Plattner Geophysics Group

Regional and subregional crustal magnetic field inversion for the Martian south polar area using altitude-cognizant gradient vector Slepian functions. See our Mars South Pole paper on my publications site.
Electrical resistivity tomography and time-domain induced polarization to study a native-american platform mound.
Ground penetrating radar profiles of the Royal Arches Meadow Rock Avalanche in Yosemite Valley, California.
Students using GPR on campus for educational purposes..
Local crustal magnetic field model of the Martian Southern Highlands.
GPRPy graphical user interface for ground penetrating radar data processing and visualization. Freely available on GitHub

Alain Plattner CV

Welcome to the planetary and near-surface geophysics group

We are part of the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.

You can find more information about current and past research on the research page. The publications page contains links to pdfs of published articles.

Our group studies magnetic fields of planetry bodies in our solar system from satellite data to infer the geologic history and structure of these planetary bodies. To date we have studied the planets Mars and Mercury, and the Jovian moon Ganymede.

We also use near-surface geophysical instrumentation to look into the shallow subsurface here on the Earth. This work is typically with colleagues in archaeology, biology, hydrology, basically any field of study that can profit from information of the shallow subsurface.

Interested in joining our group as a graduate student?

If you are interested in joining our group as an MS (Master's) student or PhD (Doctoral) student, please see the Prospective Graduate Students page and also the Research page. I am generally looking for talented and motivated students in either planetary science or near-surface geophysics. My main funding is for planetary science but I may be able to find funding for a promising near-surface geophysics project.



September 2021

Our research article on Mercury's core magnetic field is published. It is freely available from here

September 2020

Graduate student Marcus Pacheco's research article was published. In his work, Marcus used ground penetrating radar and electrical resistivity tomography to study the internal structure of a rock avalanche in Yosemite Valley, California. The research article is freely available from here

April 2020

Alain Plattner receives NASA Early Career Award

June 2019

Plattner group received a NASA "Discovery Data Analysis Program" grant to study the crustal and core magnetic field of Mercury.

November 2018

The ground penetrating radar processing and visualization software GPRPy is now complete. I will keep adding features but the current version is ready to use. Please check it out on

August 2018

I am excited to have started my new position as assistant professor at the University of Alabama. This will allow me to greatly grow this research group including PhD students and postdocs.

I am also working on a Python-based graphical user interface GPR processing and visualization software that is scriptable and can automatically generate scripts while using the GUI. Here is the link to the software which is still under development:


Background figure

The figure in the background shows the recently-discovered core-field anomaly on Mercury, plotted over Mercury's topography.


Alain Plattner
Department of Geological Sciences
University of Alabama
201 7th Avenue
Room 2023 Bevill Building
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487

Email: amplattner (at) ua (dot) edu