!DOCTYPE html> Larry Soderblom | USGS Astrogeology Science Center

Astrogeology Science Center

Laurence A. Soderblom is a geophysicist with the United States Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona. He has been involved in numerous JPL planetary missions including the Mariner 6, 7, and 9, Viking, Voyager, Magellan, Galileo, Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Pathfinder, Deep Space 1, Cassini, Huygens, and the Mars Exploration Rovers. From 1978 to 1996 he twice served as Chief of the Branch of Astrogeology of the United States Geological Survey. During 1983-84 he was a Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at Caltech. He attended New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology receiving two Bachelor Degrees in geology and in physics and Caltech where he received a PhD in planetary science and geophysics. Soderblom has been engaged in a broad collection of planetary research tasks including theoretical modeling of planetary surface processes and ground-based and spacecraft instrument development. Currently he is heavily involved in the Mars Exploration Rover and the Cassini-Huygens Missions.


  • New Mexico Institute of Technology - Geology, B.S. 1966
  • New Mexico Institute of Technology - Physics, B.S. 1966
  • California Institute of Technology - Geophysics and Planetary Science, Ph.D. 1970


  • NASA Group Achievement Award for Voyager Science Investigations (1981)
  • NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Award (1981)
  • Distinguished Achievement Award New Mexico Inst. Mining Tech (1982)
  • Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar California Institute of Technology (1983-1984)
  • NASA Public Service Award (1984)
  • Department of the Interior Meritorious Service Award (1985)
  • NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Award (1986)
  • Fellow, American Geophysical Union (1987)
  • DOI Distinguished Service Award (1996)
  • G. K. Gilbert Award, Geological Society of America, 2000


  • Associate Investigator on Mariner 6 and 7 TV Team (1969-1970)
  • Associate Investigator on Mariner 9 TV Experiment Team (1970-1973)
  • Associate Investigator Viking Orbiter Imaging Team (1976-1981)
  • Member, Galileo Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (1978-2001)
  • Deputy Team Leader Voyager Imaging Science Team (1971-1990)
  • Member Magellan Project Steering Group (1978-1999)
  • Interdisciplinary Scientist, Mars Global Surveyor (1989-2002)
  • Member, Mars Global Surveyor Camera Team (1989-2002)
  • Member Huygens DISR Team (1990- )
  • Member Cassini RADAR Team (1990- )
  • Interdisciplinary Scientist, Cassini Project (1990- )
  • Member of the Imager for Mars Pathfinder Team (1994-1998)
  • Team Leader, MICAS New Millennium Deep Space 1 (1997-2001)
  • Member, Athena Science Team, Mars Exploration Rover Mission (2000-)


  • Associate Editor, Journal of Geophysical Research (1971-1973)
  • Member, SSB Committee on Lunar and Planetary Exploration (1973-1977)
  • Member, NASA Science Working Group on Terrestrial Planets (1976-1977)
  • Member, Lunar and Planetary Review Panel (1977-1979)
  • Chairman, NASA Space Science Advisory Committee (1980-1982)
  • Member, Solar System Exploration Committee (1980-1982)
  • Chairman, NASA Space and Earth Science Advisory Council (1980-1984)
  • Member, NASA Advisory Council (1980-1884)
  • President, Planetology Section, American Geophysical Union (1984-1986)
  • Member, Mars Science Working Group (1983-1985)
  • Member, NASA Solar System Exploration Management Council (1987-1988)
  • Chairman, NASA Solar System Exploration Subcommittee (1988-1990)
  • Member, NASA Space Science and Applications Committee (1988-1990)
  • Member, US/USSR Joint Wkg Grp on Solar System Exploration (1988-1992)
  • Leader, Visual Infrared Mapping Spectrometer Definition Team (1984-1988)
  • Executive Member Solar System Exploration Strategic Planning Committee (1993-1994)
  • Member, NASA Mars 2000 Strategic Planning Team (1993-1994)
  • Member, NASA Mars Science Working Group (1994-1996)
  • Member, New Millennium Science Working Group (1994-1996)
  • Member NASA Space Science Advisory Comm. (1995-1998)
  • Chair, NASA Solar System Exploration Subcommittee (1995-1998)
  • Member Mars Expeditions Strategy Working Group (1996-1998)
  • Member, NASA Strategic Roadmap Committee (2004-2005)


  • Soderblom, L. A., Britt, D. T., Brown, R. H., Buratti, B. J., Kirk, R. L., Owen, T. C., Yelle, R. V., 2004, Short-wavelength infrared (1.3-2.6 microns) observations of the nucleus of Comet 19P/Borrelly, Icarus 167, 100-112.
  • Soderblom, L. A., Boice, D. C., Britt, D. T., Brown, R. H., Buratti, B. J., Kirk, R. L., Lee, M., Nelson, R. M., Oberst, J., Sandel, B. R., Stern, S. A., Thomas, N., Yelle, R. V., 2004, Imaging Borrelly, Icarus 167, 4-15.
  • Soderblom, L. A., and 44 others, 2004, Soils of Eagle Crater and Meridiani Planum at the Opportunity Rover Landing Site, Science 306, 1723-1726.
  • Soderblom, L. A., and 15, 2002, Observations of Comet 19P/Borrelly by the Miniature Integrated Camera and Spectrometer Aboard Deep Space 1, Science 296, 1087-1091.
  • Soderblom, L.A., 1992, The composition and mineralogy of the martian surface from spectroscopic observations: 0.3 to 50 microns, in eds. Kieffer, H.H., Jakosky, B.M., Snyder, C.W., and Matthews, M.S., eds., Mars, Tucson and London, The University of Arizona Press, p. 557-593.
  • Soderblom, L. A., Becker, T. L., Kieffer, S. W., Brown, R. H., Hansen, C. J., Johnson, T. V., 1990, Triton's geyser-like plumes - Discovery and basic characterization, Science 250, 410-415.
  • Soderblom, L. A., Johnson, T. V., 1982, The Moons of Saturn, Scientific American 246, 100-115.
  • Soderblom, L., Johnson, T., Morrison, D., Danielson, E., Smith, B., Veverka, J., Cook, A., Sagan, C., Kupferman, P. N., Pieri, D., Mosher, J. A., Avis, C., Gradie, J., Clancy, T., 1980, Spectrophotometry of Io - Preliminary Voyager 1 results, Geophysical Research Letters 7, 963-966.
  • Soderblom, L. A., 1980, The Galilean moons of Jupiter, Scientific American 242, 88-100.
  • Soderblom, L. A., Wenner, D. B., 1978, Possible fossil H2O liquid-ice interfaces in the Martian crust, Icarus 34, 622-637.
  • Soderblom, L. A., Edwards, K., Eliason, E. M., Sanchez, E. M., Charette, M. P., 1978, Global color variations on the Martian surface, Icarus 34, 446-464.
  • Soderblom, L.A., 1977, Regional variations in the lunar maria: Age, remnant magnetism, and chemistry, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 1, Lunar Science Conference Eighth, Proceedings, p. 1191-1199.
  • Soderblom, L.A., 1977, Historical variations in the density and distribution of impacting debris in the inner solar system: Evidence from planetary imaging, in Roddy, D.J., Pepin, R.O., and Merrill, R.B., eds., Impact and Explosion Cratering; Planetary and Terrestrial Implications, Pergamon Press, N.Y., p. 629-633.
  • Soderblom, L. A., 1976, Viking orbital colorimetric images of Mars - Preliminary results, Science 194, 97-99.
  • Soderblom, L. A., Condit, C. D., West, R. A., Herman, B. M., Kreidler, T. J., 1974, Martian planetwide crater distributions - Implications for geologic history and surface processes, Icarus 22, 239-263.
  • Soderblom, L.A., Kreidler, T.J., and Masursky, Harold, 1973, Latitudinal distributions of erosional debris on the martian surface, Journal of Geophysical Research 78, p. 4117-4122.
  • Soderblom, L.A., and Boyce, J.M., 1973, Ages of nearside and farside terra plains based on Apollo 16 metric photography, in Apollo 16 Preliminary Science Report: National Aeronautics and Space Administration Special Paper 315, p. 29-3 to 29-6.
  • Soderblom, L. A., Malin, M. C., Cutts, J. A., Murray, B. C., 1973, Mariner 9 observations of the surface of Mars in the north polar region, Journal of Geophysical Research 78, 4197-4210.
  • Soderblom, L.A., and Lebofsky, L.A., 1972, A technique for rapid determination of relative ages of lunar areas from orbital photography, Journal of Geophysical Research 77, p. 279-296.
  • Soderblom, L.A., 1972, The process of crater removal in the lunar maria, in Apollo 15 Preliminary Science Report: National Aeronautics and Space Administration Special Paper 289, p. 87-91.
  • Soderblom, L.A., 1970, The distribution and ages of regional lithologies in the lunar maria, Ph.D. Dissertation, Calif. Inst. of Technology, Pasadena, Xerox Univ. Microfilm, Dissertation no. 70 24312, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • Soderblom, L.A., 1970, A model for small impact erosion applied to the lunar surface: Journal of Geophysical Research 75, p. 2655-2661.