"In a series of papers published between 1923 and 1932, J Harlen Bretz described an enormous plexus of proglacial stream channels eroded into the loess and basalt of the Columbia Plateau, eastern Washington. He argued that this region, which he called the Channeled Scablands, was the product of a cataclysmic flood, which he called the Spokane flood. Considering the Nature and vehemence of the opposition to his hypothesis, which was considered outrageous, its eventual scientific verification constitutes one of the most fascinating episodes in the history of modern science."
Victor R. Baker, 1978

In Baker's 1978 paper, he highlights the relationship between the flood morphology of the channeled scablands and the flood channels on Mars. In both cases, cataclysmic floods scoured the landscape, producing deeply incised river valleys, streamlined hills, and other indicative erosional features.
The recent discovery of columnar jointing in Martes Valles, Mars (Milazzo et al., 2009) has strengthened the relationship between the Channeled Scablands, where jointing is readily observable in the Columbia basalts, and our terrestrial neighbor.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Meet the Expedition Leaders: Brian Jackson

Brian Jackson is a NASA postdoctoral fellow at Goddard Space Flight Center. He received his B.S. in Physics from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta GA and his Ph.D. in Planetary Sciences from the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona in Tucson. His graduate research focused on tidal effects on extra-solar planets. During his graduate work, Brian showed that many of the first rocky extra-solar planets found may be volcanically active, as a result of tidal heating. As a post-doctoral fellow at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Brian has expanded his research to consider atmospheric evaporation from extra-solar planets very close to their host stars and to search for the transits of these planets. He has authored and co-authored numerous scientific papers and conference proceedings and crisscrossed the country to give invited talks at Caltech, MIT, Harvard, among others. He has contributed several short articles to "Astronomy" magazine and given numerous public talks. Brian lives with his wife Maki in Silver Spring MD.

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