A major interest is in the formation and evolution of volcanic centers and edifices, the formation and evolution of magma reservoirs, and the interaction of growing volcanoes with the surrounding substrate through loading and instability development. We have been examining terrestrial analogs to constrain planetary volcanic processes and we have been focusing on Kilauea, Hawaii, and related eruptions. Recent work includes the assessment of dike emplacement in the East Rift Zone, the analysis of the eruption of Kilauea Iki, the emplacement of dikes in the walls of the Kilauea caldera, and the link to understanding planetary volcanic processes. I continue to work with Lionel Wilson (Visiting Professor, University of Lancaster, England) to develop theoretical predictions on the ascent and eruption of magma, and the way in which eruption styles differ, and to compare these to the nature of observed volcanic surface deposits on the Earth and planets. We have been working on treatments of the Earth, Moon, Venus, and an overview of theoretical predictions and observations for Mars was recently published in Reviews of Geophysics.
Tectonic features such as linear rilles and graben are being analyzed to assess the role of volcanism and plutonism in their production, and to distinguish these processes from other tectonic processes producing similar features. We are looking at the formation of surface deformation through dike emplacement and how to use this to determine regional and global stress fields on the planets. Analysis of the possibility of subduction on Venus includes assessment of the fate of underthrust slabs and other instabilities in the crust and depleted mantle layer. We are also analyzing the tectonics of the icy satellites of the outer planets, with particular emphasis on the breakup of the dark terrain on Ganymede and the emplacement and deformation of the light terrain.
Dr. Alexander "Sasha" Basilevsky, the director of the Laboratory for Comparative Planetology of the Vernadsky Institute in Moscow, has continued to visit Brown and pursue his research mapping the areas surrounding the very successful Venera landers that descended to the surface of Venus several years ago. In addition, we have been mapping the stratigraphy of over thirty sites on Venus and combining these into a global stratigraphic correlation chart which is providing interesting information on the recent sequence of events in the apparently catastrophic history of Venus.
Recent publications summarize progress on this research.
The 38th Brown/Vernadsky Microsymposium will tale place in Moscow, in October 2003. We have seen much change since the 18th Microsymposium in 1993, when we experienced a major curfew, roadblocks, and saw a still-smoldering White House. In addition to the great excitement and all the stories that everyone has to tell, a lot of great scientific interaction will take place. Microsymposium 37, "Mars: Formation and evolution of the Late Amazonian latitude-dependent ice-rich mantling layer," was held in conjunction with the 34th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, Texas in March 2003.
Participating scientist activities on the Russian Mars 96 and Mars 98 missions include being a co-investigator on the German camera. We are currently working on several activities concerning target selection and coordination with other experiments.
The phenomenally successful Magellan mission successfully mapped over 95% of the surface of Venus and acquired high-resolution gravity data before terminating in the Fall of 1994. We have been active in all phases of this mission and are now engaged in the analysis of data.
Involvement with the Mars Surveyor Mission includes participation in the Mars Orbiting Laser Altimeter experiment, which will acquire a global topographic map of Mars which will be extremely useful in the study of geological processes and the internal structure of the planet.
Basilevsky, A. T. and J. W. Head III. Venus: Timing and rates of geologic activity
Geology November 2002, v. 30, no. 11, p. 1015-1018.
Hiesinger, H., and J. W. Head. Topography and morphology of the Argyre Basin,Mars:implications for its geologic and hydrologic history,
Planetary and Space Sci. 50 (2002) 939-981.
Head, J., et al. Evidence for Europa-like tectonic resurfacing styles on Ganymede
Geophys. Res. Lett., 29 (24), 2151, doi:10.1029/2002GL015961, 2002.
Head, J. W., M. A. Kreslavsky and S. Pratt. Northern lowlands of Mars: Evidence for widespread volcanic flooding and tectonic deformation in the Hesperian Period,
J. Geophys. Res., 107(E1), 10.1029/2000JE001445, 2002.
Wilson, L and J. W. Head III. Deep Submarine Pyroclastic Eruptions: Theory and Predicted Landforms and Deposits,
J. Volcanology and Geothermal Res. 121 (2003) pp 155-193.
I collect Soviet and other international space memorabilia, and beer bottles. The explosive development of microbreweries has, regrettably, caused me to seriously question whether I will ever achieve a life-long goal of tasting one of every type of beer brewed in the inner solar system, but the quest goes on. I like to run, travel, read, and listen to music (Spin Doctors, Vivaldi, k.d. lang, U2, Bach, Chrissie Hynde, Henry Rollins, Mozart, and Stone Temple Pilots). Recent reading includes:
Impossible Extinction: Natural Catastrophes and the Supremacy of the Microbial World Charles S. Cockell
Mapping Human History: Genes, Race, and Our Common Origins Steve Olsen.
Farther Than Any Man: The Rise and Fall of Captain James Cook, Martin Dugard.
The Company I kept; The Autobiography of a Geologist, John Rodgers, Transactions Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, 58, 224 p., 2001.
The Civil War, Kenneth C. Davis.
Njal's Saga, Translated from Icelandic by M. Magnusson and H. Palsson.
Australia: The New New World, Granta.
Perils of a Restless Planet, Ernest Zebrowski
Roads to Space: An Oral History of the Soviet Space Program
History of Iceland From the Settlement to the Present Day, Jon R. Hjalmarsson
Thinking Styles, Robert J. Sternberg
Mosby's War Reminiscences, John S. Mosby
The Mediterranean Was A Desert - A Voyage of the Glomar Challenger, Kenneth J. Hsu
The Case For Mars - The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must, Robert Zubrin
A Short History of Ireland, Richard Killeen
In Search of Nature, Edward O. Wilson
The Meaning of It All - Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist, Richard P. Feynman
Questioning The Millennium, Stephen Jay Gould
Flight: My Life in Mission Control, Chris Craft.
Interim Director, Lunar Science Institute, Houston, TX (1973-1974)
Brown University, Assistant Professor (Research) (January 1973 - July 1974)
Brown University, Associate Professor (Research) (July 1974 - July 1975)
Brown University, Associate Professor (July 1975 - 1980)
Brown University, Professor (1980 - present)
Earth and Planetary Exploration Missions: