Debajyoti Basu Sarkar

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dbs_website_2019-514565d6df541d68d8f975e7de68a1.png Primarily, I study the heat loss mechanisms within planetary interiors. My work employs the fundamental principles of fluid dynamics, constrained by the empirical evidences derived from geological field studies, geophysical data, laboratory studies including geochemical experiments, as well as remote sensing and in situ observations. It aims to identify and understand the basic geophysical processes—and their geological consequences—associated with the efficiency, or rather inefficiency, of buoyancy-driven convection within the solid interior of a planet over geologic time. One important goal here is to contribute to a predictive understanding of the divergent tectonic and climate outcomes for terrestrial bodies within the solar system—including Venus, Earth, and Mars—and beyond. Simply put, I want to know: What physical processes are responsible for a habitable Earth and an inhabitable Venus or Mars?

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At present, my research involves modeling and simulating early thermal history of terrestrial bodies. It emphasizes the role of lithospheric stress state and planetary surface temperature to determine the tectonic regime exhibited by these bodies. Surface temperature can act as a simple proxy for planetary climate. Established by the greenhouse effect, it also serves as the primary feedback between the atmosphere and mantle. Meaning, planetary surface temperature can link atmospheric evolution to the dynamics of the deep interior of terrestrial bodies. I also worked on the thermal evolution of Titan's crust to investigate the source of its atmospheric methane.

To address problems in solid Earth geophysics and planetary science, I use high performance computing to capture the dynamics of planetary mantle in numerical experiments. Geophysical, geochemical, and geomorphological data provide critical information about the formation and evolution of Earth and other planets—required to better constrain my modeling work. I am pursuing data analysis projects along with participation in missions to acquire these data. Also, I am always looking forward to working on interdisciplinary projects. I am passionate about research efforts that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries—for example, following a systems science approach—to leverage and expand my skill set.


I received my Ph.D. in planetary science in 2021 from the Department of Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Hampton University, Hampton, VA, USA. My dissertation research was supported by The Living, Breathing Planet team, as a part of NASA’s Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) research coordination network. Also, I was a graduate research assistant at the National Institute of Aerospace. In 2019, I received my M.S. in planetary science from Hampton University. I got my first master’s degree in geology from the University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA. As an undergraduate student, I studied geology at the University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh. My high school years were split between Mymensingh Zilla School, Mymensingh, and Notre Dame College, Dhaka, both in Bangladesh.

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Planetary Dynamical Modeling and Habitability

Thermal and Tectonic Evolution of Terrestrial Bodies Within Solar System and Beyond

  • Peer-Reviewed Publications: Manuscripts in preparation
  • Thesis: T2
  • Dissertation: D1

Coupled Evolution of Mantle Dynamics and Planetary Climate

  • Abstract: A3

Icy Satellite: Titan


Peer-Reviewed Publications [View on ADS (Empty Now)]

  • Manuscripts in preparation

Abstracts [View on ADS]

  • (A3) Basu Sarkar, D.; Moore, W. Climatic evolution and habitability of terrestrial planets: perspectives from coupled atmosphere-mantle systems, Abstract P41B-2079 presented at 2016 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 12-16 Dec. [Poster | Read the abstract here]
  • (A2) Basu Sarkar, D.; Elwood Madden, M. Rheology and thermal state of Titan’s crust: potential role of methane clathrate, Abstract P42B-07 presented at 2014 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 15-19 Dec. [Talk | Read the abstract here]
  • (A1) Basu Sarkar, D.; Elwood Madden, M. Clathrate hydrate stability models for Titan: implications for a global subsurface ocean, Abstract P41E-1973 presented at 2013 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 9-13 Dec. [Poster]


  • (D1) Basu Sarkar, D. Tectonic transitions out of heat pipes. Ph.D. Dissertation, Hampton University, 2021
    • Advisor: Dr. William B. Moore


  • (T2) Basu Sarkar, D. Lithospheric stress regimes on heat-pipe planets. Master’s Thesis, Hampton University, 2019
    • Advisor: Dr. William B. Moore
  • (T1) Basu Sarkar, D. Rheology and thermal state of Titan’s crust: potential role of methane clathrate. Master’s Thesis, The University of Oklahoma, 2014
    • Advisor: Dr. Megan E. Elwood Madden

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