Dr. P. Senthil Kumar received B.Sc and M.Sc degrees from University of Madras and Ph.D from Osmania University. Dr. Kumar is currently a Principal Scientist at National Geophysical Research Institute in Hyderabad. Dr. Kumar’s research areas include planetary geology (Moon, Mars and Venus), meteorite impact cratering, continental crustal thermal structure, Precambrian geology and tectonics, and application of near-surface geophysics in groundwater exploration. He started a new research activity of planetary geology at National Geophysical Research Institute in 2004 and that is now developed into a promising new research group. He is systematically studying the meteorite impact structures on Earth and other planets (Mars, Venus and the Moon) to understand the shock-induced impact deformation, fragmentation of target rocks and the role of pre-impact structures on the final crater shapes. He elucidates the geologic history of planetary surfaces through a detailed digital geological mapping using various orbiter and rover datasets and the state-of-the-art image processing and geographic information systems. For example, his geologic map of Lada Terra Quadrangle in the Venus' southern hemisphere has been prepared at 1:5,000,000 and published jointly by NASA and USGS. He is also a co-investigator of a NASA project on the geologic mapping of Valles Marineris, Mars. His research projects on Moon and Mars funded by ISRO has yielded many new research findings such as central mound secondary craters, gullies and landslides, lobate scarps and seismically produced boulders tracks. His work on Deccan basalt province as a terrestrial analogue of Mars has yielded many new results and useful comparisons to landscapes and geologic processes on Mars. He actively participates in the studies of data obtained/to be obtained by Chandrayaan-1 and 2 and Mars Orbiter Mission of ISRO.
Prior to his entry to planetary studies, he established a large database and knowledge of how radioactive heat producing elements distributed in the continental lithosphere of the Indian Shield and quantified the amount of heat contributed by the crustal radioactivity to the overall surface heat flow. In addition, he contributed to the development of near surface geophysical studies in the application of ground water exploration and other mineral exploration studies.
He has been a recipient of IGU Krishnan Gold Medal, INSA Young Scientist Medal and the Associate of the Indian Academy of Sciences, in addition to other professional recognitions.
MS Krishnan Gold Medal, Indian Geophysical Union, 2013
Young Scientist Medal, Indian National Science Academy, 2008
Associate of Indian Academy of Sciences, 2007
BOYSCAST Fellowship, DST, Government of India, 2006
CSIR-UGC (NET) JRF/SRF Fellowship, 1997
Cromarty Prize, University of Madras, 1996 (University First Rank)
Mishra, and P. Senthil Kumar (2022), Spatial and temporal distribution of lobate scarps in the Lunar South Polar Region: Evidence for latitudinal variation of scarp geometry, kinematics and formation ages, neo-tectonic activity and sources of potential seismic risks at the Artemis candidate landing regions. Geophysical Research Letters, 49, e2022GL098505, https://doi.org/10.1029/2022GL098505
Rupali Mohanty, P. Senthil Kumar, S.T.G. Raghukanth, and K.J.P. Lakshmi (2020) The Long-lived and recent seismicity at the lunar Orientale basin: Evidence from morphology and formation ages of boulder avalanches, tectonics and seismic ground motion, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 125, e2020JE006553. https://doi. org/10.1029/2020JE006553.
K.J.P. Lakshmi and P. Senthil Kumar (2020) Physical properties of basalt ejecta boulders at Lonar crater, India: Insights into the target heterogeneity and impact spallation processes in basalt with application to Mars, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 125, e2020JE006593. https://doi.org/ 10.1029/2020JE006593
P. Senthil Kumar, Rupali Mohanty, K.J.P. Lakshmi, S.T.G. Raghukanth, A. Dhabu, R.P. Rajesekar, and Rajeev Menon (2019), The seismically active lobate scarps and co-seismic lunar boulder avalanches triggered by 3rd January 1975 (MW 4.1) shallow moonquake, Geophysical Research Letters, 46, 7972-7981, DOI: 10.1029/2019GL083580.
P. Senthil Kumar, N. Krishna, K.J.P. Lakshmi, S.T.G. Raghukanth, A. Dhabu and T. Platz (2019), Recent seismicity in Valles Marineris, Mars: Insights from young faults, landslides, boulder falls and possible mud volcanoes, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 505, 1 January 2019, 51-64. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2018.10.008
P. Senthil Kumar, U. Sruthi, N. Krishna, K.J.P. Lakshmi, R. Menon, Amitabh, B.G. Krishna, D.A. Kring, J.W. Head, J.N. Goswami and A.S. Kiran Kumar (2016) Recent shallow moonquake and impact-triggered boulder falls on the Moon: New insights from the Schrödinger basin, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 121, 147-179, doi:10.1002/2015JE004850.
Krishna and P. Senthil Kumar (2016) Impact spallation processes on the Moon: A case study from the size and shape analysis of boulders and secondary craters of Censorinus Crater, Icarus, 264, 274-299, DOI:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.09.033.
P. Senthil Kumar, K.J.P. Lakshmi, N. Krishna, R. Menon, U. Sruthi, V. Keerthi, A. Senthil Kumar, D. Mysaiah, T. Seshunarayana, and M.K. Sen (2014) Impact fragmentation of basalt at Lonar Crater, India: Implications for impact cratering processes in basalt, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 119, 2029-2059, DOI:10.1002/2013JE004543.
P. Senthil Kumar and J.W. Head (2013) Geologic map of the Lada Terra (V-56) quadrangle, Venus, US Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3246, scale 1:5,000,000, 11 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sim3249.
P. Senthil Kumar, V. Keerthi, A.S. Kumar, J.F. Mustard, B.G. Krishna, Amitabh, L.R. Ostrach, D.A. Kring, A.S.K. Kumar, and J.N. Goswami (2013) Gullies and landslides on the Moon: Evidence for dry-granular flows, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 118, 206–223, doi:10.1002/jgre.20043.
Rupali Mohanty (2016-2021): PhD awarded
Abhisek Mishra (2019-2024): PhD in progress
Vivek Krishnan (2019-2024): PhD in progress
Meenakshi Yellapragada (20
CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute:
Principal Scientist, CSIR-NGRI, Hyderabad, 2014-Present
Senior Scientist, CSIR-NGRI, Hyderabad, 2010- 2014
Scientist, CSIR-NGRI, Hyderabad, 2006-2010
Junior Scientist, CSIR-NGRI, Hyderabad, 2002-2006
CSIR (NET)-JRF/SRF, CSIR-NGRI, Hyderabad, 1997-2002
Faulty of Academy of Scientific & Innovative Research:
Associate Professor, since 2014
Assistant Professor, up to 2014
Brown University, USA: 2007-2008
Lunar and Planetary Institute, USA: 2007-2008
Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, Chennai: 2019-Present
Geological Society of India
American Geophysical Union