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    Department of Geology and Geophysics



Research Faculty

Martha W. Schaefer, Research Faculty

Mailing Address:
Department of Geology and Geophysics
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Office: E305 Howe-Russell
Telephone: (225) 578-5878
Fax: (225) 578-2302

Current Research Interests

Uncovering the northern plains and dichotomy boundary of Mars

The northern plains and dichotomy boundary of Mars are very interesting regions, and the most likely places on Mars to find evidence of large volumes of water, past or present. Using spectroscopic and imaging data from recent Mars probes such as Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey, Collaborators at the University of Hawaii, the University of Central Florida, and I are studying the history of water and aqueous weathering on Mars.

Temperature-dependent Mössbauer spectroscopy of Mars-analog minerals

Several space probes (2 American and one British) are already launched and are expected to arrive at Mars at around the new year (2004). There are Mössbauer spectrometers on these landers, which will be used to determine the iron mineralogy of the surface materials. My collaborator at Mt. Holyoke College and I are involved in creating a database of Mössbauer spectra that can be used to interpret these spacecraft data.

  • S.B., Physics, 1979, M. I. T.
  • S.B., Earth and Planetary Science, 1979, M. I. T.
  • Ph.D., Planetary Science, 1983, M. I. T.
Selected Recent Publications

Velocity scales for Mars Mössbauer data, David G. Agresti, M. Darby Dyar, and Martha W.
Schaefer, Hyperfine Interactions (2007) DOI: 10.1007/s10751-006-9472-5.

Worlds Apart, A Textbook in Planetary Sciences, G. J. Consolmagno, S. J., M. W. Schaefer, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 323 pp. (1994).

Mineral Spectroscopy: A Tribute to Roger G. Burns, Geochemical Society Special Publication No. 5, eds. M. D. Dyar, M. W. Schaefer, and C. McCammon, (1996).

Mössbauer spectroscopy on the surface of Mars: constraints and expectations, M. D. Dyar and M. W. Schaefer, Earth and Planet. Sci. Lett., submitted (2003).

Mössbauer spectroscopy on the Martian surface: Predictions, M. W. Schaefer, M. D. Dyar, LPSC XXXIV, abs. #1381 (2003).

Mössbauer spectroscopy of Mars-analog rocks from an acid saline sedimentary environment, M. W. Schaefer, M. D. Dyar, and K. C. Benson, LPSC XXXIV, abs. #1690 (2003).

Nereid Has Complex Large-Amplitude Photometric Variability, B. E. Schaefer, M. W. Schaefer, Icarus 146, 541-555 (2000).

Fe3+ distribution in oxidized olivine: A synchrotron micro-XANES study, M. D. Dyar, J. S. Delaney, S. R. Sutton, M. W. Schaefer, Am. Mineralogist 83 1361-1365 (1998).

Are there abiotically-precipitated iron-formations on Mars?, M. W. Schaefer, in Mineral Spectroscopy: A Tribute to Roger G. Burns, Geochemical Society Special Publication No. 5, pp. 381-393 (1996).

Aqueous geochemistry on early Mars, M. W. Schaefer, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 57, 4619-4625 (1993).

Volcanic recycling of carbonates on Mars, M. W. Schaefer, Geophysical Review Letters 20, 827-830 (1993).

Geochemical evolution of the northern plains of Mars: Early hydrosphere, carbonate development, and present morphology, M. W. Schaefer, JGR 95, 14291-14300 (1990).

Karst on Mars? The thumbprint terrain, M. W. Schaefer, Icarus 83, 244-247 (1990).

Large-amplitude photometric variations of Nereid, M. W. Schaefer, B. E. Schaefer, Nature 333, 436-438 (1988).