Livio Tornabene

Livio Tornabene

Research Scientist; CSA/ESA Co-Investigator on ESA’s

Disciplines: Planetary Geology

Degree/Major: Ph.D., Earth and Planetary Sciences, 2007, University of Tennessee Knoxville

Curriculum vitae: Tornabene_CV_2014.pdf

Dr. Livio L. Tornabene is an Adjunct Research Professor at University of Western Ontario, coming most recently from the Centre for Earth and Planetary Studies at the Smithsonian Institution after serving on the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE; onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) operations and science team and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) science team at the University of Arizona for 4 years. Prior to that, in May 2007, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences where he was a junior science team member of two active Mars missions: the Thermal Emission Imaging System onboard Mars Odyssey and the Mars Exploration Rovers (Spirit and Opportunity). Livio also has a M.S. from the University of South Florida (Tampa) and a B.S. from the University of Florida (Gainesville), both in Geological Sciences.

Livio’s primary science focus involves the surface processes, particularly the petrogenesis (i.e., origin) and evolution and aqueous alteration of planetary crusts, with emphasis on impact cratering as a geologic process and how it has contributed to the origin and evolution of crustal materials. In addition to Mars and the Earth, his research also includes the Moon, which is often used as a simpler baseline condition for understanding impact cratering geologically (e.g., the moon offers excellent preservation, and volatile- or water-poor target rocks, etc.). The datasets that he most often employs include visible-near infrared high spatial resolution images (morphology/mapping); moderate to high spatial resolution stereo image-derived Digital Terrain or Elevation Models (geometry and morphometry) and multispectral and hyperspectral datasets spanning visible to thermal infrared wavelengths (composition, physical and thermosphysical properties of surfaces).

Livio maintains his involvement in spacecraft missions as a science team member of HiRISE, and recently joined the Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) on ExoMars 2016 as a Co-Investigator. Because our ability to conduct fieldwork, collect samples (with context from the field), and analyze them in a lab setting not likely in the immediate future, terrestrial analogues are an important and growing aspect of Livio’s research. As such, he has been recently involved with both NASA and CSA colleagues in an analogue study of Meteor Crater, Sudbury, Mistastin crater located in Labrador, Canada, which is a crater formed in anorthositic rocks – rocks that are almost identical to those found in the Lunar Highlands. Most recently, Livio participated on a team of postdoctoral fellows and graduate students that conducted a week-long Mars sample return analogue mission at the CSA’s Mars Yard in St. Hubert, CA.

Major Awards

2011 NASA Group Achievement Award – MRO-HiRISE Operations and Science

2006 NASA Group Achievement Award – MER Operations and Science – year 3

2005 NASA Group Achievement Award – MER Operations and Science – year 2

2004 NASA Group Achievement Award – MER Operations and Science – year 1


1. Tornabene L. L., and 6 others (including *Craig, M and *Sapers, H.) (2013) An impact origin for hydrated silicates on Mars: A synthesis, Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets, 118, doi:10.1002/jgre.20082.

2. Bishop J. L., Tirsch D., Tornabene L. L., and 19 others (2013), Mineralogy and morphology of geologic units at Libya Montes, Mars: Ancient aqueously derived outcrops, mafic flows, fluvial features and impacts, J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2012JE004151.

3. Osinski G. R., Tornabene L. L., and 11 others (2013), Impact-generated hydrothermal systems on Earth and Mars, Icarus, doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2012.08.030.

4. *Skok J. R., Mustard J. F., Tornabene L. L., and 3 others (2012), A spectroscopic analysis of Martian crater central peaks: Formation of the ancient crust, Journal of Geophysical Research- Planets, 117, doi: 10.1029/2012JE004148.

5. *Caudill C. M., Tornabene L. L., and 4 others (2012), Layered Megablocks in Central Uplifts of Impact Craters, Icarus, doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2012.08.033.

6. Boyce J. M., et al. (2012), Origin of small pits in Martian impact craters, Icarus, doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2012.07.027.

7. Tornabene L. L., and 5 others (2012), Widespread crater-related pitted materials on Mars: further evidence for the role of target volatiles during the impact process, Icarus, 220, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2012.05.022.

8. Denevi B. W. et al. (2012), Physical constraints on impact melt properties from LROC NAC images, Icarus, doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2012.03.020.

9. Moores J. E., et al. (2012), A Mission Control Architecture for robotic lunar sample return as field tested in an analogue deployment to the sudbury impact structure, Advances in Space Research, 50(12), 1666-1686.

10. *Burleigh K., Melosh J., Tornabene L. L., and 3 others (2012), Impact Airblasts Trigger Dust Avalanches on Mars, Icarus, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2011.10.026.

11. Banks M. E., Watters T., Robinson M., Tornabene L. L., and 2 others (2012), Morphologic analysis of lunar lobate scarps using LROC NAC and LOLA data, JGR, doi:10.1029/2011JE003907.

12. Osinski G. R., Tornabene L. L. and R. A. F. Grieve (2011), Impact melt and ejecta emplacement on terrestrial planets, EPSL, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2011.08.012.

13. Wray J. J. et al. (2011), Columbus crater and other possible groundwater‐fed paleolakes of Terra Sirenum, Mars, J. Geophys. Res., 116, E01001, doi:10.1029/2010JE003694.

14. *Jones A. P., McEwen A. S., Tornabene L. L., and 3 others (2011), A geomorphic analysis of Hale crater, Mars: insights into the effects of impacts into an ice-rich crust, Icarus, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2010.10.014.

15. Okubo C. H., Tornabene L. L. and Lanza N. L. (2011), Two-dimensional stability assessment of gully alcoves in Gasa crater, Mars, Icarus, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2010.09.025.

16. Golombek M., Robinson K., McEwen A., Bridges N., Ivanov B., Tornabene L. and R. Sullivan (2010), Constraints on Ripple Migration at Meridiani Planum from Opportunity and HiRISE Observations of Fresh Craters, J. Geophys. Res., doi:2010JE003628.

17. Bray V. J., Tornabene L. L., and 8 others (2010), New insight into lunar impact melt mobility from the LRO Camera, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L21202, doi:10.1029/2010GL044666.

18. Glotch T. D., Bandfield J. L., Tornabene L. L., and 2 others (2010), Distribution and formation of chloride salts and phyllosilicates in Terra Sirenum, Mars, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, doi: 2010GL044235.

19. Fairén A. C., Chevrier V., Abramov O., Marzo G. A., Gavin P., Davila A. F., Tornabene L. L., and 10 others (2010), Noachian and more recent phyllosilicates in impact craters on Mars, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S.

20. Marzo G. A., Davilla A. F., Tornabene L. L., and 7 others (2010), Evidence for Hesperian impact-induced hydrothermalism on Mars, Icarus, doi:10.1016/j.Icarus.2010.03.013.

21. Lang N. P., McSween H. Y., Jr., Tornabene L. L., and 2 others (2010) Re-examining the relationship between Apollinaris Patera and basalts of Gusev crater, Mars, J. Geophys. Res., JGRPlanets, doi:10.1029/2009JE003397.

22. Delamere W. A., Tornabene L. L., and 14 others (2010), Color imaging of Mars by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), Icarus, doi:10.1016/j.Icarus.2009.03.012.

23. Newsom H. E., Lanza N. L. Ollila A. M., Wiseman S. M., Roush T. L., Marzo G. A. Tornabene L. L., and 4 others (2010) Inverted channel deposits on the floor of Miyamoto crater, Mars, Icarus, doi:10.1016/j.Icarus.2009.03.030.

24. McEwen, A. S., HiRISE operations and Science team (alphabetical listing) (2010) The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) during MRO’s Primary Science Phase (PSP), Icarus, doi:10.1016/j.Icarus.2009.04.023.

25. Wray. J. J. et al. (2009) Diverse aqueous environments on ancient Mars revealed in the southern highlands, Geology, 37, doi:10.1130/G30331A.1.

26. Lang N. P., Tornabene L. L., and 2 others (2009), Tharsis-sourced relatively dust-free lavas and their possible relationship to Martian meteorites, J. Volcan. Geotherm. Res., doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2008.12.014.

27. Tornabene L. L., Moersch, J., McSween, H. Y. Jr., Hamilton V., Piatek J., and P. Christensen (2008), Surface and crater-exposed lithologic units of the Isidis Basin as mapped by co-analysis of THEMIS and TES derived data products, J. Geophys. Res., 113, doi:10.1029/2007JE002988.

28. Brown A. J., Byrne, S., Tornabene L. L., and T. Roush (2008) Louth crater: Evolution of a layered water ice mound, Icarus, 196 (2), doi:10.1016/j.Icarus.2007.11.023.

29. McCoy T. J., Sims M. H., Schmidt M. E., Edwards L., Tornabene L. L., and 14 others (2008), Structure, stratigraphy, and origin of Husband Hill, Columbia Hills, Gusev Crater, Mars, J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2007JE003041.

30. Keszthelyi L., Jaeger W., McEwen A., Tornabene L. L., and 3 others (2008), High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images of volcanic terrains from the first 6 months of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Primary Science Phase, J. Geophys. Res., 113, E04005, doi:10.1029/2007JE002968.

31. Osterloo M., Hamilton V. E., Bandfield J. L., Glotch T. D., Baldridge A. M., Christensen P. R., Tornabene L. L., and F. S. Anderson (2008), Chloride-bearing materials in the southern highlands of Mars, Science, 319, 1651-1654.

32. Grant J. A., Irwin R. P., Grotzinger J. P., Milliken R. E., Tornabene L. L., and 5 others (2008) HiRISE imaging of impact megabreccia and sub-meter aqueous strata in Holden Crater, Mars, Geology, 36, doi: 10.1130/G24340A.1.

33. McEwen A. S., and the HiRISE science and operations team (2007), A Closer Look at Water- Related Geologic Activity on Mars, Science, 317, doi: 10.1126/science.1143987.

Popular Publications