Graduate student Anthony Maue successfully defended his doctoral dissertation on July, 7, 2022, titled: Field data analysis, laboratory experimentation, and mapping Cassini radar images to characterize fluvial sediments on Titan.
Tony’s study of planetary geology has focused on the fluvial activity on the icy surface of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. He used flyby radar data from the Cassini spacecraft and near-surface images from the Huygens lander, along with terrestrial field analog studies in Death Valley, CA, to better characterize the fluvial sediment on Titan and related processes. In addition, a custom tumbler was designed that rotates in a bath of liquid nitrogen to simulate the abrasion of icy pebbles at around -170 degrees Celsius, comparable to methane rivers on Titan. The observed downstream fining and rounding of icy sediment in the laboratory helps explain downstream variations in radar backscatter in Titan’s fluvial features, revealing surprisingly Earth-like processes.
Tony received his bachelor’s degree in Geophysics and Planetary Science at Boston University. His PhD from Northern Arizona University is in Astronomy and Planetary Science.