PTYS/LPL Faculty

Isamu Matsuyama


  • James Keane (PTYS)


  • Ngai Ham Chan
Isamu Matsuyama
Assistant Professor
Theoretical modeling, Planetary formation
Ph.D., 2005, University of Toronto

Kuiper   #527A

Years with LPL:  2011 to present


Dr. Matsuyama is interested in the physics of planet formation and evolution, with an emphasis on understanding the processes that led to the extraordinary diversity of the solar and extrasolar systems. He develops theoretical models which are used to interpret spacecraft and ground-based observations.

Current research interests involve improving our understanding of (1) the formation and evolution of the Moon by analysis of the global lunar figure, which provides a record of prior orbital and rotational states; (2) tidal dissipation in the subsurface ocean of icy satellites; and (3) rotational perturbations due to large impacts.

CV for Dr. Matsuyama (PDF)


  • Global Lunar Figure and Its Interior, Orbit, and Rotation: NASA Lunar Advanced Science & Exploration Research (LASER) Program
  • Constraints on the deep interior structure of the Moon: NASA Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) Guest Scientist Program


NASA Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL), guest scientist


NASA ADS Author search: Isamu Matsuyama


Matsuyama, I. Tidal dissipation in the oceans of icy satellites. In press.

Matsuyama, I., Nimmo, F., Mitrovica, J. X. Planetary Reorientation 2014AREPS..42..605M

Chan, N.-H., et al. Time-dependent rotational stability of dynamic planets with elastic lithospheres 2014JGRE..119..169C

Andrews-Hanna, J. C., et al. Ancient Igneous Intrusions and Early Expansion of the Moon Revealed by GRAIL Gravity Gradiometry 2013Sci...339..675A

Matsuyama, I. Fossil figure contribution to the lunar figure 2013Icar..222..411M

Chan, N.-H., et al. The rotational stability of a convecting earth: assessing inferences of rapid TPW in the late cretaceous 2011GeoJI.187.1319C

Chan, N.-H., et al. The rotational stability of a convecting Earth: the Earth's figure and TPW over the last 100 Myr 2011GeoJI.187..773C

Matsuyama, I., Nimmo, F. Reorientation of Vesta: Gravity and tectonic predictions 2011GeoRL..3814205M

Matsuyama and Manga (2010), Mars without the equilibrium rotational figure, Tharsis, and the remnant rotational figure. J. Geophys. Res., 115, E12020.

Matsuyama, I., Bills, B. G. Global contraction of planetary bodies due to despinning: Application to Mercury and Iapetus 2010Icar..209..271M

Matsuyama, I., et al. The rotational stability of a triaxial ice-age Earth 2010JGRB..11505401M

Matsuyama, I., Johnstone, D., Hollenbach, D. Dispersal of Protoplanetary Disks by Central Wind Stripping 2009ApJ...700...10M

Kite, E. S., et al. True Polar Wander driven by late-stage volcanism and the distribution of paleopolar deposits on Mars 2009E&PSL.280..254K

Matsuyama, I., Nimmo, F. Gravity and tectonic patterns of Mercury: Effect of tidal deformation, spin-orbit resonance, nonzero eccentricity, despinning, and reorientation 2009JGRE..11401010M

Schenk, P., Matsuyama, I., Nimmo, F. True polar wander on Europa from global-scale small-circle depressions 2008Natur.453..368S

Matsuyama, I., Nimmo, F. Tectonic patterns on reoriented and despun planetary bodies 2008Icar..195..459M

Daradich, A., et al. Equilibrium rotational stability and figure of Mars 2008Icar..194..463D

Matsuyama, I., Nimmo, F. Rotational stability of tidally deformed planetary bodies 2007JGRE..11211003M

Matsuyama, I., Nimmo, F., Mitrovica, J. X. Reorientation of planets with lithospheres: The effect of elastic energy 2007Icar..191..401M

Nimmo, F., Matsuyama, I. Reorientation of icy satellites by impact basins 2007GeoRL..3419203N

Perron, J. T., et al. Evidence for an ancient martian ocean in the topography of deformed shorelines 2007Natur.447..840P

Mitrovica, J. X., et al. Reanalysis of ancient eclipse, astronomic and geodetic data: A possible route to resolving the enigma of global sea-level rise 2006E&PSL.243..390M

Matsuyama, I., et al. Rotational stability of dynamic planets with elastic lithospheres 2006JGRE..11102003M

Mitrovica, J. X., et al. The rotational stability of an ice-age earth 2005GeoJI.161..491M

Hogerheijde, M. R., et al. Indications for Grain Growth and Mass Decrease in Cold Dust Disks around Classical T Tauri Stars in the MBM 12 Young Association 2003ApJ...593L.101H

Matsuyama, I., Johnstone, D., Murray, N. Halting Planet Migration by Photoevaporation from the Central Source 2003ApJ...585L.143M

Matsuyama, I., Johnstone, D., Hartmann, L. Viscous Diffusion and Photoevaporation of Stellar Disks 2003ApJ...582..893M