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Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Professor of Planetary Geosciences
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Physical Sciences
  • david.rothery

Professional biography

In November 2013 I became Professor of Planetary Geosciences.  I was a Senior Lecturer in the Open University Department of Earth Sciences since 1994 (transferring to the Planetary & Space Sciences Division of the new Dept of Physical Sciences in August 2011), and before that was a Lecturer here. During 1999-2004 I was Director of Teaching and Geosciences Programme Director. I have also been Leader of the IAVCEI Commission on Remote Sensing, and in 2005 I was appointed to the PPARC Solar System Advisory Panel and the BepiColombo Oversight Committee.

In May 2006 I was appointed UK Lead Scientist on MIXS (Mercury Imaging X-ray Spectrometer), which is the only UK Principal Investigator instrument on BepiColombo, the European Space Agency mission to Mercury to be launched in 2017. I became MIXS Lead Co-Investigator in 2014. I chair ESA's Mercury Surface and Composition Working Group.

My research interests centre on the study of volcanic activity by means of remote sensing, and volcanology and geoscience in general on other planets.

Research interests

Characterizing planetary surfaces, remote sensing of volcanic activity

I am UK Lead Co-Investigator on the Mercury Imaging X-ray Spectrometer, and co-chair of ESA's Mercury Surface & Composition working group.

Teaching interests

Planetary science, volcanology, general geology.
I chair the level 2 Planetary Science module S283, and the level 1 short module Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis (S186). I am Educator on the Open University/FutureLearn Moons MOOC.

I am also writing for S309 'Earth Processes' and S111 'Questions in science'.

 

Impact and engagement

For videos and other materials about Mercury that I (and others) prepared to help public understanding of Mercury, the BepiColombo mission to Mercury, and transits of Mercury across the Sun, see here.

The most recent transit of Mercury wason Monday 9 May 2016.11:12 UTC ending 18:42 UTC (12:12-19:42 BST). The next will be Monday 11 November 2019 12:34 UTC ending  18:04 UTC (after sunset). For viewing information (at telescopes or by webstreaming) and outreach opportunities see here.

Here are two videos of me lecturing about Mercury in 2015: a schools lecture and a Royal Astronomical Society public lecture.

I have written several books, which you can find in my publications list. Here are some of the more recent ones.

More information on this book is here

More information on ths book  here

 

More information on this book here

More information on this book here This new edition was published in late 2015.

 

More information in this book here This edition was published in mid 2015.

Research Activity

Externally funded projects

Bridging funds for MIXS lead Co-Investigator

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01/Apr/201631/Mar/2017STFC (Science & Technology Facilities Council)
BepiColombo is the European Space Agency's mission to Mercury, expected to begin orbiting the planet in 2024. It is a highly-capable pair of spacecraft, equipped with a UK-led X-ray imager (MIXS) that will give much-needed compositional data. MIXS has now been delivered to ESA, and this award fills a one-year gap between the end of my support from the UK Space Agency and the opportunity to secure longer-term support for my role on the BepoColombo team from STFC via my Department's next Consolidated Grant proposal.

Daphne Jackson fellowship for Anne Jay

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01/Oct/201430/Sep/2017Daphne Jackson Trust
To understand the 3D architecture (how the volcanic units fit together) and hence the evolution of the largest volcanic landscapes on Earth: Continental Flood Basalt Provinces (CFBPs). The Deccan CFBP, India, will be the focus of the study; what is learned from the Deccan can be applied to other CFBPs. Dr Jay aims to understand both the Deccan as a whole, and also whether specific regions can tell us about eruption rates and volumes and from this their role in sudden climate change. To do this she will create a 3D map of the Deccan using ArcGIS and include published data and data that she collected during her PhD.

Astronomy and Planetary Sciences at the Open University

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Co-investigator01/Apr/201431/Mar/2017STFC (Science & Technology Facilities Council)
The aim of our programme in Astronomy & Planetary Science at the Open University (APSOU) is to carryout detailed investigations of the origin and evolution of galaxies, stars and planets with a special emphasis on our own Solar System through a combination of observation, simulation, laboratory analysis and theoretical modelling. Our research is divided into two broad areas, reflecting the historical research strengths. This research programme is well-matched to both nationally- and internationally-agreed research imperatives. In its final report, A Science Vision for European Astronomy2, Astronet’s Science Working Group identified four broad areas of strategic importance; our research covers major topics within each of these areas. APSOU projects also map onto two of the four Science Challenges that form STFC’s Road Map3 for science (‘How did the universe begin and how is it evolving?’ and ‘How do stars and planetary systems develop and is life unique to our planet?’). The present APSOU programme comprises 20 projects (labelled A to T), of which 6 are for consideration by the Astronomy Observation (AO) panel, 1 for Astronomy Theory (AT), and 13 for the Planetary Studies (PL) panel. The AO projects cover the breadth of the 7 themes recognised as UK strengths in the report of STFC’s Astronomy Advisory Panel (AAP), whilst the 13 PL projects are directed towards answering questions raised in two of the three themes identified as UK strengths in the roadmap of STFC’s Solar System Advisory Panel (SSAP)4.

Publications

Explosive volcanism in complex impact craters on Mercury and the Moon: influence of tectonic regime on depth of magmatic intrusion (2015-12-01)
Thomas, Rebecca J.; Rothery, David A.; Conway, Susan J. and Anand, Mahesh
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 431 (pp. 164-172)
The geological history of Nili Patera, Mars (2015-06-17)
Fawdon, P.; Skok, J. R.; Balme, M. R.; Vye-Brown, C. L.; Rothery, D. A. and Jordan, C. J.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 120(5) (pp. 951-977)
A cone on Mercury: analysis of a residual central peak encircled by an explosive volcanic vent (2015-04)
Thomas, Rebecca J.; Lucchetti, Alice; Cremonese, Gabriele; Rothery, David A.; Massironi, Matteo; Re, Cristina; Conway, Susan J. and Anand, Mahesh
Planetary And Space Science, 108 (pp. 108-116)
Mechanisms of explosive volcanism on Mercury: implications from its global distribution and morphology (2014-10)
Thomas, Rebecca J.; Rothery, David A.; Conway, Susan J. and Anand, Mahesh
Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 119(10) (pp. 2239-2254)
Long-lived explosive volcanism on Mercury (2014-09-16)
Thomas, Rebecca J.; Rothery, David A.; Conway, Susan J. and Anand, Mahesh
Geophysical Research Letters, 41(17) (pp. 6084-6092)
Hollows on Mercury: materials and mechanisms involved in their formation (2014-02)
Thomas, Rebecca J.; Rothery, David A.; Conway, Susan J. and Anand, Mahesh
Icarus, 229 (pp. 221-235)
Prolonged eruptive history of a compound volcano on Mercury: volcanic and tectonic implications (2013-10)
Rothery, David A.; Thomas, Rebecca J. and Kerber, Laura
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 385 (pp. 59-67)
The Chandrayaan-1 X-ray Spectrometer: first results (2012-01)
Weider, S. Z.; Kellett, B. J.; Swinyard, B. M.; Crawford, I. A.; Joy, K. H.; Grande, M.; Howe, C. J.; Huovelin, J.; Narendranath, S.; Alha, L.; Anand, M.; Athiray, P. S.; Bhandari, N.; Carter, J. A.; Cook, A. C.; d’Uston, L. C.; Fernandes, V. A.; Gasnault, O.; Goswami, J. N.; Gow, J. P. D.; Holland, A. D.; Koschny, D.; Lawrence, D. J.; Maddison, B. J.; Maurice, S.; McKay, D. J.; Okada, T.; Pieters, C.; Rothery, D. A.; Russell, S. S.; Shrivastava, A. ; Smith, D. R. and Wieczorek, M.
Planetary and Space Science, 60(1) (pp. 217-228)
The Chandrayaan-1 X-ray Spectrometer: First results (2012-01)
Weider, S. Z.; Kellett, B. J.; Swinyard, B. M.; Crawford, I. A.; Joy, K. H.; Grande, M.; Howe, C. J.; Huovelin, J.; Narendranath, S.; Alha, L.; Anand, M.; Athiray, P. S.; Bhandari, N.; Carter, J. A.; Cook, A. C.; d'Uston, L. C.; Fernandes, V. A.; Gasnault, O.; Goswami, J. N.; Gow, J. P. D.; Holland, A. D.; Koschny, D.; Lawrence, D. J.; Maddison, B. J.; Maurice, S.; McKay, D. J.; Okada, T.; Pieters, C.; Rothery, D. A.; Russell, S.S.; Shrivastava, A.; Smith, D. R. and Wieczorek, M.
Planetary and Space Science, 60(1) (pp. 217-228)
Lunar X-ray fluorescence observations by the Chandrayaan-1 X-ray Spectrometer (C1XS): results from the nearside southern highlands (2011-07)
Narendranath, S. ; Athiray, P. S. ; Sreekumar, P. ; Kellett, B. J. ; Alha, L. ; Howe, C. J. ; Joy, K. H. ; Grande, M. ; Huovelin, J. ; Crawford, I. A. ; Unnikrishnan, U. ; Lalita, S. ; Subramaniam, S. ; Weider, S. Z. ; Nittler, L. R. ; Gasnault, O. ; Rothery, D.; Fernandes, V. A. ; Bhandari, N. ; Goswami, J. N. ; Wieczorek, M. A. ; C1XS Science Team, ; Anand, Mahesh; Holland, Andrew and Gow, Jason
Icarus, 214(1) (pp. 53-66)
Beagle Rupes – evidence for a basal decollement of regional extent in Mercury's lithosphere (2010-09)
Rothery, D. A. and Massironi, M.
Icarus, 209(1) (pp. 256-261)
The 2006 eruption of Augustine volcano: combined analyses of thermal satellite data and reduced displacement (2010)
van Manen, Saskia M.; Dehn, Jonathan; West, Michael E.; Blake, Stephen and Rothery, David A.
U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper(1769) (pp. 553-567)
Constraints on Mercury’s surface composition from MESSENGER and ground-based spectroscopy (2010)
Warell, J.; Sprague, A.; Kozlowski, R.; Rothery, D. A.; Lewis, N.; Helbert, J. and Cloutis, E.
Icarus, 209(1) (pp. 138-163)
The mercury imaging X-ray spectrometer (MIXS) on BepiColombo (2010)
Fraser, G. W.; Carpenter, J. D.; Rothery, D. A.; Pearson, J. F.; Martindale, A.; Huovelin, J.; Treis, J.; Anand, M.; Anttila, M.; Ashcroft, M.; Benkoff, J.; Bland, P.; Bowyer, A.; Bradley, A.; Bridges, J.; Brown, C.; Bulloch, C.; Bunce, E. J.; Christensen, U.; Evans, M.; Fairbend, R.; Feasey, M.; Giannini, F.; Hermann, S.; Hesse, M.; Hilchenbach, M.; Jorden, T.; Joy, K.; Kaipiainen, M.; Kitchingman, I.; Lechner, P.; Lutz, G.; Malkki, A.; Muinonen, K.; Näränen, J.; Portin, P.; Prydderch, M.; San Juan, J.; Sclater, E.; Schyns, E.; Stevenson, T. J.; Strüder, L.; Syrjasuo, M.; Talboys, D.; Thomas, P.; Whitford, C. and Whitehead, S.
Planetary and Space Science, 58(1-2) (pp. 79-95)
Mercury's surface and composition to be studied by BepiColombo (2010)
Rothery, David; Marinangeli, Lucia; Anand, Mahesh; Carpenter, James; Christensen, Ulrich; Crawford, Ian A.; De Sanctis, Maria Cristina; Epifani, Elena Mazzotta; Erard, Stéphane; Frigeri, Alessandro; Fraser, George; Hauber, Ernst; Helbert, Jörn; Hiesinger, Harald; Joy, Katherine; Langevin, Yves; Massironi, Matteo; Milillo, Anna; Mitrofanov, Igor; Muinonen, Karri; Näränen, Jyri; Pauselli, Cristina; Potts, Phil; Warell, Johan and Wurz, Peter
Planetary And Space Science, 58(1-2) (pp. 21-39)
The C1XS X-Ray Spectrometer on Chandrayaan-1 (2009-06)
Grande, M.; Maddison, B. J.; Howe, C. J.; Kellett, B. J.; Sreekumar, P.; Huovelin, J.; Crawford, I. A.; Duston, C. L.; Smith, D.; Anand, M.; Bhandari, N.; Cook, A.; Fernandes, V.; Foing, B.; Gasnaut, O.; Goswami, J. N.; Holland, A.; Joy, K. H.; Kochney, D.; Lawrence, D.; Maurice, S.; Okada, T.; Narendranath, S.; Pieters, C.; Rothery, D.; Russell, S. S.; Shrivastava, A.; Swinyard, B.; Wilding, M. and Wieczorek, M.
Planetary and Space Science, 57(7) (pp. 717-724)
ESSC-ESF position paper - science-driven scenario for space exploration: report from the European Space Sciences Committee (ESSC) (2009-03-24)
Worms , Jean-Claude; Lammer , Helmut; Barucci , Antonella; Beebe , Reta; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Blamont , Jacques; Blanc , Michel; Bonnet , Roger; Brucato , John R.; Chassefière, Eric; Coradini , Angioletta; Crawford , Ian; Ehrenfreund , Pascale; Falcke, Heino; Gerzer , Rupert; Grady, Monica; Grande , Manuel; Haerendel , Gerhard; Horneck , Gerda; Koch , Bernhard; Lobanov , Andreï; Lopez-Moreno, José J.; Marco , Roberto; Norsk , Peter; Rothery, Dave; Swings , Jean-Pierre; Tropea , Cam; Ulamec , Stephan; Westall, Frances and Zarnecki, John
Astrobiology, 9(1) (pp. 23-41)
LunarEX: a proposal to cosmic vision (2009-03)
Smith, A.; Crawford, I. A.; Gowen, R. A.; Ball, A. J.; Barber, S. J.; Church, P.; Coates, A. J.; Gao, Y.; Griffiths, A. D.; Hagermann, A.; Joy, K. H.; Phipps, A.; Pike, W. T.; Scott, R.; Sheridan, S.; Sweeting, M.; Talboys, D.; Tong, V.; Wells, N.; Biele, J.; Chela-Flores, J.; Dabrowski, B.; Flannagan, J.; Grande, M.; Grygorczuk, J.; Kargl, G.; Khavroshkin, O. B.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Knapmeyer, M.; Marczewski, W.; McKenna-Lawlor, S.; Richter, L.; Rothery, D. A.; Seweryn, K.; Ulamec, S.; Wawrzaszek, R.; Wieczorek, M.; Wright, I. P. and Sims, M.
Experimental Astronomy, 23(3) (pp. 711-740)
The scientific rationale for the C1XS X-ray spectrometer on India’s Chandrayaan-1 mission to the moon (2009)
Crawford, I. A.; Joy, K. H.; Kellett, B. J.; Grande, M.; Anand, M.; Bhandari, N.; Cook, A. C.; d’Uston, L.; Fernandes, V. A.; Gasnault, O.; Goswami, J.; Howe, C. J.; Huovelin, J.; Koschny, D.; Lawrence, D. J.; Maddison, B. J.; Maurice, S.; Narendranath, S.; Pieters, C.; Okada, T.; Rothery, D. A.; Russell, S. S.; Sreekumar, P.; Swinyard, B.; Wieczorek, M. and Wilding, M.
Planetary and Space Science, 57(7) (pp. 725-734)
Correlations between SO2 flux, seismicity, and outgassing activity at the open vent of Villarrica volcano, Chile (2008)
Palma, José Luis; Calder, Eliza S.; Basualto, Daniel; Blake, Stephen and Rothery, David A.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 113(B10) (B10201)
Impact vesiculation – a new trigger for volcanic bubble growth and degassing (2007-11-05)
Sumner, J. M.; Rothery, D. A.; Spiler, O. and Dingwell, D. B.
eEarth, 2(4) (pp. 151-167)
Strombolian explosive styles and source conditions: insights from thermal (FLIR) video (2007-06)
Patrick, Matthew R.; Harris, Andrew J. L.; Ripepe, Maurizio; Dehn, Jonathan; Rothery, David A. and Calvari, Sonia
Bulletin of Volcanology, 69(7) (pp. 769-784)
Strombolian explosive styles and source conditions: insights from thermal (FLIR) video (2007-06)
Patrick, Matthew R.; Harris, Andrew J. L.; Ripepe, Maurizio; Dehn, Jonathan; Rothery, David A. and Calvari, Sonia
Bulletin of Volcanology, 69(7) (pp. 769-784)
Analysis of volcanic activity patterns using MODIS thermal alerts (2005-07)
Rothery, Dave A.; Coppola, Diego and Saunders, Charlotte
Bulletin of Volcanology, 67(6) (pp. 539-556)
Selection of the landing site in Isidis Planitia of Mars probe Beagle 2 (2003-12)
Bridges, J.C.; Seabrook, A.M.; Rothery, D.A.; Kim, J.R.; Pillinger, C.T.; Sims, M.R.; Golombek, M.P.; Duxbury, T.; Head, J.W.; Haldemann, A.F.C.; Mitchell, K.L.; Muller, J.-P.; Lewis, S.R.; Moncrieff, C.; Wright, I.P.; Grady, M.M. and Morley, J.G.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 108(E1) (p 5001)
MODIS thermal alerts in Britain and the North Sea during the first half of 2001 (2003-02-20)
Rothery, D.A.; Thorne, M.T. and Flynn, L.
International Journal of Remote Sensing, 24(4) (pp. 817-826)
Gravity changes and passive SO2 degassing at the Masaya caldera complex, Nicaragua (2003)
Williams-Jones, Glyn; Rymer, Hazel and Rothery, David A.
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 123(1-2) (pp. 137-160)
Documenting surface magmatic activity at Mount Etna using ATSR remote sensing (2001-10)
Rothery, D.; Coltelli, M.; Pirie, D.; Wooster, M.J. and Wright, R.
Bulletin of Volcanology, 63(6) (pp. 387-397)
Moons: A Very Short Introduction (2015-11-26)
Rothery, David A.
Very Short Introducutions
ISBN : 9780198735274 | Publisher : Oxford University Press
Planet Mercury - from Pale Pink Dot to Dynamic World (2014-12-14)
Rothery, David
ISBN : 978-3-319-12116-1 | Publisher : Springer | Published : Cham
Planets: A Very Short Introduction (2010-11)
Rothery, David A.
Very Short Introductions
ISBN : 978-0-19-957350-9 | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford
Geology: the Key Ideas (4th ed.) (2010-08-27)
Rothery, David
Teach Yourself
ISBN : 9781444103120 | Publisher : Hodder Headline | Published : Abingdon
Geological Field Techniques (2010)
Coe, Angela; Argles, Thomas; Rothery, David and Spicer, Robert
ISBN : 978-1-4443-3061-8 | Publisher : Wiley Blackwell in association with the OU | Published : Chichester
Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis (2010)
Rothery, David A.
Teach Yourself
ISBN : 9781444103113 | Publisher : Teach Yourself | Published : London
Teach Yourself Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis (2007-06-29)
Rothery, D. A.
Teach Yourself General
ISBN : 9780340942413 | Publisher : Hodder Education | Published : London, UK
Teach Yourself Geology (2003-08)
Rothery, David A.
Teach Yourself
ISBN : 340867531 | Publisher : Hodder Education | Published : London, UK
Teach Yourself Planets (2003)
Rothery, David A.
ISBN : 340867604 | Publisher : Hodder Headline | Published : London, UK
Remote sensing (1989)
Leinders, Jef; Drury, Stephen and Rothery, David
ISBN : 9035806549 | Publisher : The Open University of the Netherlands
The 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano – combined analyses of thermal satellite data and reduced displacement (2010)
van Manen, Saskia M.; Dehn, Jonathan; West, Michael E.; Blake, Stephen and Rothery, David A.
In: Power, John A.; Coombs, Michelle L. and Freymueller, Jeffrey T. eds. The 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska. USGS Professional Paper (1769) (pp. 553-567)
Publisher : US Geological Survey | Published : Reston, VA, USA
Preliminary findings from geological mapping of the Hokusai (H5) quadrangle of Mercury (2016-02-05)
Wright, J.; Rothery, D. A.; Balme, M. R. and Conway, S. J.
In : 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (21-25 March, 2016, Houston, Texas)
Preliminary observations of Rustaveli basin, Mercury (2016-02-05)
Wright, J.; Rothery, D. A..; Balme, M. R. and Conway, S. J.
In : 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2016) (21/03/2016 - 25/03/2016, The Woodlands, Houston, Texas)
Evolving magmas, explosive eruptions and hydrothermal deposits at Nili Patea Caldera, Syrtis Major, Mars (2015-03)
Fawdon, P.; Skok, J. R.; Balme, M. R.; Vye-Brown, C.; Rothery, D. A. and Jordan, C. J.
In : 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (19-23 March 2012, Houston, TX)
Moons: a MOOC and open education resource with games and a microscope (2014)
Kelley, S. P.; Rothery, D. A. and Schwenzer, S. P.
In : 45th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (17-21 March 2014, The Woodlands, TX, USA)
Morphologies associated with small impact crater clusters in the Western Elysium Planitia region of Mars (2011)
Balme, Matthew; Gallagher, Colman; Hartman, William and Rothery, David
In : European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2011 (3-8 April 2011, Vienna, Austria)
Revised target co-ordinates for the Beagle 2 lander (2003)
Bridges, J.; Seabrook, A. M.; Rothery, D. A.; Pillinger, C. T.; Sims, M. R. and Wright, I. P.
In : 34th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (17-21 March 2003, Houston, Texas, USA)