Donald D Blankenship


Donald D Blankenship
Senior Research Scientist, Institute for Geophysics, Jackson School of Geosciences

Phone: +1 512 471 0489, +1 512 471 6156
Email: blank@ig.utexas.edu
CV (pdf)

Media Rep Contact

Anton Caputo (primary)
512-232-9623
email

Monica Kortsha
512-471-2241
email

 
 

Dr. Blankenship uses both airborne and ground-based geophysical techniques, including laser altimetry, radar sounding, seismic reflection and refraction, and potential fields methods, to investigate dynamics of large ice sheets and subglacial geology. Much of his current research is focused on understanding the West Antarctic rift system (including the flanking Transantarctic Mountains) and the marine-based West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Blankenship's recent aerogeophysical investigations have verified that there is a strong correlation between subglacial sediments and ice streaming; these airborne experiments also give indications of active subglacial volcanism near the critical region where ice streams begin. The airborne platform that he developed to simultaneously acquire ice-penetrating radar, laser altimetry, airborne gravity, and aeromagnetic measurements has become the foundation for an NSF-sponsored national facility for airborne geophysics in Antarctica (SOAR) operating from UTIG. Building on his expertise in radar sounding and ice sheets, Blankenship has become involved in the planning of an unmanned space mission to Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, which is thought to have an ice-covered ocean that may host exotic life. He has served on several definition teams for NASA's Europa Orbiter Mission, currently planned to launch in 2006.

Media Rep Contact

Anton Caputo (primary)
512-232-9623
email

Monica Kortsha
512-471-2241
email