Michael M. Sori
Associate Staff Scientist at University of Arizona (Assistant Professor at Purdue University starting in Fall 2020)
References available upon request.
Geophysics, Surface processes, Gravity, Topography, Ices, Volcanism, Impacts
MIT, Planetary Science
Duke University, Mathematics
Duke University, Physics
(Advisor: Maria Zuber)
Assistant Professor, Purdue University
Associate staff scientist, University of Arizona
Postdoctoral research associate, University of Arizona
Worked with Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, GRAIL, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and Dawn NASA spacecraft missions
Iceland Field Workshop on active lava-water interactions
Field Training and Research Program at Meteor Crater
Internship at Hollifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility with Ken Carter, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Undergraduate research assistant at Duke Free Electron Laser Laboratory with Ying Wu, Duke University
As principal investigator (PI):
As co-investigator (Co-I):
Terrestrial planet evolution through gravity science, NASA PI Launchpad Workshop
Ice deposits in polar craters on Mars, NASA Mars Data Analysis Program (MDAP), $287,465
Assessing dwarf planet Ceres' past and present habitability potential, NASA Planetary Mission Concept Studies
University of Arizona Outstanding Postdoctoral Scholar Award
Early Career travel award, NASA Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG)
MIT Grayce B. Kerr Fellowship
NASA RHG Exceptional Achievement for Science Award, LRO Science Mission Team
MIT Robert R. Shrock Fellowship
LPSC session chair, award judge
NASA review panel member, multiple programs
Journal article reviewer for Nature Geoscience, Nature Astronomy, Geology, JGR: Planets, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., Icarus, Adv. in Space Research, J. Glaciology
Review committee member, University of Arizona postdoctoral awards
NASA advisory committee member, Science Definition Team for Ceres mission studies
Guest editor, Icarus special issue for Mars Polar Science
AGU session convener, Cryospheres of terrestrial planets
Secretary, IAVCEI/IACS joint commission on volcano-ice interactions
Postdoctoral representative to the faculty, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona
MIT EAPS Government Student Advisory Council, Graduate student committee member
MIT EAPS Planetary Internal Colloquium Series, Organizer
MIT EAPS Student Advisory Council, President
MIT EAPS Student Advisory Council, Orientation Chair
Teaching and Mentorship
External thesis committee member, Sean O'Hara, University of Illinois at Chicago
Guest lecturer, University of Arizona, PTYS 411, Geology and Geophysics of the Solar System
Guest lecturer, University of Arizona, PTYS 554, Evolution of Planetary Surfaces
Advised MIT undergraduate student researcher Elizabeth Bailey
Mentored MIT graduate student researchers Matthieu Talpe, Anton Ermakov, Zhenliang Tien, and Neesha Schnepf
Teaching Assistant, MIT Course 12.093, Field Course (Paleomagnetic sample collection in the Western Himalayas)
Teaching Assistant, MIT Course 12.002, Introduction to Geophysics and Planetary Science
Apr 22, 2019
Mar 6, 2019
Feb 21, 2019
Jan 8, 2019
Mar 1, 2018
Jan 23, 2018
Sep 28, 2017
Mar 9, 2017
Jan 31, 2017
Nov 7, 2016
Feb 9, 2016
Oct 30, 2014
Dec 5, 2013
Ceres as a laboratory for cryovolcanism and other planetary processes, Purdue University
Ceres as a laboratory for cryovolcanism and other planetary processes, Rutgers University
Ceres as a laboratory for cryovolcanism and other planetary processes, MIT
Ceres as a laboratory for cryovolcanism and other planetary processes, Georgia Tech
Ancient geological histories of the crusts of the Moon and Mercury from geophysics, University of Illinois at Chicago
The early histories of the Moon and Mercury revealed by gravity, CalTech
Mars climate and ice: Accumulation of the polar layered deposits, University of Bern
Decoding the geological histories encrypted into ices on Mars and Ceres, Brown University
Dynamic ices in the outer solar system, CalTech
Ices reveal planetary histories throughout the solar system, Southwest Research Institute
Quantifying the importance of ice flow on Mars, MIT
The nature of isostasy in the lunar highlands and implications for mantle structure, University of Iceland
A procedure for testing the orbital tuning of the Martian polar layered deposits, Brown University
Public engagement and Press
Steward Public Evening Lecture, University of Arizona
Press for co-first-author study on Mars polar water (publication  below), including from Newsweek, Mashable, and others
Press for first-author study on Ceres cryovolcanism (publication  below), including from National Geographic, Discover Magazine, and others
Press for first-author study on Mercury's crust (publication  below), including from Newsweek, Forbes, and others
Invited lectures, several Arizona amateur astronomy clubs
Press for first-author study on Ceres cryovolcanoes (publication  below), including from Popular Science, Gizmodo, and others
Presentations at the Boston Museum of Science, including the "Mars and Beyond" event and individual lectures
Presentations to Houston-area middle school classes during LPSC (Lunar and Planetary Science Conference)
Presentations at the Boston Debate League (student club for high scchool students) at the Federal Reserve Bank
 Scully, J.E.C., P.M. Schenk, J.C. Castillo-Rogez, D.L. Buczkowski, D.A. Williams, J.H. Pasckert, K.D. Duarte, V.N. Romero, L.C. Quick, M.M. Sori, M.E. Landis, C.A. Raymond, A. Neesemann, B.E. Schmidt, H.G. Sizemore, and C.T. Russell (2019), The varied sources of Occator Craters' faculae-forming brines, emplaced via brine effusion in a hydrothermal system, in revision.
 Park, R.S., A.S. Konopliv, A.I. Ermakov, J.C. Castillo-Rogez, R.R. Fu, K.H.G. Hughson, T.H. Prettyman, C.A. Raymond, J.E.C. Scully, H.G. Sizemore, M.M. Sori, A.T. Vaughan, G. Mitri, B.E. Schmidt, C.T. Russell (2019), The crust of Ceres as revealed by Dawn's high-resolution gravity data, in revision.
 Hamilton, C.W., S.P. Scheidt, M.M. Sori, A.P. de Wet, J.E. Blacher, P.J. Mouginis-Mark, S. Self, J.R. Zimbelman, W.B. Garry, P.L. Whelley, and L.S. Crumpler (2019), Lava-rise plateaus and inflation pits within the McCartys flow-field, New Mexico: An analog for pāhoehoe-like lava flows on planetary surfaces, in revision.
 Sori, M.M, J. Bapst, P. Becerra, and S. Byrne (2019), Islands of ice on Mars and Pluto, J. Geophys. Res. Planets 124.
 Bland, M.T., D.L. Buczkowski, H.G. Sizemore, A.I. Ermakov, S.D. King, M.M. Sori, C.A. Raymond, J.C. Castillo-Rogez, and C.T. Russell (2019), Dome formation on Ceres by solid-state flow analogous to terrestrial salt tectonics, Nature Geoscience 12, 797–801.
 Johnson, B.C., M.M. Sori, and A.J. Evans (2019), Ferrovolcanism on metal worlds and the origin of pallasites, Nature Astronomy 3.
 Becerra, P., M.M. Sori, N. Thomas, A. Pommerol, S.S. Sutton, S. Tulyakov, E. Simioni, and G. Cremonese (2019), Timescales of the climate record in the south polar ice cap of Mars, Geophys. Res. Lett. 46, 7268–7277 (cover image).
 Sori, M.M.* and A.M. Bramson* (2019), Water on Mars, with a grain of salt: Local heat anomalies are required for basal melting of ice at the south pole today, Geophysical Research Letters 46, 1222–1231 (*Both authors contributed equally).
 Sizemore, H.G., B.E. Schmidt, D.A. Buczkowski, M.M. Sori, J.C. Castillo-Rogez, D.C. Berman, C. Ahrens, H.T. Chilton, K.H.G. Hughson, K. Duarte, K.A. Otto, M.T. Bland, A. Neesemann, J.E.C. Scully, D.A. Crown, S.C. Mest, D.A. Williams, T. Platz, P. Schenk, M.E. Landis, S. Marchi, N. Schorghofer, L.C. Quick, T.H. Prettyman, M.C. De Sanctis, A. Nass, G. Thangjam, A. Nathues, C.T. Russell, and C.A. Raymond (2019), A global inventory of ice-related morphological features on dwarf planet Ceres: Implications for the evolution and current state of the cryosphere, J. Geophys. Res. Planets 124, 1650–1689.
 Ruesch, O., L.C. Quick, M.E. Landis, M.M. Sori, O. Cadek, P. Brož, K.A. Otto, M.T. Bland, S. Byrne, J.C. Castillo-Rogez, H. Hiesinger, R. Jaumann, K. Krohn, L.A. McFadden, A. Nathues, A. Neesemann, F. Preusker, T. Roatsch, P.M. Schenk, J.E.C. Scully, M.V. Sykes, D.A. Williams, C.A. Raymond, and C.T. Russell (2019), Bright carbonate surfaces on Ceres as remnants of salt-rich water fountains, Icarus 320, 39–48.
 Sori, M.M., H.G. Sizemore, S. Byrne, A.M. Bramson, M.T. Bland, N.T. Stein, and C.T. Russell (2018), Cryovolcanic rates on Ceres revealed by topography, Nature Astronomy 2, 946–950. Featured in Nature Astronomy News & Views.
 Hamilton, C.W., P.J. Mouginis-Mark, M.M. Sori, S.P. Scheidt, and A.M. Bramson (2018), Episodes of aqueous flooding and volcanism from geologically recent outflow channels on Mars, J. Geophys. Res. Planets 123, 1484–1510.
 Sori, M.M. (2018), A thin, dense crust for Mercury, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 489, 92–99.
 Sori, M.M., P.B. James, B.C. Johnson, J.M. Soderblom, S.C. Solomon, M.A. Wieczorek, and M.T. Zuber (2018), Isostatic compensation of the lunar highlands, J. Geophys. Res. Planets 123, 646–665.
 Sori, M.M., J.N. Bapst, A.M. Bramson, S. Byrne, and M.E. Landis, A Wunda-full world? Carbon dioxide ice deposits on Umbriel and other Uranian Moons (2017), Icarus 290, 1–13.
 Sori, M.M., S. Byrne, M.T. Bland, A.M. Bramson, A.I. Ermakov, C.W. Hamilton, K.A. Otto, O. Ruesch, and C.T. Russell (2017), The vanishing cryovolcanoes of Ceres, Geophysical Research Letters 44, 1243–1250.
 Becerra, P., M.M. Sori, and S. Byrne (2017), Signals of astronomical forcing in the exposure topography of Mars’ north polar layered deposits, Geophysical Research Letters 44, 62–70.
 Smith, D.E., M.T. Zuber, G.A. Neumann, E. Mazarico, F.G. Lemoine, J.W. Head, P.G. Lucey, O. Aharonson, M.S. Robinson, X. Sun, M.H. Torrence, M.K. Barker, J. Oberst, T.C. Duxbury, D. Mao, O.S. Barnouin, K. Jha, D.D. Rowlands, S. Goossens, D. Baker, S. Bauer, P. Gläser, M. Lemelin, M. Rosenburg, M.M. Sori, J. Whitten, and T. Mcclanahan (2017), Summary of the results from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter after seven years in lunar orbit, Icarus 283, 70–91.
 Becerra, P., S. Byrne, M.M. Sori, S. Sutton, and K.E. Herkenhoff (2016), Stratigraphy of the north polar layered deposits of Mars using high-resolution topography, J. Geophys Res. Planets 121, 1445–1471.
 Sori, M.M., M.T. Zuber, J.W. Head, and W.S. Kiefer (2016), Gravitational search for cryptovolcanism on the Moon: Evidence for large volumes of early igneous activity, Icarus 273, 284–295.
 Sori, M.M., S. Byrne, C.W. Hamilton, and M.E. Landis (2016), Viscous flow rates of icy topography on the North Polar Layered Deposits of Mars, Geophysical Research Letters 43, 541–549.
 Neumann, G.A., M.T. Zuber, D.E. Smith, M.A. Wieczorek, J.W. Head, D.M.H. Baker, S.C. Solomon, D.E. Smith, F.G. Lemoine, E. Mazarico, T.J. Sabaka, S. Goossens, H.J. Melosh, R.J. Phillips, S.W. Asmar, A.S. Konopliv, J.G. Williams, M.M. Sori, J.M. Soderblom, K. Miljkovic, J.C. Andrews-Hanna, F. Nimmo, and W.S. Kiefer (2015), Lunar Impact Basins Revealed by Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory Measurements, Science Advances 1.
 Soderblom J.M., A.J. Evans, B.C. Johnson, H.J. Melosh, K. Miljkovic, R.J. Phillips, J.C. Andrews-Hanna, C.J. Bierson, J.W. Head, C. Milbury, G.A. Neumann, F. Nimmo, D.E. Smith, S.C. Solomon, M.M. Sori, M.A. Wieczorek, and M.T. Zuber (2015), The fractured Moon: Production and saturation of porosity in the lunar highlands from impact cratering, Geophysical Research Letters 42, 6939–6944.
 Sori, M.M., J.T. Perron, P. Huybers, and O. Aharonson (2014), A procedure for testing the significance of orbital tuning of the Martian polar layered deposits, Icarus 235, 136–146.
 Sori, M.M. (2018), Ice volcanoes in the asteroid belt, Nature Astronomy “Behind the paper” series.
 Sori, M.M. and A.J. Brown (2018), Introduction: The 6th special issue of Mars Polar Science, Icarus 308, 1.
 Sori, M.M. (2017), A Wunda-full world? Carbon dioxide ice deposits on Umbriel and other moons of Uranus, International Association for Geomorphology Planetary Geomorphology Image of the Month.
 Sori, M.M. (2014), Judging a planet by its cover: Insight into lunar crustal structure and martian climate history from surface features, Ph.D. thesis, MIT.
 Sori, M.M. (2008), Study and characterization of a gamma ray imaging system, Undergraduate senior thesis, Duke University.
Conference Presentations (first author only)
 Sori, M.M., A.M. Bramson, S. Byrne, P.B. James, and J.T. Keane (2020), Gravitational constraints on mid-latitude ice... and the need for more gravity data at Mars, 7th International Mars Polar Science Conference, 6026.
 Sori, M.M., J. Bapst, P. Becerra, and S. Byrne (2019), The paleoclimate record of outlier ice deposits near the Martian poles, LPSC 50th, 1181.
 Sori, M.M.* and A.M. Bramson* (2019), A story of water, ice, and fire on Mars: Conditions for generating liquid water under the south polar layered deposits, LPSC 50th, 1073. (*Both authors contributed equally)
 Sori, M.M., M.T. Bland, S. Byrne, L.C. Quick, C.A. Raymond, J. Castillo-Rogez, P. Schenk, J. Scully, H.G. Sizemore, and M.V. Sykes (2018), Hanging out on Ceres is stressful: overhanging cliffs reveal strong crust, AGU Fall Meeting, 461549.
 Sori, M.M., H.G. Sizemore, S. Byrne, A.M. Bramson, M.T. Bland, N.T. Stein, C.T. Russell, and C.A. Raymond (2018), Cryovolcanic history of Ceres from topography, Cryovolcanism in the Solar System Workshop, 2007.
 Sori, M.M., H.G. Sizemore, S. Byrne, A.M. Bramson, M.T. Bland, and C.T. Russell (2018), Ceres’ cryovolcanic history, LPSC 49th, 1628.
 Sori, M.M. (2018), Mercury’s thin crust, LPSC 49th, 1048.
 Sori, M.M., J. Bapst, and S. Byrne (2017), Icy islands reveal similar volatile behavior on Pluto and Mars, AGU Fall Meeting, 227639.
 Sori, M.M., S. Byrne, and A.M. Bramson (2017), Present-day flow rates of mid-latitude glaciers on Mars, EPSC, 2017-382.
 Sori, M.M. and C.W. Hamilton (2017), The maximum size of inflated flood lavas: implications for the origin and evolution of Athabasca Valles, Mars, EPSC, 2017-390.
 Sori, M.M., S. Byrne, M.T. Bland, A.M. Bramson, A.I. Ermakov, C.W. Hamilton, K.A. Otto, O. Ruesch, and C.T. Russell (2017), The vanishing cryovolcanoes of Ceres, LPSC 48th, 1116.
 Sori, M.M., M.E. Landis, J. Bapst, A.M. Bramson, S. Byrne, V. Reddy, and M.K. Shepard (2017), Ice stability on Psyche and implications for the planetary core hypothesis, LPSC 48th, 2550.
 Sori, M.M., S. Byrne, C.W. Hamilton, and M.E. Landis (2016), The importance of ice flow at the north pole of Mars, 6th International Mars Polar Science conference, 6001.
 Sori, M.M., C.W. Hamilton, E. Lev, and S. Scheidt (2016), Numerical modeling of lava flow behavior on Earth and Mars: A multi-layer rheological approach, LPSC 47th, 2909.
 Sori, M.M., S. Byrne, J.N. Bapst, P. Becerra, A.M. Bramson, and M.E. Landis (2016), A Wunda-full world? Testing the plausibility of carbon dioxide frost on Umbriel, LPSC 47th, 1053.
 Sori, M.M., S. Byrne, C.W. Hamilton, and M.E. Landis (2015), Is viscous flow important at the Martian poles? LPSC 46th, 1541.
 Sori, M.M. and M.T. Zuber (2014), The nature of lunar isostasy, LPSC 45th, 1630.
 Sori, M.M., E.A. Bailey, J.T. Perron, P.J. Huybers, O. Aharonson, and A. Limaye (2013), Ages and accumulation rates of the martian polar layered deposits estimated from orbital tuning, AGU Fall Meeting.
 Sori, M.M., M.T. Zuber, J.W. Head, and W.S. Kiefer (2013), GRAIL search for cryptomaria, LPSC 44th, 2755.
 Sori, M.M. and M.T. Zuber (2012), Gravitational signatures of the Moon’s near-surface features from GRAIL, AGU Fall Meeting.
 Sori, M.M. and M.T. Zuber (2012), Anomalous shallowing of lunar impact craters in the South Pole-Aitken basin from Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) observations, LPSC 43rd, 2707.
 Sori, M.M., J.T. Perron, P. Huybers, and O. Aharonson (2011), Preservation of orbital signals in the Martian polar layered deposits: A statistical approach, 5th International Mars Polar Science conference, 6063.
 Sori, M.M. and M.T. Zuber (2011), Investigation of the relationship between subsurface structure and crater morphology of lunar impact craters from Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) observations, LPSC 42nd, 2694.
 Sori, M.M., J.T. Perron, P. Huybers, and O. Aharonson (2011), Distinguishing orbital signals from stochastic variability in the martian polar layered deposits, LPSC 42nd, 2461.
 Sori, M.M. and M.T. Zuber (2010), Preliminary measurement of depth-to-diameter ratios of lunar craters in the transition regime between complex craters and multiringed basins, LPSC 41st, 2202.