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Gordon Osinski: Impact ejecta and melt emplacement on the Moon (and other terrestrial planets)

April 19, 2011 @ 9:00 am PDT

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Title: Impact ejecta and melt emplacement on the Moon (and other terrestrial


OVERVIEW: Impact cratering is one of the most fundamental processes responsible for shaping the surfaces of solid planetary bodies. One of the principal characteristics of impact events is the formation and emplacement of ejecta deposits. An understanding of impact ejecta deposits, and their components, is critical for the results of planetary exploration; particularly future sample return missions. Their compositional and physical characteristics provide fundamental information about the sub-surface of planets. Current models of ejecta emplacement, however, do not account for several important observations of planetary ejecta deposits. Further, there is also no universal model for the origin and emplacement of ejecta on different planetary bodies. Here, I present a new working model for the origin and emplacement of ejecta on the terrestrial planets, in which ejecta is emplaced in a multi-stage process.

SPEAKER BIO: Dr. Gordon “Oz” Osinski is the NSERC/MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd/Canadian Space Agency Industrial Research Chair in Planetary Geology in the Departments of Earth Sciences and Physics and Astronomy at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. He completed his PhD in geology in 2004 from the University of New Brunswick (UNB), Fredericton. For this he was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal for Academic Excellence in Graduate Studies. His PhD thesis focused on the geology of the Haughton impact crater and surrounding terrains on Devon Island in the Canadian High Arctic – a unique planetary analogue site. He has spent 12 consecutive summers conducting research at this site. He has also been on two expeditions to Antarctica as part of the Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET). Dr. Osinski’s research interests are diverse and interdisciplinary in nature. His main area of research focuses on understanding impact cratering as a planetary geological process, on the Earth, Moon and Mars. His research covers the tectonics of impact crater formation, the generation of impact melts, emplacement of ejecta, and post-impact processes such as impact-associated hydrothermal activity. He currently has 4 graduate students and a post-doctoral fellow conducting research projects focusing on lunar geosciences, including an investigation of the lunar granulite meteorite NWA 3163, the origin and emplacement of impact melt ponds around lunar crater rims, the geology of the Schrödinger multi-ring impact basin, and a lunar GPRspan> project that involves modeling and analogue studies at the Haughton and Mistastin impact structures, Canada. He has published more than 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals and special papers and has given over 50 conference presentations. For this research on impact cratering, he has been awarded the 2009 Nier Prize of the Meteoritical Society.

Dr. Osinski is also involved in several ongoing exploration-related activities, including developing strategies and techniques for lunar surface operations, and working on concepts for lunar mobility systems. He is Deputy Director of the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration (http://planetsci.uwo.ca), is the Principal Investigator of the Canadian Lunar Research Network (http://clrn.uwo.ca), an Affiliate member of the NASA Lunar Science Institute, Chair of the Geological Association of Canada Planetary Sciences Division (http://uwo.ca/earth/GACPSD/), and is an Associate Editor of the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science. He has been involved in several recent projects with MDA and CSA, including chairing Science Working Groups for the Manned Lunar Mission and International Lunar Network concept studies and is the Science Lead for the Manipulator Mounted Microscope (TEMMI) and the Exploration Technology Deployment exploration prototyping projects. He is also a Co-I on the New Frontiers MoonRise mission and the Canadian Science Lead on the ongoing MoonRise Manipulator System Phase A1 Study. Dr. Osinski also has extensive experience conducting analogue activities funded by the CSA; he has been a PI on 6 Canadian Analogue Research Network (CARN) grants and, most recently, an Analogue Mission entitled “Impacts and Ice (I2): A lunar sample return mission to the South Pole–Aitken Basin”.


April 19, 2011
9:00 am PDT
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