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July 3, 2012
Contact: K.E. Schwab

Graduate’s research makes Science magazine

Andrew Ryan, a 2011 Slippery Rock University geography, geology and the environment graduate, has co-authored an article published by Science. The article looks at evidence for past volcanic processes on Mars.

“Coils and Polygonal Crust in the Athabasca Valles Region, Mars, as Evidence for a Volcanic History” examines spiral patterns on Mars. The article was published in the April 27 Science, co-authored by Philip Christensen, a professor and Ryan’s adviser at Arizona State University.

“These spirals are very similar to lava coils that form on the surface of lava flows on Earth in places such as Hawaii, indicating that the terrain in Athabasca Valles is of volcanic origin,” Ryan said. “This is a particularly interesting revelation, because there has been an ongoing debate over the last decade whether the features that we observe in and around Athabasca Valles are products of water and ice flow or of volcanism.”

Ryan is a first-year student in the geological sciences doctoral program in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University.

Through its print and online versions, Science reaches a worldwide audience of more than 1 million. It was founded in 1880.

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