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Jeffrey Plaut's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 183-601
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109

Jeffrey Plaut
Mars Odyssey Project Scientist

  • A.B. in Music. Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. (1980)
  • Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri. (1991)

Research Interests
  • Geologic evolution of planetary surfaces
  • Remote sensing for geologic information
  • Volcanism and impact cratering processes


Mars Odyssey Icon Mars Odyssey
In its extended mission, Mars Odyssey continues to map chemical elements and minerals on the surface of Mars and to monitor changes at the surface for another Mars year.

MARSIS is a radar sounder on the Mars Express orbiter that is probing the subsurface and studying the ionosphere.

Professional Experience
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1991 - present)
  • Principal Scientist, Geophysics and Planetary Geosciences Group
  • Project Scientist, 2001 Mars Odyssey (2002 - present)
  • Deputy Project Scientist, 2001 Mars Odyssey (1999 - 2002)
  • Co-Principal Investigator on MARSIS, Mars Express Radar Sounder (1998 - present)
  • Experiment Scientist for Space Shuttle radar missions (Spaceborne Imaging Radar, SIR-C/X-SAR; Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, SRTM (1994-2000)
  • Geology Experiment Representative, SIR-C/X-SAR (1993 - 1994)
  • Research Associate, Magellan Science Team (1991 - 1993)

Selected Awards
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, MSL Relay Operations Team (2013)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award MRO SHARAD Science Team (2011)
  • NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, for science leadership on the MARSIS radar sounder on ESA's Mars Express mission (2007)
  • NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, for science leadership on the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission (2005)
  • National Research Council Research Associateship Post-Doctoral Award, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1991-93)
  • Council of Graduate Schools/University Microfilms Distinguished Dissertation Nomination, Washington University (1991)
  • NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program (1987-90)
  • McDonnell Fellowship, McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis (1985-87)

Selected Publications
  1. Plaut, J.J. et al., 2008, Radar evidence for ice in lobate debris aprons in the mid-northern latitudes of Mars, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2008GL036379.
  2. Plaut, J.J. et al., 2007, Subsurface radar sounding of the south polar layered deposits of Mars, Science 315, 92-95, doi: 10.1126/science.1139672.
  3. Plaut, J.J. , S.W. Anderson, S.W., D.A. Crown, E.R. Stofan and J.J. van Zyl, 2004, The unique radar properties of silicic lava domes, J. Geophys. Res. - Planets 109, doi:10.1029/2002JE002017.
  4. Plaut, J.J. , B. Rivard and M.A. D'Iorio, 1999, Radar: Sensors and case studies, in Remote Sensing for the Earth Sciences, Manual of Remote Sensing, 3rd Ed., Vol. 3, A. Rencz, ed., John Wiley and Sons, New York.
  5. Plaut, J.J. , 1997, Foreword to the special section on results from SIR-C/X-SAR, J. Geophys. Res. 101, 23,061.
  6. Plaut, J.J. and R.E. Arvidson, 1992, Comparison of Goldstone and Magellan radar data in the equatorial plains of Venus, J. Geophys. Res. 97, 16,279-16,291.
  7. Plaut, J.J. , R.E. Arvidson and R.F. Jurgens, 1990, Radar characteristics of the equatorial plains of Venus from Goldstone observations: Implications for interpretation of Magellan data, Geophys. Res. Lett. 17, 1357-1360.
  8. Plaut, J.J. , R. Kahn, E.A. Guinness and R.E. Arvidson, 1988, Accumulation of sedimentary debris in the south polar region of Mars and implications for climate history, Icarus 76, 357-377.
  9. Plaut, J.J. and R.E. Arvidson, 1988, Comment on "Impact craters of Venus: A continuation of the analysis of data from the Venera 15 and 16 spacecraft" by A.T. Basilevsky et al., J. Geophys. Res. 93, 15,339-15,340.
  10. Anderson, S.W., E.R. Stofan, J.J. Plaut and D.A. Crown, 1998, Block size distributions on silicic lava flow surfaces: Implications for emplacement conditions, GSA Bull. 110, 1268-1280.
  11. Arvidson, R.E., R.A. Brackett, M.K. Shepard, N.R. Izenberg, B. Fegley, Jr. and J.J. Plaut, 1994, Microwave signatures and surface properties of Ovda Regio and surroundings, Venus, Icarus 112, 171-186.
  12. Arvidson, R.E., R. Greeley, M.C. Malin, R.S. Saunders, N. Izenberg, J.J. Plaut, E.R. Stofan and M.K. Shepard, 1992a, Surface modification of Venus as inferred from Magellan observations of plains, J. Geophys. Res. 97, 13,303-13,317.
  13. Arvidson, R.E., J.J. Plaut, R.F. Jurgens, R.S. Saunders and M.A. Slade, 1990, Geology of southern Guinevere Planitia, Venus, based on analyses of Goldstone radar data, Proc. 20th Lunar Planet. Sci. Conf. , 557-572, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston.
  14. Arvidson, R.E., M.K. Shepard, E.A. Guinness, S.B. Petroy, J.J. Plaut, D.L. Evans, T.G. Farr, R. Greeley, N. Lancaster and L.R. Gaddis, 1993, Characterization of lava-flow degradation in the Pisgah and Cima volcanic fields, California, using Landsat thematic mapper and AIRSAR data, GSA Bull. 105, 175-188.
  15. Clifford, S.M. et al., 2000, The state and future of Mars polar science and exploration, Icarus 144, 210-242.
  16. Duru, F., D.A. Gurnett, T.F. Averkamp, D.L. Kirchner, R.L. Huff, A. M. Persoon, J.J. Plaut, and G. Picardi, 2007, Magnetically controlled structures in the ionosphere of Mars, J. Geophys. Res. 111, A1220410.1029/2006JA011975.
  17. Espley, J.R., W.M. Farrell, D.A. Brain, D.D. Morgan, B. Cantor, J.J. Plaut, M.H. Acuña, G. Picardi, 2007, Absorption of MARSIS radar signals: Solar energetic particles and the daytime ionosphere, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L09101, doi:10.1029/2006GL0288.
  18. Evans, D.L, J.J. Plaut and E.R. Stofan, 1997, Overview of the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) missions, Rem. Sensing of Environ. 59, 135-140.
  19. Farrell, W.M., J.J. Plaut, D.A. Gurnett, and G. Picardi, 2005, Detecting sub-glacial aquifers in the north polar layered deposits with Mars Express/MARSIS, Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L11204, doi:10.1029/2005GL022488.
  20. Greeley, R., R.E. Arvidson, C. Elachi, M.A. Geringer, J.J. Plaut, R.S. Saunders, G. Schubert, E.R. Stofan, E.J.P. Thouvenot, S.D. Wall and C.M. Weitz, 1992a, Aeolian features on Venus: Preliminary Magellan results, J. Geophys. Res. 97, 13,319-13,345.
  21. Gurnett, D.A., D.L. Kirchner, R.L. Huff, D.D. Morgan, A.M. Persoon, T.F. Averkamp, F. Duru, E. Nielsen, A. Safaeinili and J.J. Plaut, and G. Picardi, 2005, Radar soundings of the ionosphere of Mars, Science 310, 1929-1933.
  22. Gurnett, D.A., R.L. Huff, D.D. Morgan, A.M. Persoon, T.F. Averkamp, D.L. Kirchner, F. Duru, F. Akalin, A.J. Kopf, E. Nielsen, A. Safaeinili, J.J. Plaut, G. Picardi, 2007, An overview of radar soundings of the Martian ionosphere from the Mars Express spacecraft, Advances in Space Research, in press.
  23. Herkenhoff, K.E. and J.J. Plaut, 2000, Surface ages and resurfacing rates of the polar layered deposits on Mars, Icarus 144, 243-253.
  24. Holt, J.W., A. Safaeinili, J.J. Plaut, J.W. Head, R.J. Phillips, R. Seu, S.D. Kempf, P. Choudhary, D.A. Young, N.E. Putzig, D. Biccari, and Y. Gim, 2008, Radar sounding evidence for buried glaciers in the southern mid-latitudes of Mars, Science 322, 1235. doi:10.1126/science.1164246.
  25. Moore, H.J., J.J. Plaut, P.M. Schenk and J.W. Head, 1992a, An unusual volcano on Venus, J. Geophys. Res. 97, 13,479-13,493.
  26. Morgan, D.D., D.A. Gurnett, D.L. Kirchner, R.L. Huff, D.A. Brain, W.V. Boynton, M.H. Acuña, J.J. Plaut, and G. Picardi, 2006, Solar control of radar wave absorption by the Martian ionosphere, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L13202, doi:10.1029/2006GL026637.
  27. Nielsen, E., D.D. Morgan, D.L. Kirchner, J. Plaut, G. Picardi, 2006, Absorption and reflection of radio waves in the Martian ionosphere, Planetary and Space Science, doi:10.1016/j.pss.2006.10.005.
  28. Nielsen, E., H. Zou, D.A. Gurnett, D.L. Kirchner, D.D. Morgan, R. Huff, R. Orosei, A. Safaeinili, J.J. Plaut, G. Picardi, 2006, Observations of vertical reflections from the topside Martian ionosphere, Space Sci. Rev., doi: 10.1007/s11214-006-9113-y.
  29. Nielsen, E., X.-D. Wang, D.A. Gurnett, D.L. Kirchner, R. Huff, R. Orosei, A. Safaeinili, J.J. Plaut, and G. Picardi, 2007a, Vertical sheets of dense plasma in the topside Martian ionosphere, J. Geophys. Res., 112, E02003, doi:10.1029/2006JE002723.
  30. Phillips, R.J. et al. 2008, Mars north polar deposits: Stratigraphy, age, and geodynamical response, Science 320, 1182. doi:10.1126/science.1157546.
  31. Picardi, G., D. Biccari, R. Seu, L. Marinangeli, W.T.K. Johnson, R.L. Jordan, J. Plaut, A. Safaeinili, D.A. Gurnett, G.G. Ori, R. Orosei, D. Calabrese , E. Zampolini, 2004, Performance and surface scattering models for the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS), Planet. and Space Sci. 52, 149-156.
  32. Picardi, G., D. Biccari, R. Seu, J. Plaut, W.T.K. Johnson, R.L. Jordan, A. Safaeinili, D.A. Gurnett, R. Huff, R. Orosei, O. Bombaci, D. Calabrese, and E. Zampolini, 2004, Mars Express: A European Mission to the Red Planet, SP-1240, (ESA Publications Division, ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands), pp. 51-69.
  33. Picardi, G., J.J. Plaut, et al., 2005, Radar soundings of the subsurface of Mars, Science 310, 19251928.
  34. Rappaport, N. and J.J. Plaut, 1994, A 360 degree and order model of Venus topography, Icarus 112,27-33.
  35. Saunders, R.S. et al., 2004, 2001 Mars Odyssey Mission Overview, Space Science Reviews, in press.
  36. Seu, R., R.J. Phillips, D. Biccari, R. Orosei, A. Masdea, G. Picardi, A. Safaeinili, B.A. Campbell, J.J. Plaut, L. Marinangeli, S.E. Smrekar, D.C. Nunes, 2007, SHARAD sounding radar on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, J. Geophys. Res. 112, E05S05, doi:10.1029/2006JE002745.
  37. Shepard, M.K., B.A. Campbell, T.G. Farr, L.R. Gaddis and J.J. Plaut, 2001, The roughness of natural terrain. A planetary and remote sensing perspective, J. Geophys. Res. - Planets 106, 32,777-32,795.
  38. Stofan E.R, D. Evans, C. Schmullius, B. Holt, J. Plaut, J vanZyl, S. Wall, J. Way, 1995, Overview of results of Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C, X-band Synthetic-Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR), IEEE trans. Geosci. and Rem. Sensing 33, 817-828.
  39. Stofan, E.R., D.A. Crown, S.W. Anderson and J.J. Plaut, 2000, Emplacement and composition of steep-sided domes on Venus, J. Geophys. Res. - Planets 105, 26,757-26,771.
  40. Watters, T.R., C.J. Leuschen, J.J. Plaut, G. Picardi, A. Safaeinili, S.M. Clifford, W.M. Farrell, A.B. Ivanov, R.J. Phillips, E.R. Stofan, 2006, MARSIS radar sounder evidence of buried basins in the northern lowlands of Mars Nature 444, 905, doi:10.1038.
  41. Weitz, C.M., J.J. Plaut, R. Greeley and R.S. Saunders, 1994, Dunes and microdunes on Venus: Why were so few found in the Magellan data? Icarus 112, 282-295.

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