PTYS/LPL Faculty

Kuiper 430


Christopher Hamilton

Associate Professor

Ph.D., 2010, University of Hawaii

Years with LPL: 2014 to present

Astrobiology, Earth, Lunar Studies, Planetary Analogs, Planetary Geophysics, Planetary Surfaces, Volcanology

Dr. Hamilton's research focuses on geological surface processes to better understand the evolution of the Earth and other planetary bodies. His specialty relates to volcanology and specifically to lava flows, magma-water interactions, and explosive eruptions using a combination of field observations, remote sensing, geospatial analysis, machine learning, and geophysical modeling. These topics provide insight into the evolution of planetary interiors, surfaces, and atmospheres through magma production, ascent, and volcanism.

View LPL Evening Lecture from November 24, 2015, Volcanism on Earth and Mars

Current Grants

  • "RAVEN: Rover–Aerial Vehicle Exploration Network", Planetary Science and Technology Through Analog Research Program (PI)
  • "LIFE: Lava-Induced Fumarolic Environments”, EUROVOLC 2nd Transnational Access Call (PI)
  • "Pattern to Process: Flood Basalt Emplacement Parameters and their Cross-Sectional Morphologies" JPL Strategic University Research Partnership Program (Co-PI)
  • "3-D Modeling of a Secondary Ancient Lunar Atmosphere: the Effect on Volatile Distribution", NASA Solar System Workings (Co-I)
  • "The Io Volcano Observer (IVO)", NASA Discovery Program, Phase A (Co-I)
  •  "Investigating Magma–Cryosphere Interactions and Outflow Channel Activity in Hebrus Valles, NASA Mars Data Analysis Program (Co-I)
  • "Assessing the Formation and Implications of Self-Secondary Craters on Copernican Impact Ejecta" NASA Lunar Data Analysis Program (Co-I)

Current Spacecraft Involvement

Current Graduate Students

Former Students

  • 2016–2019: Amanda Stadermann, Graduate Student (Planetary Sciences - M.Sc. received in 2019)
  • 2017–2018: Anna Schuh, Undergraduate Honors Student (Geosciences, B.Sc. received in 2018)
  • 2016–2017: Jade Bowers, Undergraduate Honors Student (Geosciences, B.Sc. received in 2017)

Former Postdocs

  • 2015–2016: Michael Sori
  • 2014–2015: Stephen Scheidt
  • 2014–2015: Leon Palafox

Current Staff Scientists


Former Staff Scientists

  • 2016–2020t: Michael Sori
  • 2015–2018: Stephen Scheidt
  • 2015–2017: Leon Palafox

Based on Google Scholar and NASA ADS: NASA ADS Author Search: Christopher Hamilton

Refereed publications: Calendar Years 2017 through 2020

Dundas, C.M.,, Keszthelyi, L., Lev, E., Rumpf, M.E., Hamilton, C.W., Höskuldsson, Á., and Thordarson, T. (2020). Lava–water interaction and hydrothermal activity within the 2014–2015 Holuhraun Lava Flow Field, Iceland, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 408, 107100,

Steinbrügge G., Voigt, J.R.C., Wolfenbarger, N.S., Hamilton, C.W., Soderlund, K.M., Young, D.A., Blankenship D.D., Vance, S.D., and Schroeder D. M. (2020). Brine migration and impact‐induced cryovolcanism on Europa, Geophysical Research Letters, 47, e2020GL090797,

Hamilton, C.W., Scheidt, S.P., Sori, M.M., de Wet, A.P., Bleacher, J.E., Mouginis‐Mark, P.J., Self, S., Zimbelman, J.R., Garry, W.B., Whelley, P.L., and Crumpler, L.S. (2020). Lava‐rise plateaus and inflation pits in the McCartys lava flow field, New Mexico: An analog for pāhoehoe‐like lava flows on planetary surfaces, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 125, e2019JE005975.

G. Steinbrügge, J.R.C. Voigt, D.M. Schroeder, A. Stark, M.S. Haynes, K.M. Scanlan, C.W. Hamilton, D.A. Young, H. Hussmann, C. Grima, D.D. Blankenship (2020). The surface roughness of Europa derived from Galileo stereo images, Icarus, 343, 113669,

L.E. Bonnefoy, C.W. Hamilton, S.P. Scheidt, S. Duhamel, Á. Höskuldsson, I. Jónsdottir, T. Thordarson, U. Münzer (2019). Landscape evolution associated with the 2014–2015 Holuhraun eruption in Iceland, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 387, 106652,

Morrison, A. A., Zanetti, M., Hamilton, C. W., Lev, E., Neish, C. D., Whittington, A. G. Rheological investigation of lunar highland and mare impact melt simulants 2019Icar..317..307M

Savage, R., Palafox, L. F., Morrison, C. T., Rodriguez, J. J., Barnard, K., Byrne, S., Hamilton, C. W. A Bayesian Approach to Subkilometer Crater Shape Analysis Using Individual HiRISE Images 2018ITGRS..56.5802S

Voigt, J. R. C., Hamilton, C. W. Investigating the volcanic versus aqueous origin of the surficial deposits in Eastern Elysium Planitia, Mars 2018Icar..309..389V

Stadermann, A. C., Zanetti, M. R., Jolliff, B. L., Hiesinger, H., van der Bogert, C. H., Hamilton, C. W. The age of lunar mare basalts south of the Aristarchus Plateau and effects of secondary craters formed by the Aristarchus event 2018Icar..309...45S

Hamilton, C. W., Mouginis-Mark, P. J., Sori, M. M., Scheidt, S. P., Bramson, A. M. Episodes of Aqueous Flooding and Effusive Volcanism Associated With Hrad Vallis, Mars 2018JGRE..123.1484H

Marcucci, E. C., Hamilton, C. W., Herrick, R. R. Remote sensing evidence of lava-ground ice interactions associated with the Lost Jim Lava Flow, Seward Peninsula, Alaska 2017BVol...79...89M

Whelley, P. L., Garry, W. B., Hamilton, C. W., Bleacher, J. E. LiDAR-derived surface roughness signatures of basaltic lava types at the Muliwai a Pele Lava Channel, Mauna Ulu, Hawai`i 2017BVol...79...75W

Bleacher, J. E., Orr, T. R., de Wet, A. P., Zimbelman, J. R., Hamilton, C. W., Brent Garry, W., Crumpler, L. S., Williams, D. A. Plateaus and sinuous ridges as the fingerprints of lava flow inflation in the Eastern Tharsis Plains of Mars 2017JVGR..342...29B

Palafox, L. F., Hamilton, C. W., Scheidt, S. P., Alvarez, A. M. Automated detection of geological landforms on Mars using Convolutional Neural Networks 2017CG....101...48P

Sori, M. M., Byrne, S., Bland, M. T., Bramson, A. M., Ermakov, A. I., Hamilton, C. W., Otto, K. A., Ruesch, O., Russell, C. T. The vanishing cryovolcanoes of Ceres 2017GeoRL..44.1243S

Neish, C. D., Hamilton, C. W., Hughes, S. S., Nawotniak, S. K., Garry, W. B., Skok, J. R., Elphic, R. C., Schaefer, E., Carter, L. M., Bandfield, J. L., Osinski, G. R., Lim, D., Heldmann, J. L. Terrestrial analogues for lunar impact melt flows 2017Icar..281...73N

Fitch, E. P., Fagents, S. A., Thordarson, T., Hamilton, C. W. Fragmentation mechanisms associated with explosive lava-water interactions in a lacustrine environment 2017BVol...79...12F

Hamilton, C. W., Fitch, E. P., Fagents, S. A., Thordarson, T. Rootless tephra stratigraphy and emplacement processes 2017BVol...79...11H

Available filesSizeCreated
PDF icon Hamilton_CV_December_1_2020.pdf133.42 KBDecember 2, 2020
Semester Course Day/Time Location Resources
Fall 2021 PTYS 590-001 F 3:00-5:00p.m. Kuiper 312
Spring 2020 PTYS 411-001 TTH 12:30-1:45p.m. Kuiper 312 Syllabus
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Fall 2019 PTYS 590-001 F 3:00-5:00pm Kuiper 312 Syllabus
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Spring 2018 PTYS 411-001 TTH 2:00 - 3:15PM Kuiper 312 Syllabus
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Fall 2018 PTYS 590-001 F 4:00-5:00pm Kuiper 312, Kuiper 312 Syllabus
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Fall 2017 PTYS/ASTR 170A1-001 Syllabus
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Fall 2017 PTYS 590-001 F 4:00-5:00pm Kuiper 312 Syllabus
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Fall 2017 PTYS 595B-001 F 2:00-4:00pm Kuiper 312 Syllabus
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Last updated on January 13, 2021