Research Areas - Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences - Purdue University Skip to main content

Research Areas

Tornado

Atmospheric Sciences

We study extreme weather, climate change, and their impacts on both ecosystems and modern society.

Testing the water

Environmental Geoscience

We use biology, chemistry, geology, and physics to understand how the Earth System supports such a diversity of life and how human behavior is impacting this system.

Geodata Science Initiative

Data science is the fourth and the newest paradigm of science. In Geodata Science Initiative, we conduct transdisciplinary research, merging or articulating EAPS subject matters with technical areas in data science: statistical and machine learning methods and models, algorithms for the models and methods, and computational environments for data analysis.

Mountain ranges

Geology and Geophysics

We study the processes that shape our planet, from the building of mountains and oil-bearing sedimentary basins, to the flow of warm rocks and cold glaciers, to the triggering of earthquakes.

Spacecraft mission

Planetary Science

We study the evolution of the solar system and how planets evolve over time due to impacts, tectonics, and atmospheric processes, with an eye to the potential for past and future habitability.

Research News

Perseverance rover prepares to collect Martian samples that will be sent to Earth

07-22-2021

Almost a year after NASA's Perseverance rover was launched on its nearly seven-month journey to Mars, the robotic explorer is preparing to collect its first Martian sample within the next two weeks. Briony Horgan, part of the rover's science team and associate professor of planetary science in Purdue University's Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences in the College of Science, is mentioned in this piece by CNN.

Stored for 50 Years, Technology is Finally Advanced Enough to Analyze Apollo Moon Samples

07-16-2021

If hindsight is 20/20, what is foresight? Foresight like that of NASA leaders in the 1970s who locked 840 pounds of moon rocks and dust in a vault until technology advanced enough to study them accurately deserves at least 20/10. “When these samples were collected, when men walked on the moon, I hadn’t even been born yet,” said Thompson, an assistant professor of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. “This sample has been on Earth longer than I have. It has been sitting in storage, waiting for scientists to analyze it since it was returned. Scientists now have tools and technologies that the original generation of astronauts could only dream of. Now it’s our turn to follow in their footsteps and study the moon rocks they brought back.”

Purdue team flying miles above Earth with NASA, gathering data on North American monsoon season

07-15-2021

During the summer, North America’s monsoon season creates massive storms across the Midwest. These storms can cause a phenomenon where the lowest atmospheric layers, the troposphere and stratosphere, mix. Though rare and difficult to study — the stratosphere hovers from 6.2 to 31 miles above Earth’s surface — this mixing needs study because, as climate change happens, the world’s monsoons may change. To study these layers and the barrier between them, NASA has created the DCOTSS (Dynamics and Chemistry of the Summer Stratosphere) project. Dr. Daniel Cziczo, head of the Purdue EAPS, works with DCOTSS on the PALMS-NG portion of this atmospheric research.

Volcano research leads to better understanding of their deep structure

07-14-2021

The deep structure of volcanoes has proven difficult for geoscientists to understand due to the inherent difficulty of seeing below the Earth’s surface. To get a more holistic understanding of volcanoes and their subsurface structure, a team of researchers from multiple disciplines, including Jonathan Delph of Purdue University’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, combined their expertise to better understand how their datasets can be interpreted in light of the others.

Health warnings as Death Valley scorches in 54.4C heat

07-14-2021

Excessive heat warnings remained in place across swathes of the western US on Monday after Death Valley in California registered what could prove to be the highest reliably recorded temperature on Earth. Dr. Matthew Huber of Purdue EAPS is cited in this article from The Guardian.

All Departmental News

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