I am a Postdoc Fellow at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. My current research focuses on rock breakdown due to thermoelastic stresses on airless bodies (Moon, Mercury, NEAs, comets), Earth, and Mars. Thermal stress weathering caused by thermal fatigue and shock may be important in regolith production and crater breakdown on terrestrial surfaces. This may be especially important on some bodies, such as Phaethon, the Mercury crossing asteroid that is the source of the geminid meteor shower. It could also be important on comets as they enter the solar system for the first time and begin to break apart. I'm interested in understanding the range of thermoelastic stresses experienced by these bodies, and quantifying the damage that is incurred as a result. This will lead to a better understanding of surface modification and evolution over time.
In general, I am interested in the role of thermomechanical processes in the evolution of solid (ice or rock) bodies at a variety of scales, from micro- to macroscopic. Other interests include fluvial erosion and drainage basin systems on Earth and Titan, and other surface processes. I employ primarily numerical modeling techniques in my research, along with the occasional laboratory experiment and terrestrial field study.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
jmolaro (at) jpl.nasa.gov
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