Isaac Smith

Assistant Professor, Planetary Science & Canada Research Chair

Petrie 110

(416)-736-2100 x 77703 (Voicemail)


Dr. Isaac Smith joined York University as an Assistant Professor, CRC Tier II in Planetary Science on July 1, 2018. Dr. Smith is a planetary scientist that concentrates on atmospheric, surface, and subsurface processes on Mars, especially related to ice. He is a co-investigator on the SHARAD instrument and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. He comes to us from the Planetary Science Institute, where he joined as a post-doctoral researcher in 2016 and was promoted to research scientist in 2017. He completed his PhD at the University of Texas in 2013 and afterward received a Fulbright Fellowship to work at the Laboratory de Meterologie Dynamic at Sorbonne University in Paris. Dr. Smith’s office is PSE 110.

At York, Dr. Smith intends to continue his ongoing research and add laboratory and field components in his study of ice processes and behavior. For field work, he would like to study permafrost features and morphology in the Canadian Arctic and relate the analogue landforms to permafrost features found on Mars. In the lab he aims to constraint the rheological properties of CO2 ice to study its behavior as glaciers and albedo effects of CO2 ice as it sinters dues to incident solar radiation. Working with other ices, such as N2 and CH4, two common ices on Pluto, are longer term goals.

Research Interests

  • Mars ice and climate processes
  • Geomorphology, especially related to ice
  • Ices in the Solar system

Selected Publications

Séjourné, A., F. Costard, Z. Swirad, S. Bouley, I. B Smith, M. Balme, C. Orgel, J. Ramsdale, E. Hauber, S. Conway, S. van Gasselt, D. Reiss, A. Johnsson, C. Gallaher, J. Skinner Jr., A. Kereszture, T. Platz, (2018) Grid-mapping the northern plains of Mars: using morphotype and distribution of ice-related landforms to understand multiple ice-rich deposits in Utopia Planitia. Journal of Geophysical Research – Planets. DOI:10.1029/2018JE005665

Orgel, C., E. Hauber, S. van Gasselt, D. Reiss, A. Johnsson, J. Ramsdale, I. B. Smith, Z. Swirad, A. Séjourné, M. Balme, S. Conway, F. Costard, V. Eke, G. Gallagher, A. Kereszturi, A. Łosiak, R. Massey, T. Platz, J. Skinner Jr., L. F. Teodoro, J. Wilson (2018) Gridmapping the Northern Plains of Mars: A New Overview of Recent Water- and Ice-Related Landforms in Acidalia Planitia. Journal of Geophysical Research – Planets. DOI:10.1029/2018JE005664

Ramsdale, J., M. Balme, C. Gallagher, S. Conway, I. B. Smith, E. Hauber, C. Orgel, A. Séjourné, F. Costard, V. Eke, S. van Gasselt, A. Johnsson, A. Kereszturi, A. Łosiak, R. Massey, T. Platz, D. Reiss, Z. Swirad, L. F. Teodoro, J. Wilson, (2018), Gridmapping the northern plains of Mars: Geomorphological, Radar and Water-Equivalent Hydrogen results from Arcadia Plantia. Journal of Geophysical Research – Planets. DOI:10.1029/2018JE005663

Smith, I.B., A. Spiga (2018), Seasonal Variability in Winds in the North Polar Region of Mars, Icarus308 188-196, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2017.10.005

Spiga, A, I. B. Smith (2018), Katabatic Jumps in the Martian northern polar regions, Icarus 308 197-208, doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2017.10.021

Putzig, N.E., Smith, I.B., M. R. Perry, F. J. Foss II, B. A. Campbell, R. J. Phillips, R. Seu, (2018), Three-dimensional radar imaging of structures and craters in the Martian polar caps. Icarus 308 137-147, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2017.09.023

Smith, I.B., et al., (2018), 6th international conference on Mars polar science and exploration: Conference summary and five top questions, Icarus 308 2-14. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2017.06.027

Smith, I.B., D. Beaty, T. Thorsteinsson (2017) Mars polar intrigue spurs multidisciplinary collaboration, EOS, 98, doi:10.1029/2017EO069599.

Ramsdale, J. et al., (2017), Grid-based mapping: a method for rapidly determining the spatial distributions of small features over very large areas, Planetary and Space Science. doi:10.1016/j.pss.2017.04.002

Smith, I.B., N. E. Putzig, J. W. Holt, and R. J. Phillips (2016), An Ice Age Recorded in the Polar Deposits of Mars, Science, 352(6289), 1075-1078, doi: 10.1126/science.aad6968

Golombek, M., et al. (2016), Selection of the InSight Landing Site, Space Science Reviews 211, 5-95. doi: 10.1007/s11214-016-0321-9

Putzig, N. E., Morgan, G. A., Campbell, B. A., Grima, C., Smith, I. B., Phillips, R. J., Golombek, M., 2017. Radar-derived Properties of the InSight Landing Site in Western Elysium Planitia on Mars. Spac. Sci. Rev. 211, 135-146, doi:10.1007/s11214-016-0322-8.

Bierson, C. J., R. J. Phillips, I. B. Smith, et al., (2016), Stratigraphy and evolution of the buried CO2 deposit in the Martian south polar cap, GRL, doi:10.1002/2016GL068457.

Smith, I.B., and J. W. Holt (2015), Spiral Trough Diversity on the North Pole of Mars, as Seen by SHARAD, J. Geophys. Res. Planets. doi: 10.1002/2014JE004720

Smith, I.B., A. Spiga, J. W. Holt (2014), Aeolian Processes as Drivers of Landform Evolution at the South Pole of Mars, Geomorphology. doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2014.08.026.

Herny, C., —, I. B. Smith, et al., (2014), Sedimentation waves on the Martian North Polar Cap: analogy with megadunes in Antarctica, Earth and Planetary Sci. Letters. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2014.06.033.

Smith, I. B., J. W. Holt, A. Spiga, A. D. Howard, and G. Parker (2013), The spiral troughs of Mars as cyclic steps, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 118, doi:10.1002/jgre.20142.