Edwin KiteAssistant Professor

Research Focus:
Planetary science
HGS 467

Research Interests

  • Mars. Once you start thinking about the Early Mars climate problem it is hard to think about anything else. My approach combines geologic data analysis with a hierarchy of climate models. For example, ongoing and past work relates pre-modern, but still relatively young, geomorphic features to local inputs of water and energy. This provides insights into ancient features whose geological context is less clear. I am also interested in understanding the formation of intra-crater mountains and intra-canyon mountains on Mars; reconstructing the sedimentary and diagenetic processes that shaped Mars' sedimentary basins and cratering record; and the bombardment compass for Mars.
  • Rocky exoplanets. I care deeply about atmosphere-interior exchange and the physical and chemical processes underpinning habitability for rocky exoplanets. Examples: Thermal evolution of rocky planets. Habitability of volatile-rich planets. Substellar magma ponds. Climate feedbacks on tidally-locked planets. The transition from primary atmospheres to secondary atmospheres.
  • Europa and Enceladus. I am extremely interested in tectonics, surface-interior exchange, and potential habitability for these ice moons.

Selected Publications (see for full list)

  • Kite, Mayer, Wilson, Davis, Lucas, and Stucky de Quay, Persistence of intense, climate-driven runoff late in Mars history, Science Advances, 2019. [paper] 
  • KiteGeologic constraints on Early Mars climate, Space Science Reviews, 2019. [pdf] 
  • de Kleer, Nimmo, and KiteVariability in Io's volcanism on timescales of periodic orbital changes, Geophysical Research Letters, 2019. [pdf] 
  • Kite and Ford, Habitability of exoplanet waterworlds, Astrophysical Journal, 2018. [pdf] 
  • Holo, Kite, and Robbins, Mars obliquity history constrained by elliptic crater orientations, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2018. [pdf] 
  • Seybold, Kite, and Kirchner, Branching geometry of valley networks on Mars and Earth and its implications for early Martian climate, Science Advances, 2018. [pdf] 
  • Kite, Gao, Goldblatt, Mischna, Mayer, and Yung, Methane bursts as a trigger for intermittent lake-forming climates on post-Noachian Mars, Nature Geoscience, 2017. [paper] 
  • Kite, Sneed, Mayer, and Wilson, Persistent or repeated surface habitability on Mars during the Late Hesperian - Amazonian, Geophysical Research Letters, 2017. [pdf] 
  • Kite and Mayer, Mars sedimentary rock erosion rates constrained using crater counts, with applications to organic-matter preservation and to the global dust cycle, Icarus, 2017. [pdf]
  • Kite, Fegley, Schaefer, and Gaidos, Atmosphere-interior exchange on hot rocky exoplanets, Astrophysical Journal, 2016. [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, Sneed, Mayer, Lewis, Michaels, Hore, and Rafkin, Evolution of major sedimentary mounds on Mars, JGR-Planets, 2016. [pdf]
  • 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, Lewis, Lamb, Newman, and Richardson, Growth and form of the mound in Gale Crater, Mars: Slope-wind enhanced erosion and transport, Geology, 2013. [pdf]
  • 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]