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Michael Bland, Ph.D.

Mike Bland is a research space scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center.  His interest primarily lie in combining numerical models with planetary datasets to understand the thermal and tectonic evolution of ice-rich bodies. 

Past and current research areas include:

  • The mechanics of rifting in ice lithospheres (e.g., Ganymede and Enceladus)
  • The formation of contractional features on icy bodies (e.g., Europa, Enceladus, Titan)
  • Crater modification due to viscous relaxation (Enceladus and Ceres)
  • Mountain formation on Io
  • Differentiation of large icy satellites (Ganymede and Titan)
  • Production of Ganymede's magnetic field


  • University of Arizona, Tucson AZ
    • Ph.D. Planetary Science (2008)
  • Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter MN
    • BA Physics/Geology (2002)


  • First Decade Award, Gustavus Adolphus College (2012)
  • NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (2007)
  • Gerard P. Kuiper Award, University of Arizona (2007)


  • Dawn at Ceres Guest Investigator

First-Author Publications

  • Bland, M. T., McKinnon, W. B., 2017. Viscous relaxation as a prerequisite for tectonic resurfacing on Ganymede. Icarus, submitted.
  • Bland, M. T., Singer, K. N., McKinnon, W. B., Schenk, P. M., 2017. Viscous relaxation of Ganymede’s impact craters: Constraints on heat flux. Icarus 296, 275-288.
  • Bland, M. T., Raymond, C. A., Schenk, P.M., Fu, R.R., et al. 2016. Composition and structure of the shallow subsurface of Ceres revealed by crater morphology. Nat. Geo. 9, 538-542 doi:10.1038/NGEO2743.
  • Bland, M. T. & McKinnon, W. B. 2016. Deep faulting and mountain building on Io. Nat. Geo. 9, 429-432, doi:10.1038/NGEO2711.
  • Bland, M. T., McKinnon, W. B., and Schenk P. M. 2015. Constraining the heat flux between Enceladus’ tiger stripes: Numerical modeling of funiscualr plains formation. Icarus 260, 232-245, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.07.016.
  • Bland, M. T. and McKinnon, W. B., 2015. Forming Ganymede's grooves at smaller strain: Toward a self-consistent local and global strain history for Ganymede. Icarus, 245, 247-262, 10.1016/j.icarus.2014.09.008.
  • Bland, M. T. 2013. Predicted crater morphologies on Ceres: Probing internal structure and evolution. Icarus, 226, 510-521.
  • Bland, M. T. and McKinnon, W. B., 2013. Does folding accommodate Europa’s contractional strain? The effect of surface temperature on fold formation in ice lithospheres. Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 2534-2538, doi:10.1002/grl.50506.
  • Bland, M. T., and McKinnon, W. B., 2012. Forming Europa’s folds: Strain requirements for the production of large-amplitude deformation.  Icarus,221, 694-709.
  • Bland, M. T., Singer, K. S., McKinnon, W. B., and Schenk, P. M. 2012. Enceladus’ extreme heat flux as revealed by its relaxed craters. Geo. Res. Lett., 39, L17204, doi:10.1029/2012GL052736.
  • Bland, M. T., McKinnon, W. B., and Showman, A. P., 2010. The effects of strain localization on the formation of Ganymede’s grooved terrain. Icarus, 210, 396-410.
  • Bland, M. T., Showman, A. P., and Tobie, G., 2009. The orbital-thermal evolution and global expansion of Ganymede. Icarus, 200, 207-221.

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