Francis Nimmo - Selected Publications

The following is a selected list of my recent publications. Click here for a complete list. Students and post-docs are marked by an asterisk *.


  • Constraints on terrestrial planet formation timescales and equilibration processes in the Grand Tack scenario from Hf-W isotopic evolution, N.G. Zube*, F. Nimmo, R.A. Fischer, S.A. Jacobson, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 522 210-218, 2019. Reprint
  • Ferrovolcanism: Iron volcanism on metallic asteroids, J.N.H. Abrahams*, F. Nimmo, Geophys. Res. Lett. , accepted, Preprint.
  • Pluto's ocean is capped and insulated by gas hydrates, S. Kamata, F. Nimmo, Y. Sekine, K. Kuramoto, N.Noguchi, J. Kimura, A. Tani Nature Geosci. ,, 2019. Reprint
  • An upper bound on Pluto's heat flux from a lack of flexural response of its normal faults, J.W. Conrad*, F. Nimmo, P.M. Schenk, W.B. McKinnon et al. Icarus 328 , 210-217, 2019. Reprint
  • Using the density of Kuiper Belt Objects to constrain their composition and formation history, C.J. Bierson*, F. Nimmo, Icarus , 326, 10-17, 2019 Reprint
  • Young inner core inferred from Ediacaran ultra-low geomagnetic field intensity, R.K. Bono, J.A. Tarduno, F. Nimmo, R.D. Cottrell, Nature Geosci. 12 143-147, 2019 Preprint
  • Tidal dissipation in rubble-pile asteroids F. Nimmo, I. Matsuyama, Icarus , 321, 715-721, 2019. Preprint.


  • The thermal and orbital evolution of Enceladus: observational constraints and models F. Nimmo, A.C. Barr, M. Behounkova, W.B. McKinnon, in Enceladus and the icy moons of Saturn, P.M. Schenk, R.N. Clark, C.J.A. Howett, A.J. Verbiscer, J.H. Waite, eds., Univ. Ariz. Press, pp.79-94, 2018 Reprint
  • Plume origins and plumbing: from ocean to surface J.R. Spencer, F. Nimmo, A.P. Ingersoll, T.A. Hurford, E.S. Kite, A.R. Rhoden, J. Schmidt, C.J.A. Howett, in Enceladus and the icy moons of Saturn P.M. Schenk, R.N. Clark, C.J.A. Howett, A.J. Verbiscer, J.H. Waite, eds., Univ. Ariz. Press, pp. 163-174, 2018. Reprint
  • Transforming dust to planets F. Nimmo, K. Kretke, S. Ida, S. Matsumura, T. Kleine in Space Sci. Rev. 214, 2018. Reprint.
  • Effects of core formation on the Hf-W isotopic composition of the Earth and dating of the Moon-forming impact,, R.A. Fischer, F. Nimmo, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. , 499, 257-265, 2018 Reprint.
  • Lunar impact history constrained by GRAIL-derived basin relaxation measurements J.W. Conrad*, F. Nimmo, C.I. Fassett, S. Kamata, Icarus , 314 50-63, 2018 Reprint.
  • Implications of the observed Pluto-Charon density contrast C.J. Bierson*, F. Nimmo, W.B. McKinnon Icarus , 309, 207-219, 2018 Reprint.
  • Radial mixing and Ru-Mo isotope systematics under different accretion scenarios R.A. Fischer, F. Nimmo, D.P. O'Brien Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. , 482 105-114, 2018 Reprint


  • Magnesium isotope evidence that accretional vapour loss shapes planetary compositions, R.C. Hin, C.D. Coath, P.J. Carter, F. Nimmo, Y-J. Lai, P.A.E. Pogge von Strandmann, M. Willbold, Z. Leinhardt, M.J. Walter, T. Elliott, Nature , 549 511-515, 2017.
  • Interior thermal state of Enceladus inferred from the viscoelastic state of the ice shell, S. Kamata, F. Nimmo Icarus , 284 387-393, 2017 Reprint
  • Mean radius and shape of Pluto and Charon from New Horizons images, F. Nimmo, O. Umurhan, C.M. Lisse, C.J. Bierson* et al. Icarus , 287 12-29, 2017 Reprint
  • Charon tectonics, R.A. Beyer, F. Nimmo, W.B. McKinnon, J.M. Moore et al. Icarus , 287 161-174, 2017 Reprint
  • Origin of the Pluto-Charon system: Constraints from the New Horizons flyby, W.B. McKinnon, S.A. Stern, H.A. Weaver, F. Nimmo et al. Icarus , 287 2-11, 2017 Reprint


  • Reorientation of Sputnik Planitia implies a subsurface ocean on Pluto, F. Nimmo, D.P. Hamilton, W.B. McKinnon, P.M. Schenk, R.P. Binzel, C.J. Bierson*, R.A. Beyer, J.M. Moore, S.A. Stern, H.A. Weaver, C.B. Olkin, L.A. Young, K.E. Smith, Nature , 540 94-96, 2016 Email me if you want a reprint.
  • An early geodynamo driven by exsolution of mantle components from Earth's core, J. Badro, J. Siebert, F. Nimmo, Nature , 536 326-328, 2016 Email me if you want a reprint.
  • A test for Io's magma ocean: modeling tidal dissipation with a partially-molten mantle, C.J. Bierson*, F. Nimmo J. Geophys. Res. , 121 2211-2224, 2016 Reprint
  • Ocean worlds in the outer solar system, F. Nimmo, R.T. Pappalardo J. Geophys. Res. , 121 1378-1399, 2016 Reprint .
  • New Horizons at Pluto P.M. Schenk, F. Nimmo Nature Geosci., 9, 411-412, 2016 Reprint
  • Convection in a volatile nitrogen-ice-rich layer drives Pluto's geological vigour W.B. McKinnon, F. Nimmo, T. Wong, P.M. Schenk, O.L. White, J.H. Roberts, J.M. Moore, J.R. Spencer, A.D. Howard, O.M. Umurhan, S.A. Stern, H.A. Weaver, C.B. Olkin, L.A. Young, K.E. Smith Nature 534, 82-85, 2016 Email me if you want a reprint.
  • Tidal dissipation in the lunar magma ocean and its effect on the early evolution of the Earth-Moon system E.M.A. Chen*, F. Nimmo Icarus, 275 132-142, 2016 Reprint
  • Impact disruption of gravity-dominated bodies: new simulation data and scaling N. Movshovitz*, F. Nimmo, D.G. Korycansky, E. Asphaug, J.M. Owen Icarus, 275, 85-96, 2016 Reprint
  • Effects of mass transfer between Martian satellites on surface geology M. Nayak*, F. Nimmo, B. Udrea, Icarus 267 220-231, 2016 Reprint


  • Early differentiation and core formation: Processes and timescales F. Nimmo, T. Kleine AGU Geophysical Monograph v. 212, The Early Earth: Accretion and Differentiation , pp. 83-102, 2015 Preprint.
  • Magnetic meteorites and the early solar system J.F.J. Bryson, F. Nimmo, R.J. Harrison Astron. Geophys. 56 36-42, 2015 Reprint
  • Disruption and re-accretion of mid-sized moons during an outer Solar System Late Heavy Bombardment N. Movshovitz*, F. Nimmo, D. Korycansky, E. Asphaug, J. Owen, Geophys. Res. Lett. 42 doi:10.1002/2014GL062133, 2015 Reprint SOM
  • Thermal and compositional evolution of the core, F. Nimmo Treatise on Geophysics, Vol. 9, pp. 201-219, 2015 Preprint.
  • Energetics of the core, F. Nimmo Treatise on Geophysics, Vol. 8, pp. 27-55, 2015 Preprint.
  • Formation of the Earth's core, D. C. Rubie, F. Nimmo, H.J. Melosh Treatise on Geophysics, Vol. 9, pp. 43-79, 2015 Preprint.
  • Elastic thickness and heat flux estimates for the Uranian satellite Ariel G. Peterson*, F. Nimmo, P. Schenk, Icarus 250 116-122, 2015 Reprint.
  • Long-lived magnetism from solidification-driven convection on the pallasite parent body J.F.J. Bryson, C.I.O. Nichols, J. Herrera-Albillos, F. Kronast, T. Kasama, H. Alimadadi, G. van der Laan, F. Nimmo, R.J. Harrison, Nature 517 472-475, 2015. Email me if you want a reprint.
  • Powering Triton's recent geological activity by obliquity tides: Implications for Pluto geology, F. Nimmo, J. R. Spencer, Icarus 246 2-10, 2015 Reprint.
  • Bulk chemical and Hf-W isotopic consequences of incomplete accretion during planet formation, C.A. Dwyer*, F. Nimmo, J.E. Chambers, Icarus 245, 145-152, 2015 Reprint


  • Enceladus, F. Nimmo and C. Porco, in Encyc. Solar System, T. Spohn, D. Breuer, T.V. Johnson, eds., pp. 851-860, Elsevier, 2014 Reprint.
  • Impact basin relaxation as a probe for the thermal history of Pluto S. Kamata*, F. Nimmo, J. Geophys. Res. 119, doi:10.1002/2014JE004679, 2014 Reprint
  • GRAIL gravity constraints on the vertical and lateral density structure of the lunar crust, J. Besserer*, F. Nimmo, M.A. Wieczorek, R.C. Weber, W.S. Kiefer, P.J. McGovern, J.C. Andrews-Hanna, D.E. Smith, M.T. Zuber Geophys. Res. Lett. 41, doi:10.1002/2014GL060240, 2014 Reprint SOM
  • The tidal-rotational shape of the Moon and evidence for polar wander I. Garrick-Bethell, V. Perera, F. Nimmo, M.T. Zuber, Nature 512 181-184, 2014. Email me if you want a reprint.
  • Tidally-modulated eruptions on Enceladus: Cassini ISS observations and models F. Nimmo, C. Porco, C. Mitchell, Astron. J. 148 46, 2014 Reprint.
  • How the geysers, tidal stresses, and thermal emission across the south polar terrain of Enceladus are related, C. Porco, D. DiNino, F. Nimmo, Astron. J. 148 45, 2014 Reprint.
  • Planetary reorientation, I. Matsuyama, F. Nimmo, J.X. Mitrovica Ann. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 42, 605-634, 2014. Email me if you want a reprint.
  • The gravity field and interior structure of Enceladus, L. Iess, D.J. Stevenson, M. Parisi, D. Hemingway*, R.A. Jacobson, J.I. Lunine, F. Nimmo, J.W. Armstrong, S.W. Asmar, M. Ducci, P. Tortora Science 344, 78-80, 2014. Email me if you want a reprint.
  • Tidal heating in icy satellite oceans, E.M.A. Chen*, F. Nimmo, G.A. Glatzmaier, Icarus 229, 11-30, 2014 Reprint.
  • Transient water vapor at Europa's South pole, L. Roth, J. Saur, K.D. Retherford, D.F. Strobel, P.D. Feldman, M.A. McGrath, F. Nimmo Science 343, 171-174, 2014. Email me if you want a reprint.

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    This page was last modified on 22nd Dec 2016.