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 Geophysics & Planetary Geosciences: People
Suzanne Smrekar's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 183-501
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
Curriculum Vitae:

Suzanne Smrekar
Deputy Principal Investigator, InSight

  • B.S. in Geophysics/Math, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island (1984)
  • Ph.D., Geophysics, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas (1990)

Research Interests
  • Modeling of mantle upwelling and tectonic processes to understand the different evolutionary paths of Venus, Mars, and Earth, using numerical and analytic models of deformation
  • Analysis of gravity, topography, and magnetic field data to constrain the thermal evolution and history of the lithosphere using spatial and spectral methods as well as joint inversions.
  • Development of instruments to measure thermal properties and heat flow on other planets.
  • Emplacement mechanisms for planetary lava flows.


InSight Icon InSight
InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is a NASA Discovery Program mission that will place a single geophysical lander on Mars to study its deep interior.

The Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy mission (VERITAS) Icon The Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy mission (VERITAS)
VERITAS’s objectives are to reveal Venus' geologic history, determine how active it is, and search for the fingerprints of past and present water. The overarching question is 'How Earthlike is Venus?'

Professional Experience
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA (1992-present)
    • Deputy PI, InSight (2010 - Present)
    • Principal Scientist (1992 - Present)
    • Venus Exploration Analysis Group Co-Chair (2009 - 2011)
    • Mars '05 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Deputy Project Scientist (2001 - 2011)
    • Mars '09 Smart Lander Study Scientist (2001)
    • New Millennium, Deep Space 2, Mars Microprobe Project Scientist, JPL, (1995 - 2000)
    • Co-I, Champollion Physical Properties Probe (1995 - 1999)
    • Mars Micromission Study Scientist (1998 - 1999)
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Dept. of Earth, Atmos., and Planet. Sci., MIT, (1990-1992)

Selected Awards
  • Elected to International Academy of Astronautics, (2015)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, MSL Relay Operations Team (2013)
  • NASA Exceptional Achievement in Science Award: Recent Volcanism on Venus (2011)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award MRO Gravity Science Team (2011)
  • NASA Exceptional Achievement Award: MRO Science Planning (2007)
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers Nominee (1996)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, Magellan Science Group (1993)

Selected Publications
  1. Smrekar, S.E., E. R. Stofan, and N. Mueller, Venus: Surface and Interior, in Encyclopedia of the Solar System, 3rd edition, eds. T. Spohn, D. Breuer and T.V. Johnson, Elsevier, 2015.
  2. Banerdt, W.B., W. Dehart, R. Grimm, M. Grott, P. Logonne, and S.E. Smrekar, Probing the interior of planets with geophysical tools, pp.1185-1204, in Encyclopedia of the Solar System, 3rd edition, eds. T. Spohn, D. Breuer and T.V. Johnson, Elsevier, 2015.
  3. Piskorz, D., Elkins-Tanton, L.T., and Smrekar, S.E. Coronae Formation on Venus via Extension and Lithospheric Instability, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 119, 2568-2582, doi:10.1002/2014JE004636, 2014.
  4. Siegler, M., and S.E. Smrekar, Reinterpreting Apollo lunar heat flow using new constraints, DOI: 10.1002/2013JE004453, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 119, 47–63, 2014.
  5. Clegg, S.M. R. Wiens, A. K.  Misra, S. K. Sharma, J. Lambert, S. Bender, R. Newell, K. Nowak-Lovato, S. Smrekar, M. D. Dyar, S. Maurice, Planetary geochemical investigation using Raman and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, Appl Spectrosc. 68, 925-936, doi: 10.1366/13-07386, 2014.
  6. Diniega, S., S.E. Smrekar, S.W. Anderson, and E.R. Stofan, The influence of temperature-dependent viscosity on lava flow dynamics, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 118, 1516-1532, 10.1002/jgrf.20111, 2013.
  7. Milbury, C., G. Schubert, C. A. Raymond, S. E. Smrekar, and B. Langlais, The History of Mars' Dynamo as Revealed by Modeling Magnetic Anomalies near Tyrrhenus Mons and Syrtis Major, JGR-Planets, doi:10.1029/2012JE004099, 2012.
  8. Anderson, S.W., S.E. Smrekar, and E.R. Stofan, Tumulus development on lava flows: Insights from observations of active tumuli and analysis of formation models, Bull. Volc., doi:10.1007/s00445-012-0576-2, 2012. /li>
  9. Dehant, V., and 23 other authors, Future Mars geophysical observatories for understanding its internal structure, rotation, and evolution, Planet. Space Sci., doi:10.1016/j.pss.2011.10.016, 2012.
  10. Smrekar, S.E. and Sotin, C., Constraints on mantle plumes on Venus: Implications for volcanism and volatile history, Icarus, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2011.09.011, 2012
  11. Phillips, R.J., M.T. Zuber, S.E. Smrekar, and 15 authors, Massive CO2 ice deposits sequestered in the south polar Layered deposits of Mars, Science 21 April DOI:10.1126/science.1203091, 2011..
  12. Konopliv, A.S., S.W. Asmar, W. M. Folkner, O. Karatekin, D. C. Nunes, S. E. Smrekar, C. F. Yoder, and M. T. Zuber, Mars high resolution gravity fields from MRO, Mars seasonal gravity, and other dynamical parameters, Icarus, 211, 401-428, 2011.
  13. Nunes, D.C., S.E. Smrekar, B. Fisher, J. Plaut, J.W. Holt, J. W. Head, and R.J. Phillips, SHARAD, pedestal craters, and the lost Martian layers: initial assessments, 116, E04006, doi:10.1029/2010JE003690, 2011.
  14. Smrekar, S.E., E.R. Stofan, N. Mueller, A. Treiman, L. Elkins-Tanton, J. Helbert, G. Piccioni, and P. Drossart, Recent Hotspot Volcanism on Venus from VIRTIS emissivity data, Science, 328, p. 605-608, 2010.
  15. Smrekar, S.E., T. Hoogenboom, E.R. Stofan, and P. Martin, Gravity analysis of Parga and Hecate Chasmata: Implications for rift and coronae formation, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 115, E07010, doi:10.1029/2009JE003435, 2010.
  16. Phillips, R.J., M.T. Zuber, S.E. Smrekar, and 24 other authors, Mars North Polar Deposits: Stratigraphy, Age, and Geodynamical Response, Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1157546, 2008.
  17. Smrekar, S.E., L. Elkins-Tanton, J. Leitner, A. Lenardic, S. Mackwell, L. Moresi, C. Sotin, and E.R. Stofan, Tectonic and thermal evolution of Venus and the role of volatiles: Implications for understanding the terrestrial planets, in Exploring Venus as a Terrestrial Planet, eds. L.W. Esposito, E.R. Stofan, and T.E. Cravens, Geophys. Mono. 176, Am. Geophys. Un, Washington D.C, pp.43-72, 2007.
  18. Guest, A. and S.E. Smrekar, New constraints on the thermal and volatile evolution of Mars, Phys. Earth Planet. Int., 164, 161-176, 2007.
  19. Elkins-Tanton, L.T., S.E. Smrekar, P.C. Hess, and E.M. Parmentier, Volcanism and volatile recycling on a one-plate planet: Applications to Venus, J. Geophys. Res., 112, E04S06, doi:10.1029/2006JE002793, 2007.
  20. Milbury, C.A.E., S.E. Smrekar, C.A. Raymond, and G. Schubert, Lithospheric structure in the eastern region of Mars' dichotomy boundary, Planet. Space Sci., 55 (3), 280-288, 10.1016/j.pss.2006.03.009, 2007.
  21. Smrekar, S.E. and E.R. Stofan, Venus Surface and Interior, In Encyclopedia of the Solar System, eds. L.A. McFadden, P. Weissman, and T. Johnson, Academic Press/Elsevier, 2006.
  22. Hoogenboom, T., and S.E. Smrekar, Elastic thickness estimates for the northern lowlands of Mars, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 248, 830-839, 2006.
  23. Anderson, F. S. and S.E. Smrekar, Global mapping of crustal and lithospheric thickness on Venus, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 111, E8, E08006, doi: 10.1029/2004JE002395, 2006.
  24. Guest, A., and S. E. Smrekar, Relaxation of the Martian dichotomy boundary: Faulting in the Ismenius region and constraints on the early evolution of Mars, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 110, E12S25, doi:10.1029/2005JE002504, 2005.
  25. Stofan, E.R., and S.E. Smrekar, Large topographic rises, coronae, large flow fields and large volcanoes on Venus: Evidence for mantle plumes? In Plates, Plumes, and Paradigms, eds. G.R. Foulger, J.H. Natland, D.C. Presnall, and D.L. Anderson, Geol. Soc. Am. Special Vol. 388, pp. 861, 2005.
  26. Smrekar, S.E., G.E. McGill, C.A. Raymond, and A.M. Dimitriou, Geologic evolution of the Martian Dichotomy in the Ismenius area of Mars and implications for plains magnetization, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 109, doi: 10.1029/2004JE002260, 2004.
  27. Hoogenboom, T., S.E. Smrekar, F.S. Anderson, and G. Houseman, Admittance survey of Type 1 Coronae on Venus, J. Geophys. Res. Planets,109, E3, doi: 10.1029/2003JE002171, 2004.
  28. Smrekar, S.E., and E.R. Stofan, Effects of lithospheric properties on the formation of Type 2 Corona on Venus, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 108, (E8), doi: 10.1029/2002JE001930, 2003.
  29. Glaze, L.S., E.R. Stofan, S.E. Smrekar, S.M. Bologa, Insights into corona formation through statistical analyses, J. Geophys. Res., 107 (E12), doi:10.1029/2002JE001904, 2002.
  30. Smrekar, S.E., R. Lorenz, and M. Urquhart, The Deep Space 2 penetrator design and use for accelerometry and estimation of thermal conductivity, In Planetary Penetrometry, N. I. Kömle, G. Kargl, A. J. Ball, R. D. Lorenz (Eds.), Austrian National Academy, pp. 264, 2001.
  31. Smrekar, S.E., and E.R. Stofan, Origin of corona-dominated topographic rises on Venus, Icarus,139, 100-116, 1999.
  32. Smrekar, S., D. Catling, R. Lorenz, J. Magalhães, M. Meyer, J. Moersch, P. Morgan, B. Murray, M. Presley-Holloway, A. Yen, and A. Zent, Deep Space 2: The Mars Microprobe Mission, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 104, 27,013-27,030, 1999.
  33. Anderson, F. S., and S. E. Smrekar, Tectonic effects of climate change on Venus, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 104, 30,743-30,756, 1999.
  34. Smrekar, S.E., and E.R. Stofan, Coupled upwelling and delamination: A new mechanism for coronae formation and heat loss on Venus, Science, 277, 1289-1294, 1997. Smrekar, S.E., E.R. Stofan, W.S. Kiefer, Large volcanic rises on Venus, in Venus II, eds. S.W. Brougher, D.M. Hunten, and R.J. Phillips, Univ. of Arizona Press, Tucson, pp. 845-878, 1997.

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