!DOCTYPE html> Colin Dundas | USGS Astrogeology Science Center

Astrogeology Science Center

Colin Dundas is a Research Geologist with the USGS. He studies planetary geomorphology and surface processes using a combination of models and data from instruments like the HiRISE camera. Past and current research areas include:

  • Martian ground ice, ice-exposing impact craters, and thermokarst landforms
  • Current activity on Martian slopes
  • Large lava flows and lava-ice interaction on Mars
  • Effects of target properties and secondary craters on crater chronology
  • Floods in Martian outflow channels 
  • Volatile-loss landforms in the Solar System


  • The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
    • Ph.D., Planetary Science (Geoscience minor), 2009
  • California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
    • B.S. with honors, Planetary Science, 2004 


  • NASA Planetary Science Early Career Fellow (2014)
  • USGS STAR award, 2014
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, MRO HiRISE Science Team, 2011
  • Career Development Award, Lunar and Planetary Institute, 2009
  • TRIF Imaging Fellowship, University of Arizona, 2007


  • Dundas, C. M., McEwen, A. S. Slope activity in Gale crater, Mars. Icarus, in press.
  • Hansen, C. J., Diniega, S., Bridges, N., Byrne, S., Dundas, C., McEwen, A., Portyankina, G., 2015. Agents of change on Mars’ northern dunes: CO2 ice and wind. Icarus, 251, 264-274. 
  • Dundas, C. M., Diniega, S., McEwen, A. S., 2015. Long-term monitoring of Martian gully formation and evolution with MRO/HiRISE. Icarus, 251, 244-263.

  • Dundas, C. M., Keszthelyi, L. P., 2014. Emplacement and erosive effects of lava in south Kasei Valles, Mars. J. Volc. Geotherm. Res., 282, 92-102. 
  • Ojha, L., McEwen, A., Dundas, C., Byrne, S., Mattson, S., Wray, J., Masse, M., Schaefer, E., 2014. HiRISE observations of Recurring Slope Lineae during southern summer on Mars. Icarus, 231, 365-376. 
  • Dundas, C. M., Byrne, S., McEwen, A. S., Mellon, M. T., Kennedy, M. R., Daubar, I. J., Saper, L., 2014. HiRISE observations of new impact craters exposing Martian ground ice. J. Geophys. Res., 119, doi: 10.1002/2013JE004482.
  • McEwen, A. S., Dundas, C. M., Mattson, S. S., Toigo, A. D., Ojha, L., Wray, J. J., Chojnacki, M., Byrne, S., Murchie, S. L., Thomas, N., 2014. Recurring Slope Lineae in equatorial regions of Mars. Nature Geoscience, 7, 53-58.
  • Dundas, C. M., Keszthelyi, L. P., 2013. Modeling steam pressure under Martian lava flows. Icarus 226, 1058-1067.
  • Hansen, C. J., Byrne, S., Portyankina, G., Bourke, M., Dundas, C., McEwen, A., Mellon, M., Pommerol, A., Thomas, N., 2013. Observations of the northern seasonal polar cap on Mars I. Spring sublimation activity and processes. Icarus, 225, 881-897.
  • Diniega, S., Hansen, C. J., McElwaine, J. N., Hugenholtz, C. H., Dundas, C. M., McEwen, A. S., Bourke, M. C., 2013. A new dry hypothesis for the formation of Martian linear gullies. Icarus, 225, 526-537.
  • Dundas, C. M., Diniega, S., Hansen, C. J., Byrne, S., McEwen, A. S., 2012. Seasonal activity and morphological changes in Martian gullies. Icarus 220, 124-143.
  • Choi, D. S., Dundas, C. M., 2011. Measurements of Martian dust devil winds with HiRISE. Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L24206, doi: 10.1029/2011GL049806.
  • McEwen, A. S., Ojha, L., Dundas, C. M., Mattson, S. S., Byrne, S., Wray, J. J., Cull, S. C., Murchie, S. L., Thomas, N., Gulick, V. C., 2011. Seasonal flows on warm Martian slopes. Science 333, 740-743.
  • Hansen, C. J., and 11 colleagues, 2011. Seasonal erosion and restoration of Mars’ northern polar dunes. Science 331, 575-578.
  • Wray, J. J., and 13 colleagues, 2011. Columbus Crater and other possible groundwater-fed paleolakes of Terra Sirenum, Mars. J. Geophys. Res., E01001, doi: 10.1029/2010JE003694.
  • Diniega, S., Byrne, S., Bridges, N. T., Dundas, C. M., McEwen, A. S., 2010. Seasonality of present-day Martian dune-gully activity. Geology 38, 1047-1050. 
  • Banks, M. E., Byrne, S., Galla, K., McEwen, A. S., Bray, V. J., Dundas, C. M., Fishbaugh, K. E., Herkenhoff, K. E., Murray, B. C., 2010. Crater population and resurfacing of the Martian North Polar Layered Deposits. J. Geophys. Res. 115, E08006, doi: 10.1029/2009JE003523.
  • Reufer, A., Thomas, N., Benz, W., Byrne, S., Bray, V., Dundas, C., Searls, M., 2010. Models of high velocity impacts into dust-covered ice: Application to Martian northern lowlands. Planet. Space Sci. 58, 1160-1168. 
  • Dundas, C. M., Keszthelyi, L. P., Bray, V. J., McEwen, A. S., 2010. The role of material properties in the cratering record of young platy-ridged lava on Mars. Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L12203, doi: 10.1029/2010GL042869.
  • Dundas, C. M., McEwen, A. S., Diniega, S., Byrne, S., Martinez-Alonso, S., 2010. New and recent gully activity on Mars as seen by HiRISE. Geophys. Res. Lett. 37, L07202, doi: 10.1029/2009GL041351.
  • Dundas, C. M., Byrne, S., 2010. Modeling sublimation of ice exposed by new impacts in the Martian mid-latitudes. Icarus 206, 716-728.
  • Keszthelyi, L. P., Jaeger, W. L., Dundas, C. M., Martinez-Alonso, S., McEwen, A. S., Milazzo, M. P., 2010. Hydrovolcanic features on Mars: Preliminary observations from the first Mars year of HiRISE imaging. Icarus 205, 211-229.
  • Dundas, C. M., McEwen, A. S., 2010. An assessment of evidence for pingos on Mars using HiRISE. Icarus 205, 244-258.
  • McEwen, A. S., and 69 colleagues, 2010. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) during MRO’s Primary Science Phase (PSP). Icarus 205, 2-37.
  • Byrne, S., Dundas, C. M., et al., 2009. Distribution of mid-latitude ground ice on Mars from new impact craters. Science 325, 1674-1676.
  • Lefort, A., Russell, P. S., Thomas, N., McEwen, A. S., Dundas, C. M., Kirk, R. L., 2009. HiRISE observations of periglacial landforms in Utopia Planitia. J. Geophys. Res. 114, E04005, doi: 10.1029/2008JE003264.
  • Keszthelyi, L., Jaeger, W., McEwen, A., Tornabene, L., Beyer, R. A., Dundas, C., Milazzo, M., 2008. High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images of volcanic terrains from the first 6 months of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Primary Science Phase. J. Geophys. Res. 113, E04005, doi: 10.1029/2007JE002968.
  • Dundas, C. M., Mellon, M. T., McEwen, A. S., Lefort, A., Keszthelyi, L. P., Thomas, N., 2008. HiRISE observations of fractured mounds: Possible Martian pingos. Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L04201, doi: 10.1029/2007GL031798.
  • McEwen, A. S., and 32 colleagues, 2007. A closer look at water-related geologic activity on Mars. Science 317, 1706-1709.
  • Jaeger, W. L., Keszthelyi, L. P., McEwen, A. S., Dundas, C. M., Russell, P. S., 2007. Athabasca Valles, Mars: A lava-draped channel system. Science 317, 1709-1711.
  • Dundas, C. M., McEwen, A. S., 2007. Rays and secondary craters of Tycho. Icarus 186, 31-40.