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

Recent refereed publications: Years 2019 through 2020

Dundas, Colin M., Keszthelyi, Laszlo, Lev, Einat, Rumpf, M. Elise, Hamilton, Christopher W., Höskuldsson, Ármann, & Thordarson, Thorvaldur 2020, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. Lava-water interaction and hydrothermal activity within the 2014-2015 Holuhraun Lava Flow Field, Iceland

Steinbrügge, G., Voigt, J. R. C., Wolfenbarger, N. S., Hamilton, C. W., Soderlund, K. M., Young, D. A., Blankenship, D. D., Vance, S. D., & Schroeder, D. M. 2020, Geophysical Research Letters. Brine Migration and Impact-Induced Cryovolcanism on Europa

Hamilton, Christopher W., Scheidt, Stephen P., Sori, Michael M., de Wet, Andrew P., Bleacher, Jacob E., Mouginis-Mark, Peter J., Self, Stephen, Zimbelman, James R., Garry, W. Brent, Whelley, Patrick L., & Crumpler, Larry S. 2020, Journal of Geophysical Research (Planets). Lava-Rise Plateaus and Inflation Pits in the McCartys Lava Flow Field, New Mexico: An Analog for Pāhoehoe-Like Lava Flows on Planetary Surfaces

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

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

Hamilton, Chris & Rafikov, Roman R. 2019, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Secular dynamics of binaries in stellar clusters - II. Dynamical evolution

Hamilton, Chris & Rafikov, Roman R. 2019, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Secular dynamics of binaries in stellar clusters - I. General formulation and dependence on cluster potential

Hamilton, Chris & Rafikov, Roman R. 2019, The Astrophysical Journal. Compact Object Binary Mergers Driven By Cluster Tides: A New Channel for LIGO/Virgo Gravitational-wave Events

Morrison, Aaron A., Zanetti, Michael, Hamilton, Christopher W., Lev, Einat, Neish, Catherine D., & Whittington, Alan G. 2019, Icarus. Rheological investigation of lunar highland and mare impact melt simulants

Available filesSizeCreated
PDF icon Hamilton_CV_December_1_2020.pdf133.42 KBDecember 2, 2020
Semester Course Day/Time Location Resources
Fall 2021 PTYS 594A-001 F 3:00-5:00p.m. Kuiper 312
Spring 2020 PTYS 411-001 TTH 12:30-1:45p.m. Kuiper 312 Syllabus
Course Page

Last updated on April 7, 2021