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Dr. Michael Sori

Assistant Professor Dr. Michael Sori
Curriculum Vitae
Associated website(s): Google Scholar , Geology & Geophysics , Planetary Science , Personal Website


  • 2014  Ph.D., Planetary Science, MIT
  • 2008  B.S., Mathematics, Duke University
  • 2008  B.A., Physics, Duke University

Research Interests

Dr. Sori uses robotic spacecraft missions and numerical models to study planetary geophysics and surface processes throughout the solid planets and moons of the solar system.  Specific topics of interest include volcanism and cryovolcanism, the analysis of gravity and topography data to infer crustal structure, and planetary ices.  He has published papers on the Moon, Mars, Ceres, Mercury, Pluto, and the moons of Uranus.

Selected Honors

  • University of Arizona Outstanding Postdoctoral Scholar Award (2019)
  • MIT Grayce B. Kerr Fellowship (2014)
  • NASA RHG Exceptional Achievement for Science Award: The LRO Science Mission Team (2013)
  • MIT Robert R. Shrock Fellowship (2011-2013)


*   = shared first-authorship
  1. Sori, M.M. , J. Bapst, P. Becerra, and S. Byrne (2019), Islands of ice on Mars and Pluto, J. Geophys. Res. Planets .
  2. 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), A salt tectonics-like paradigm for understanding Ceres’ surface morphology, Nature Geoscience.
  3. Johnson, B.C., M.M. Sori , and A.J. Evans (2019), Ferrovolcanism on metal worlds and the origin of pallasites, Nature Astronomy.
  4. 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).
  5. 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 , Geophys. Res. Lett. 46, 1222–1231. (*Both authors contributed equally)
  6. 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.
  7. Ruesch, O., L.C. Quick, M.E. Landis, M.M. Sori , O. Čadek, 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Sori, M.M. (2018), A thin, dense crust for Mercury , Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 489, 92–99.
  11. 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.
  12. Sori, M.M. , J.N. Bapst, A.M. Bramson, S. Byrne, and M.E. Landis (2017), A Wunda-full world? Carbon dioxide ice deposits on Umbriel and other Uranian Moons , Icarus 290, 1–13.
  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 , Geophys. Res. Lett. 44, 1243–1250.
  14. Becerra, P., M.M. Sori , and S. Byrne (2017), Signals of astronomical forcing in the exposure topography of Mars’ north polar layered deposits , Geophys. Res. Lett. 44, 62–70.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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 , Geophys. Res. Lett. 43, 541–549.
  19. 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 .
  20. 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 , Geophys. Res. Lett. 42, 6939–6944.
  21. 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.

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