Amanda Nahm

In Iceland, at the bridge between two continents.

Amanda L. Nahm, PhD, planetary geologist

  • Contact: tel. +49 (30) 67055 628 ; email: Amanda.Nahm

Me and my planetary science

My expertise is in the area of planetary tectonics, focusing on the geologic and structural evolution of bodies with solid surfaces. I have studied the surfaces of Mercury, the Moon, Mars, Europa, and Enceladus during my career. I use a combination of photogeologic, topographic, and spatial analyses and modeling in order to understand the geologic and tectonic histories of my study areas.

I am currently an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Researcher at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Berlin. The goal of my research is to produce a global map of extensional structures on the Moon, classify them, and to describe their distribution. This map is based on images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and is being produced with colleagues from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

My past work has included the creation of a classification scheme for the tectonic structures on Enceladus, evaluating whether a fault on Europa would slip from tidal stresses, determining the origin of the rings of Orientale Basin on the Moon (with fellow APSI member Teemu Öhman), calculating the global strain accumulated by faults on Mars, and investigating evidence for recent glaciation on Mars.


  • Arctic Planetary Science Institute, 2018–present
  • German Aerospace Center (DLR), Berlin, Germany, 2015–present
  • Past:
    • University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, USA: 2013–2015
    • University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX, USA: 2011–2013
    • Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX, USA: 2010–2011

Top five publications

  • Nahm, A. L. and R. A. Schultz (2015), Rupes Recta and the geologic history of the Mare Nubium region, the Moon: Insights from forward mechanical modeling of the “Straight Wall,” in: Volcanism and Tectonism Across the Inner Solar System, Platz, T., Massironi, M., Byrne, P. K., and Hiesinger, H. (eds), Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 401, (Link to article)
  • Nahm, A. L., Öhman, T., and D. A. Kring (2013), Normal faulting origin for the Cordillera and Outer Rook Rings of Orientale Basin, the Moon, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 118, 190–205, doi:10.1002/jgre.20045. (Link to article)
  • Kramer, G. Y., D. A. Kring, A. L. Nahm, and C. M. Pieters (2013), Spectral and photogeologic mapping of Schrödinger Basin and implications for post‐South Pole-Aitken impact deep subsurface stratigraphy, Icarus, 223, 131–148, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2012.11.008. (Link to article)
  • Nahm, A. L. and R. A. Schultz (2011), Magnitude of global contraction on Mars from analysis of surface faults: Implications for Martian thermal history, Icarus, 211, 389–400, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2010.11.003. (Link to article)
  • Head, J. W., A. L. Nahm, D. R. Marchant, G. Neukum, and the HRSC Team (2006), Modification of the dichotomy boundary on Mars by Amazonian mid-latitude regional glaciation. Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L08S03, doi: 10.1029/2005GL024360. (Link to article)