Planetary Geodynamics Laboratory

Planetary Geodynamics Laboratory

Two Columns


Welcome to the Planetary Geodynamics Laboratory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. On January 24, 2005, as part of the restructuring that created a unified
Sciences and Exploration Directorate ,
we changed our name and became part of the
Solar System Exploration Division .

- Herb Frey, Laboratory Chief


The mission of the Planetary Geodynamics Laboratory is to conduct research into the structure, dynamics and evolution of the solid Earth and planets, using in situ and remote sensing data, to better understand:

  • The dynamics of the solar system and the climatic and potential impact effects that result for us on Earth

  • How and why the Earth is similar to - and different from - other planetary bodies in the solar system

  • The current and likely future state of the Earth, especially as regards hazards to humans

  • The likely location of other habitable environments in the solar system

Major Elements

Major elements include Geomagnetism, Crustal Deformation, Topography and Surface Change, Orbital-Rotational-Climate Interaction, Planetary Geology and Geophysics.

The research activities of the Planetary Geodynamics Laboratory comprise a broadly based effort, centered on measuring, modeling, and interpreting the configuration and motion of the crust, mantle, and core of the Earth. Similar efforts are also directed toward understanding the Moon, Mars, and Venus. Relevant data types include regional-to-global scale patterns of stress, strain, seismicity, gravity, topography, magnetics, and temporal variations in Earth rotation. Processes under intensive study include orbital evolution, post-glacial rebound, rotational dynamics, faulting, tectonism, volcanism, mantle convection, core magnetohydrodynamics, erosion and impact crater formation. NASA Logo -