Geological Fluid Dynamics
Department of Geology
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Geological Fluid Dynamics Group

Geological fluid dynamics is a new and emerging field that addresses dynamic surface processes, such as movement of water and wind, the dynamics of volcanic eruptions and of meteorite impacts. The goal of our studies is to understand how and why fluids move in these environments.

animation of GFD flows

Recent Publications

Orescanin, M. M., Austin, J. M., Kieffer, S. W., Unsteady high-pressure flow experiments with applications to explosive volcanic eruptions, Journal Geophysical Research, Vol. 115, doi: 10.1029/2009 JB006985, 2010.

Huang, F., Chakraborty, P., Lundstrom, C. C., Holmden, C., Glessner, J. J. G., Kieffer, S. W., Lesher, C. E. Isotope fractionation in silicate melts by thermal diffusion. Nature, Vol. 464, no. 7287, pp. 396 - 400, March 2010.

Kieffer, S. W., Lu X., McFarquhar, G., Wohletz, K. H., A redetermination of the Ice/vapor ratio of Enceladus' plume: implications for sublimation and the lack of a liquid reservoir, Icarus, Vol. 203, pp. 238-241, 2009.

Chakraborty, P., Gioia, G., and Kieffer, S.W., Volcanic Mesocyclones, Nature, Vol. 458, no. 7237, pp. 457 - 500, March 2009.

Kieffer, S. W., Lu X., McFarquhar, G., Wohletz, K. H., Ice/vapor ratio of Enceladus' plume: implications for sublimation, Abstract 2261, Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, March 2009.

Lu, X. and Kieffer, S., Thermodynamics and Mass Transport in Multicomponent, Multiphase H2O Systems of Planetary Interest, Annual Review of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Vol. 37, pp. 449-477, 2009.

Kieffer, S.W., Barton, P., Chesworth, W., Palmer, A.R., Reitan, P., and Zen, E., Mega-scale processes: natural disasters and human behavior , in press, GSA Special paper 453 "Prevention of Random Mege-scale Events on Mars and Earth", ed. Mary Chapman, pp. 77-86, 2009.

Kieffer, S.W. and Jakosky, B.M., Enceladus: Oasis or Ice Ball?, Science, Vol. 320, no. 5882, pp. 1432 - 1433, doi:10.1126/science.1159702, June 2008.

Gioia, G., Chakraborty, P., Marshak, S., and Kieffer, S.W., Unified model of tectonics and heat transport in a frigid Enceladus, PNAS, Vol. 104, no. 34, pp. 13578 - 13581, doi:10.1073/pnas.0706018104, August 2007.

Contact info:

Prof. Susan W. Kieffer

Center for Advanced Studies Professor of Geology and Physics

Charles R. Walgreen, Jr., Chair

205 Natural History Building
1301 W. Green St.
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217)244-6206
Fax: (217)244-8725
Blog: Geology in Motion


Volcanic Mesocyclones Nature paper featured in NPR, National Geographic, Nature Podcast, Nature Abstractions, Nature Hot Topics, Nature Blog, NSF News, Earth Magazine, New Scientist, Cosmos, UIUC News.

Enceladus Tectonics PNAS paper featured in UIUC News, National Geographic, PNAS In this Issue and Physics Today (Excerpt).

Enceladus Science paper featured in Science News of the Week, Planetary Society, Science Daily and

Volcán Reventador's Unusual Umbrella featured in National Geographic, UIUC News and AGU News.

Upcoming Events:

September 27-29, 2010
Visit by Joe Boyce