Jarmo Korteniemi

At Hrunagil lava fall, Fimmvörðuháls, Iceland.

Jarmo Korteniemi, planetary geomorphologist

Me and my planetary science

I am by heart a wonderer: If a strange feature in the landscape catches my eye, I need to try and explain it. This has lead me to study volcanoes, glacial features, sedimentology, ground water, climate change, and impact cratering – to name a few.

I have worked intimately with most datasets from Mars probes, specializing in visible and near-IR wavelength image analysis. This combines my two main passions: observing nature and my graphical tendencies. I love geomorphologic mapping, especially using complementary spectral datasets.

I worked on the Mars Express HRSC (High Resolution Stereo Camera) science team from the target planning phase (ca. 2000) onwards, both at DLR and Uni of Oulu. At UCSC I studied how the recent changes in the Martian climate are represented in geomorphology.

I am also inclined towards public outreach and science journalism. By training I am both an astronomer-geoscientist and a science communicator.


  • Muon Solutions, Finland: 2022–present
  • Science journalist, freelance: ca. 2012–present
  • Arctic Planetary Science Institute, Rovaniemi, Finland: 2014–present
  • Past:
    • Tiedetuubi.fi, online science journal: 2013–present
    • University of Oulu, Planetology research group, Oulu, Finland: 1996–2014
    • University of California in Santa Cruz, Earth & Planetary Sciences, Santa Cruz, CA, USA: 2010–2011
    • Universities Space Research Association, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX, USA:  2009
    • University of Münster (WWU), Institute of Planetology, Münster, Germany: 2008–2009
    • German Aeroscpace Center (DLR), Institute of Planetary Research, Berlin, Germany; 2002
    • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Optoelectronics, Machine vision group, Oulu, Finland: 1999
    • Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, Aeronomy, Sodankylä, Finland: 1998

Top five publications

Top five field study sites

  • Iceland (volcanoes, glaciers, coastal plains; Vatnajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, Eyjafjallajökull, Reykjanes, Grímsvötn, Katla; 1988, 2008, 2012)
  • Mojave desert (volcanism and sedimentary processes; 2010)
  • Impact craters all around (Barringer Crater 2017; Lappajärvi & Söderfjärden 2000, 2001, 2010, 2016; Lumparn 2015; Keurusselkä 2010; Kaali 2008; Ries & Steinheim 2008; Ilumetsa & Tsõõrikmäe 2005; Karikkoselkä 2000)
  • Island volcanism* (Santorini, Greece, 2006; Madeira, Portugal, 2016)
  • Coastal desert and the Andes mountains, Peru, 2005*

* enthusiastically explored whilst on holiday 😉

Top five special courses and excursions

  • Nordic – NASA / Hawai’i: Water, Ice and the Origin of Life in the Universe, Eyjafjallajökull – Myrdalsjökull – Torfajökull, Iceland, 2012
  • NordForsk – NIR: Impact Cratering in the Planetary System – Cratering Mechanisms and Shock Metamorphism, Lappajärvi – Söderfjärden – Keurusselkä impact craters, Finland, 2010
  • SYKLI: Geologic diversity of Saaremaa, Estonia, 2008
  • ESIR: Geophysical Research Campaign at the Ilumetsa Impact Craters, Estonia, 2005
  • ESA/Novespace: 3rd student parabolic flight campaign, Bordeaux, France, 2000

Other achievements, positions of trust, etc.

  • Reviewer for Icarus (2012), NASA (2012), NSF (2013), Journal for Geophysical Research (2013), Springer references (2013-2015; 2019), National Geographic (2015), Frontiers in Astronomy (2022-2023)
  • Member of the editorial board of the Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms (Hargitai & Kereszturi (eds.), Springer, 2015); 2nd edition 2019-2020.
  • Organizing committee member for international science conferences (Nordic Geological Winter Meeting, Oulu, Finland, 2006; EPSC, Münster, Germany, 2008) and conference session chair (Vernadsky-Brown Microsymposium, Moscow, Russia, 2005 and 2007; EPSC, Berlin, Germany, 2006)
  • Teaching in-depth planetology courses and supervising M.Sc. and B.Sc. theses