Lori Fenton
Lori Fenton

Senior Research Scientist

Degree/Major: Ph.D., Planetary Science, 2003, Caltech

Curriculum vitae: cv_LoriKFenton_2016_0.pdf


Planetary scientist Dr. Lori Fenton joined the SETI Institute as a principal investigator in 2006, and was awarded NASA's Carl Sagan Fellowship for Early Career Researchers that same year. Lori's primary research interests include aeolian geomorphology (how wind shapes a planetary surface) on Venus, Earth, Mars, and Titan; recent and ongoing climate changes; and the mobility of wind-blown sand and dust. Her research makes use of many different types of information, including fieldwork on Earth, visible and thermal imagery from spacecraft, and wind predictions from atmospheric models such as the NASA Ames Mars Global Climate Model (Ames MGCM) and the Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (MRAMS).

Lori's recent publications describe how dunes and dune fields record climate change on Mars, the first evidence for dune migration on another planet, how atmospheric models can be used to account for wind gustiness and its effects on sand movement, and how the alignment of dune patterns can be used to quantitatively constrain local wind patterns.

Major Awards

2005 NASA Fellowship for Early Career Researchers


1. Fenton, L. K., Pearl, J. C., Martin, T. Z. (1997), Mapping Mariner 9 dust opacities, Icarus, 130(1), 115-124, doi:10.1006/icar.1997.5810.

2. Fenton, L. K., Herkenhoff, K. E. (2000), Topography and stratigraphy of the northern Martian layered deposits using photoclinometry, stereogrammetry, and MOLA altimetry, Icarus, 147(2)433-443, doi:10.1006/icar.2000.6459.

3. Fenton, L. K., Richardson, M.I. (2001), Martian surface winds: Insensitivity to orbital changes and implications for aeolian processes, Journal of Geophysical Research – Planets, 106(E12), 32,885-32,902, doi:10.1029/2000JE001407.

4. Fenton, L. K., Ward, A. W., Bandfield J. L. (2003), Aeolian processes in Proctor Crater on Mars: Sedimentary history as analyzed from multiple data sets, Journal of Geophysical Research – Planets, 108(E12), 5129, doi:10.1029/2002JE002015.

5. Fenton, L. K., Toigo, A. D., Richardson, M. I. (2005), Aeolian processes in Proctor Crater on Mars: Mesoscale modeling of dune-forming winds, Journal of Geophysical Research – Planets, 110, E06005, doi:10.1029/2004JE002309.

6. Fenton, L. K. (2005), Potential sand sources for the dune fields in Noachis Terra, Mars, Journal of Geophysical Research – Planets, 110, E11004doi:10.1029/2005JE002436.

7. Fenton, L. K., Mellon, M. T. (2006), Thermal properties of sand from Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) and Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS): Spatial variations within the Proctor Crater dune field on Mars, Journal of Geophysical Research – Planets, 111, E06014, doi:10.1029/2004JE002363.

8. Fenton, L. K. (2006), Dune migration and slip face advancement in the Rabe Crater dune field, Mars, Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L20201, doi:10.1029/2006GL027133.

9. Fenton, L. K., Geissler, P.E., Haberle, R. M. (2007), Global warming and climate forcing by recent albedo changes on Mars, Nature, 446,doi:10.1038/nature.05718.

10. Hayward, R. K., Mullins, K. F., Fenton, L. K., Hare, T. M., Titus, T. N., Bourke, M. C., Colaprete, A., Christensen, P. R. (2007), Mars Global Digital Dune Database and initial science results, Journal of Geophysical Research – Planets, 112, E11007, doi:10.1029/2007JE002943.

11. Hayward, R. K., Mullins, K. F., Fenton, L. K., Hare, T. M., Titus, T. N., Bourke, M. C., Colaprete, A., and Christensen, P. R. (2007), Mars Global Digital Dune Database: MC2-MC29: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2007-1158.

12. Titus, T. M., Lancaster, N., Hayward, R., Fenton, L., Bourke, M. (2008), Priorities for future research on planetary dunes, Eos Transactions American Geophysical Union, 89(45), 447-448, doi:10.1029/2008EO450003.

13. Hayward, R. K., Titus, T. N., Michaels, T. I., Fenton, L. K., Colaprete, A., Christensen, P. R. (2009), Aeolian dunes as ground truth for atmospheric modeling on Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research – Planets, 114, E11012, doi:10.1029/2009JE003428.

14. Fenton, L. K., Hayward, R. K. (2010), Southern high latitude dune fields on Mars: Morphology, aeolian inactivity, and climate change. Geomorphology, 121, 98-121, doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2009.11.006.

15. Bourke, M. C., Lancaster, N., Fenton, L. K., Parteli, E. J., Zimbelman, J. R., Radebaugh, J. (2010), Extraterrestrial dunes: An introduction to the special issue on planetary dune systems, Geomorphology, 121, 1-14, doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2010.04.007.

16. Fenton, L. K.,  Michaels, T. I. (2010), Characterizing the sensitivity of daytime turbulent activity on Mars with the MRAMS LES: Early results. Mars, 5, 159-171, doi:10.1555/mars.2010.0007.

17. Silvestro, S., Fenton, L. K., Vaz, D. A., Bridges, N. T., Ori, G. G. (2010), Ripple migration and dune activity on Mars: Evidence for dynamic wind processes, Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L20203, doi:10.1029/2010GL044743.

18. Fenton, L. K., Bishop, M. A., Bourke, M. C., Bristow, C. S., Hayward, R. K., Horgan, B. H., Lancaster, N., Michaels, T. I., Tirsch, D., Titus, T. N., Valdez, A. (2010), Summary of the Second International Planetary Dunes Workshop: Planetary analogs – integrating models, remote sensing, and field data, Alamosa, Colorado, USA, May 18-21, 2010, Aeolian Research, 2(2-3), 173-178, doi:10.1016/j.aeolia.2010.09.001.

19. Hayward, R. K., Fenton, L. K., Tanaka, K. L., Titus, T. N., Colaprete, A., and Christensen, P. R. (2010), Mars Global Digital Dune Database; MC-1: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010-1170.

20. Silvestro, S., Vaz, D. A., Fenton, L. K., Geissler, P. E. (2011), Active aeolian processes on Mars: A regional study in Arabia and Meridiani Terrae, Geophysical Research Letters, 38, L20201, doi:10.1029/2011GL048955.

21. Silvestro, S., Fenton, L., Michaels, T., Valdez, A., Ori, G. G. (2012), Interpretation of the complex dune morphology on Mars: Dune activity, modelling and a terrestrial analogue, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 37, 1424-1436, doi:10.1002/esp.3286.

22. Balme, M. R., Pathare, A., Metzger, S. M., Towner, M. C., Lewis, S. R. Spiga, A., Fenton, L. K., Renno, N. O., Elliot, H. M., Saca, F. A., Michaels, T. I., Russell, P., Verdasca, J. (2012), Field measurements of a horizontal forward velocities of terrestrial dust devils: Towards a proxy for ambient winds on Mars and Earth, Icarus, 221, 632-645, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2012.08.021.

23. Hayward, R. K., Fenton, L. K., Titus, T. N., Colaprete, A., and Christensen, P. R. (2012), Mars global digital dune database: MC-30: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012-1259, scale 1:20,000,000.

24. Fenton, L. K., Hayward, R. K., Horgan, B. H. N., Rubin, D. M., Titus, T. N., Bishop, M. A., Burr, D. M., Chojnacki, M., Dinwiddie, C. L., Kerber, L., Le Gall, A., Michaels, T. I., Neakrase, L. D. V., Newman, C. E., Tirsch, D., Yizhaq, H., Zimbelman, J. R. (2013), Summary of the Third International Planetary Dunes Workshop: Remote sensing and image analysis of planetary dunes, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA, June 12-15, 2012, Aeolian Research8, 29-38, doi:10.1016/j.aeolia.2012.10.006.

25. Geissler, P. E., Stantzos, N. W., Bridges, N. T., Bourke, M. C., Silvestro, S., Fenton, L. K., (2013), Shifting sands on Mars: Insights from tropical intra-crater dunes, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms38(4), 407-412, doi:10.1002/esp.3331.

26. Fenton, L. K., Ewing, R. C., Bridges, N.T., Lorenz, R. D. (2013), Extraterrestrial Aeolian Landscapes, InShroder, J. F. (ed.), Treatise on Geomorphology: Aeolian Geomorphology, vol. 11, 287-312. San Diego: Academic Press.

27. Silvestro, S., Vaz, D. A., Ewing, R. C., Rossi, A. P., Fenton, L. K., Michaels, T. I., Flahaut, J., Geissler, P. E. (2013), Pervasive aeolian activity along rover Curiosity's traverse in Gale crater, Mars. Geology, 41, 483-486, doi:10.1130/G34162.1.

28. Fenton, L. K., Michaels, T. I., Beyer, R. A. (2014), Inverse maximum bedform-normal transport 1: How to determine a dune-constructing wind regime using only imagery, Icarus, 230, 5-14, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2013.04.001.

29. Hayward, R. K., Fenton, L. K., Titus, T. N. (2014), Mars Global Digital Dune Database (MGD3): Global dune distribution and wind pattern observations, Icarus,230, 38-46, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2013.04.011.

30. Fenton, L. K., Michaels, T. I., Chojnacki, M., Beyer, R. A. (2014), Inverse maximum bedform-normal transport 2: Application to a dune field in Ganges Chasma, Mars and comparison with HiRISE repeat imagery and MRAMS, Icarus230, 47-63, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2013.07.009.

31. Cabrol, N. A., Herkenhoff, K., Knoll, A. H., Farmer, J., Arvison, R., Grin, E., Li, R., Fenton, L., Cohen, B., Bell, J. F. III, Yingst, R. A. (2014) Sands at Gusev crater, Mars, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 119(5)941-967,  doi:10.1002/2013JE004535.

32. Chojnacki, M., Johnson, J. R., Moersch, J. E., Fenton, L. K., Michaels, T. I., Bell III, J. F. (2014) Persistent aeolian activity at Endeavour crater, Meridiani Planum, Mars: New observations from orbit and the surface, Icarus, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2014.04.044.

33. Fenton, L. K., Michaels, T. I., Chojnacki, M. (2015) Late Amazonian aeolian features, gradation, wind regimes, and sediment state in the vicinity of the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, Meridiani Planum, Mars, Aeolian Research, 16, 75-99,, doi:10.1016/j.aeolia.2014.11.04.

34. Fenton, L. K., Lorenz, R. (2015) Dust devil height and spacing with relation to the martian planetary boundary layer thickness, Icarus, doi:10.1016/j.aeolia.2015.07.028.

35. Vaz, D. A., Sarmento, P. T. K., Barata, M. T., Fenton, L. K., Michaels, T. I. (2015) Object-based dune analysis: Automated dune mapping and pattern characterization for Ganges Chasma and Gale crater, Mars, Geomorphology, 250, 128-139, doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.08.021.

36. Fenton, L. K., Reiss, D., Lemmon, M., Marticorena, B., Lewis, S., Cantor, B. (2016) Orbital observations of dust lofted by daytime convective turbulence, Space Science Reviews, doi:10.1007/s-11214-016-0243-6.

37. Fenton, L. K., Bishop, J. L., King, S., Lafuente, B., Horgan, B., Bustos, D., Sarrazin, P. (2016) Sedimentary differentiation of aeolian grains at the White Sands National Monument, New Mexico, USA, in press at Aeolian Research., doi:10.1016/j.aeolia.2016.05.001.

38. Geissler, P. E., Fenton, L. K., Enga, M.-T., Mukherjee, P. (2016) Orbital monitoring of martian surface changes, in press at Icarus, doi:1016/j.icarus.2016.05.023.

39. Bennett, K. A., Fenton, L., Bell, J. F. III. The albedo of martian dunes: Insights into aeolian activity and dust devil formation, Aeolian Research, doi:10.1016/j.aeolia.2016.08.009.

40. Chojnacki, M., Urso, A., Fenton, L. K., Michaels, T. I. (2016) Aeolian dune sediment flux heterogeneity in Meridiani Planum, Mars, Aeolian Research,doi:10.1016/j.aeolia.2016.07.004.