titan, small body geology, Mars hydrology, numerical landscape evolution


  • Astronomy


  • A.G. Hayes, S.P.D. Birch, et al, “Constraints on the evolution and connectivity of Titan’s lacustrine basins as revealed by stereo photogrammetry and altimetry,” 2017. Geophysical Research Letters, submitted.
  • S.P.D. Birch, A.G. Hayes, et al, “Morphologic Evidence that Titan’s Southern Hemisphere Basins are Paleoseas,” 2017. Icarus, submitted.
  • S.P.D. Birch, Y. Tang, A.G. Hayes, et al, “Geomorphology of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko,” 2017. MNRAS 469, S50-S67.
  • S.P.D. Birch, A.G. Hayes, et al, “Geomorphologic Mapping of Titan’s polar terrains: Constraining Surface Processes and Landscape Evolution,” 2017. Icarus, 282, 214-236.
  • S.P.D. Birch, A.G. Hayes, et al, “Alluvial Fan Morphology, Distribution and Formation on Titan,” 2016. Icarus 270, 238-247.
  • S.P.D. Birch, et al, “Penetration of spherical projectiles into wet granular media,” 2014. Physical Review E 90, 032208.


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