Edwin KiteAssistant Professor

Research Focus:
Planetary science

Research Interests

  • Mars. Once you start thinking about the Early Mars climate problem it is hard to think about anything else. My main approach is to relate pre-modern, but still relatively young, geomorphic features to local inputs of water and energy. The hope is to provide insight into ancient features whose geological context is less clear. I am also interested in understanding the formation of intra-crater mountains and inter-canyon mountains on Mars, as well as reconstructing the sedimentary and diagenetic processes that shaped Mars' sedimentary basins.
  • Europa and Enceladus. I am extremely interested in tectonics, surface-interior exchange, and potential habitability for these ice moons.
  • Earth history & geobiology. Long-term climate stability. Geoneutrinos as a probe of deep-time thermal history. Planetary thermostats and planetary habitability.
  • Extrasolar planets. Thermal evolution of rocky planets; direct detections and phase curves. Habitability of volatile-rich planets. Substellar magma ponds. Climate feedbacks on tidally-locked planets.

Selected Publications

  • Kite, Fegley, Schaefer, and Gaidos, Atmosphere-interior exchange on hot rocky exoplanets, accepted by Astrophysical Journal. [pdf]
  • Kite and Rubin, Sustained eruptions on Enceladus explained by turbulent dissipation in tiger stripes, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2016. [arxiv]
  • Kite, Howard, Lucas, and Lewis, Resolving the era of river-forming climates on Mars using stratigraphic logs of river-deposit dimensions, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2015. [pdf]
  • Kite, Williams, Lucas, and Aharonson, Low paleopressure of the martian atmosphere estimated from the size distribution of ancient craters, Nature Geoscience, 2014. [paper] 
  • Kite, Halevy, Kahre, Wolff, and Manga, Seasonal melting and the formation of sedimentary rocks on Mars, with predictions for the Gale Crater mound, Icarus, 2013. [pdf]