The University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) has been studying seismicity on Mars since late 1970s and, since then, has expanded the scope of research and developed tools to better understand the red planet.
For more information on UTIG’s recent projects involving Mars:
- Read the research brief on Joseph Levy’s research regarding erosion rates on Mars
- Check out Cyril Grima’s reaction to NASA’s finding liquid water on Mars.
Jack Holt’s Research Group
UTIG Research Professor Jack Holt leads a research group comprised of graduate students, undergraduates, technical staff and visiting students all focused on understanding both the current state of Mars ice as well as processes governing the distribution, history, and role of ice in Mars climate evolution. Their primary tool is orbital radar sounding, a technique that is a relatively new for Mars and planetary exploration in general. Two radar sounders, MARSIS and SHARAD, are currently in orbit at Mars. As co-investigator on SHARAD, Holt keeps the team busy with the acquisition and analysis of new data. Building on UTIG’s extensive experience in airborne radar sounding of ice on Earth, the team has developed new analysis techniques specifically for SHARAD that provide unique capabilities and put UTIG at the forefront of the exciting field.
Research in Antartica, closely linked to other projects at UTIG, further enables Holt’s Mars research efforts through studies of specific features analogous to those on Mars, the deployment of radar sounders with properties similar to MARSIS and SHARAD, and the development of new data analysis techniques.