Geochemistry

The Geochemistry faculty study a wide range of processes and interactions, including products of large-scale Earth differentiation, such as the composition, evolution and age of the mantle and core, the formation and evolution of oceanic and continental crust, interactions between the geochemical environment (soil, water, air) and human health, fundamental questions involving the oceans and continental water systems, global geochemical cycles involving the atmosphere, oceans and Earth's interior, natural and engineered methods for carbon capture and storage, and using a wide range of geochemical archives to understand how and why the ocean and climate have changed at timescales ranging from seasons to millions of years. The faculty has developed strong collaborations with Columbia University engineers, biologists, public health researchers and American Museum of Natural History petrologists, planetary geologists and paleontologists.

Gary Mesko
Personal Information
Gary
Mesko
Graduate Research Fellow
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Geochemistry
Columbia University
Earth Institute
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Contact Information
117 Comer
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000
Palisades
NY
10964-8000
US
(845) 365-8401

Fax: 

(845) 365-8155
Education
M.Phil
Columbia University - GSAS
05/2015
M.A.
Columbia University - GSAS
05/2013
B.A.
Columbia University - Columbia College
05/2009
Edmond A. Mathez
Personal Information
Edmond
A.
Mathez
American Museum of Natural History
Adjunct Senior Research Scientist
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Geochemistry
Contact Information
425 Comer
Palisades
NY
10964-8000
US
(845) 365-8699

Fax: 

(845) 365-8155
Education
Ph.D.
University of Washington
1999
M.S.E.
University of Washington
1994
B.S.M.E.
Columbia University
1992
Susanne Straub
Personal Information
Susanne
Straub
Lamont Associate Research Professor
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Geochemistry
Contact Information
415 Comer
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000
Palisades
NY
10964-8000
US
(845) 365-8464

Fax: 

(845) 365-8155

Fields of interest: 

Magmatic fluxes in subduction zones

The processing of crustal and mantle materials in subduction zones plays a key role in creating and maintaining the habitable Earth. In order to understand the impact of magmatic subduction zones fluxes on the broader geochemical cycles, I pursue integrative geochemical and geological studies in the intra-oceanic Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc (NW Pacific), and the continental Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. 
 

The lifetime of arcs (~20-100 myr) scales to the evolution of the Earth’s mantle and crustal reservoirs as well as to the plate tectonic cycle, to the opening and closing of ocean gateways, and to the evolution of the global climate. Understanding if and how the arc outflux is linked to these cycles requires a temporally precise and highly resolved record of arc evolution. Such a record is preserved in the minute igneous particles of marine tephra fallout and can be obtained by using state-of-the-art analytical techniques. 
 

My research in Mexico focuses on understanding arc growth rates as key variable of mass balance calculations. We begun a study that shall lead to a closer integration of geochemistry with geology and volumes of extrusive series emplaced through time. This will allow us to relate subduction parameters (e.g. crustal thickness, convergence rate) to the chemical compositions of convergent margin volcanics and to test various hypotheses for the formation of convergent margin magmas. This data base project is complemented by selected field studies that aim to understand differentiation and origin of the alkaline and calc-alkaline magmas of the Mexican Volcanic Belt.

Active projects:

  • Testing the Processes of Melt Differentiation in the Mexican Volcanic Belt, NSF-EAR
  • Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf isotope evolution of the Mariana volcanic arc, NSF-EAR (MARGINS) 
Education
Habilitation
Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel, Germany
2004
Ph.D.
Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel, Germany
1991
Diplom ( ~M.Sc.)
Technische Universität Clausthal, Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany
1988
Selected Publications:
Geochemical and Petrological Insights into the Tectonic Origin of the Transmexican Volcanic Belt, Gómez-Tuena, A.; Mori, L.; Straub, S.M. Earth Science Reviews (2017) doi:10.1016/j.earscirev. 2016.12.006
Late Cenozoic Tephrostratigraphy Offshore Southern Central America: 2. Implications for magma subduction rates and subduction erosion, Schindlbeck, J.C.; Kutterolf, S.; Freundt, A.; Straub, S.M.; Vannuchi, P.; Alvarado, G.E. Geochem Geophys Geosys, Volume: 17 p.: 4585–4604 (2016) doi:10.1002/2016GC006504.
Crustal Recycling by Subduction Erosion in the central Mexican Volcanic Belt, Straub, S. M.; Gómez-Tuena,.; Bolge, L. L.; Brandl, A., Espinasa-Perena, R.; Solari, L.; Stuart, F. M.; Vannucchi, P.; Zellmer, G. F. Geochim Cosmochim Acta, Volume: 166 p.: 29-52 (2015) doi 10.1016/j.gca.2015.06.001
Temporal Evolution of the Mariana Arc: Mantle Wedge and Subducted Slab Controls Revealed with a Tephra Perspective, Straub, S. M.; Woodhead, J. D.; Arculus, R. J. Journal of Petrology, Volume: 56 (2) p.: 409-439 (2015) doi 10.1093/petrology/egv005.
Eolian dust input to the Subarctic North Pacific, Serno, S.; Winckler, G.; Anderson, R.F.; Hayes, C.T.; McGee, D.; Machalett, B.; Ren, H.; Straub, S.M.; Gersonde, R.; Haug, G.H. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume: 387 p.: 252-263 (2014)
A Genetic Link between Silicic Slab Components and Calc-Alkaline Arc Volcanism in central Mexico, Straub, S.M.; Zellmer, G.F.; Gómez-Tuena, A.; Espinasa-Perena, R.; Martin-Del Pozzo, A.L.; Stuart, F.M.; Langmuir, C.H. Geol Soc Lon Spec Pub 385 p.: 31-64 (2014) doi 10.1144/SP385.14
The processes of melt differentiation in arc volcanic rocks: Insights from OIB-type arc magmas in the central Mexican Volcanic Belt, Straub, S.M.; Gomez-Tuena, A.; Zellmer, G.F.; Espinasa-Perena, R.; Stuart, F.M.; Cai, Y.; Langmuir, C.H.; Martin-Del Pozzo, A.; Mesko, G.T. J Petrol p.: 665-701 (2013) doi:10.1093/petrology/egs081
Formation of Hybrid Arc Andesites beneath Thick Continental Crust, Straub, S. M.; Gómez-Tuena, A.; Stuart, F. M.; Zellmer, G. F.; Espinasa-Perena, R.; Cai, Y.; Iizuka, Y. Earth Planet Sci Lett, Volume: 303 p.: 337-347 (2011) doi 10.1016/j.epsl.2011.01.013.
Mid-ocean-ridge basalt of Indian type in the northwest Pacific Ocean basin, Straub, S. M.; Goldstein, S. L.; Class, C.; Schmidt, A. Nature Geoscience Apr, Volume: 2, Issue: 4 p.: 286-289 (2009) Doi 10.1038/Ngeo471
Evidence from high-Ni olivines for a hybridized peridotite/pyroxenite source for orogenic andesites from the central Mexican Volcanic Belt, Straub, S. M.; LaGatta, A. B.; Pozzo, A. L. M. D.; Langmuir, C. H. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems Mar 7, Volume: 9 p.: - (2008) Doi 10.1029/2007gc001583
The systematics of chlorine, fluorine, and water in Izu arc front volcanic rocks: Implications for volatile recycling in subduction zones, Straub, S. M.; Layne, G. D. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta Nov, Volume: 67, Issue: 21 p.: 4179-4203 (2003) Doi 10.1016/S0016-7037(00)00307-7
Cornelia Class
Personal Information
Cornelia
Class
Lamont Associate Research Professor
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Geochemistry
Lecturer
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Contact Information
439 Comer
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000
Palisades
NY
10964-8000
US
(845) 365-8712

Fax: 

(845) 365-8155

Fields of interest: 

Solid Earth Geochemistry and Dynamics

As a student I became fascinated by the ability of geochemical tools to *look* into the otherwise inaccessible Earth's mantle and constrain its heterogeneity and temporal evolution as well as aspects of its convective regimes. Combined with the stunning beauty of volcanoes, which provide such *windows* into the Earth's interior, mantle geochemistry became my passion. In an attempt to understand the present and past geology of the mantle, I integrate a wide range of analytical techniques (major and trace elements, Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf-Os isotopic compositions and noble gases) to quantify geochemical processes wherever possible. My present research focuses on the following questions: (i) Constraints on the age and precursor materials of plume sources, (ii) Processes of plume-lithosphere interaction, identification of deep mantle plume components, and the composition of old oceanic lithospheric mantle, (iii) The significance of detached continental lithosphere in the source regions of oceanic basalts and processes of detachment, (iv) Processes of element transport from subducting slabs to the sub-arc mantle, (v) The subcontinental lithospheric mantle as a chemical layer and its role in volcanism, and (vi) The origin of primordial 3He in oceanic basalts and its implications for mantle dynamics. 

Some of my current projects include:

  • Dynamic and geochemical evolution of the lithospheric mantle beneath the Western Ross Sea, Antarctica. Cathleen Doherty's graduate research project.
  • The role of magmatism during early stage rifting - a multidisciplinary, multinational study in the southern part of the East African Rift. Gary Mesko's graduate research project.
  • Plate tectonic and geochemical evolution of the young Walvis Ridge and implications for African plate motion modeling, plume zonation and sources related to the African large low shear wave velocity province. Cruise website.
  • Evolution of the Galapagos mantle plume.
Education
Ph.D. (Dr. rer. nat.)
Max-Planck Institute for Geochemistry Mainz and University of Karlsruhe, Germany
1994
MA (Diplom Mineraloge)
University of Karlsruhe, Germany
1990
Selected Publications:
High precision Sr-Nd-Hf-Pb isotopic compositions of USGS Standard Reference Material BCR-2, Jweda, J., Bolge, L., Class, C., Goldstein, S.L. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research (2015)
Metasomatism of the Pan-African lithospheric mantle beneath the Damara Belt, Namibia, by the Tristan mantle plume: geochemical evidence from mantle xenoliths, le Roex, A. P.; Class, C. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, Volume: 168 (2014) 10.1007/s00410-014-1046-y
Meter-scale Nd isotopic heterogeneity in pyroxenite-bearing Ligurian peridotites encompasses global-scale upper mantle variability, Borghini, G.; Rampone, E.; Zanetti, A.; Class, C.; Cipriani, A.; Hofmann, A.W.; Goldstein, S.L. Geology, Volume: 41 p.: 1055-1058 (2013) 10.1130/g34438.1
How double volcanic chains sample geochemical anomalies from the lowermost mantle, Farnetani, C. G.; Hofmann, A. W.; Class, C. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume: 359-360 p.: 240-247 (2012) 10.1016/j.epsl.2012.09.057
Hotspot trails in the South Atlantic hospot controlled by plume and plate tectonic processes, O'Connor, J.M.; Jokat, W.; le Roex, A.P.; Class, C.; Wijbrans, J.R.; Keßling, S.; Kuiper, K.F.; Nebel, O. Nature Geoscience, Volume: 5 p.: 735-738 (2012) 10.1038/NGEO1583
South Atlantic DUPAL anomaly - Dynamic and compositional evidence against a recent shallow origin, Class, C.; le Roex, A. P. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume: 305 p.: 92-102 (2011)
Osmium isotopes in Grande Comore lavas: constraints on EM-type mantle components, Class, C; Goldstein, S L; Shirey, S B Earth and Planetary Letters, Volume: 284 p.: 219-227 (2009)
Ce anomalies in Gough Island lavas - Trace element characteristics of a recycled sediment component, Class, C.; le Roex, A. P. Earth and Planetary Science Letters Jan 30, Volume: 265, Issue: 3-4 p.: 475-486 (2008) DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2007.10.030
Continental material in the shallow oceanic mantle - How does it get there?, Class, C.; le Roex, A. P. Geology Mar, Volume: 34, Issue: 3 p.: 129-132 (2006) Doi 10.1103/G21943.1
Evolution of helium isotopes in the Earth's mantle, Class, C.; Goldstein, S. L. Nature Aug 25, Volume: 436, Issue: 7054 p.: 1107-1112 (2005) Doi 10.1038/Nature03930
Distinguishing melt and fluid subduction components in Umnak volcanics, Aleutian Arc, Class, C.; Miller, D. M.; Goldstein, S. L.; Langmuir, C. H. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, Volume: 1, Issue: 6 (2000) 10.1029/1999GC000010
Plume-lithosphere interactions in the ocean basins: constraints from the source mineralogy, Class, C.; Goldstein, S. L. Earth and Planetary Science Letters Aug, Volume: 150, Issue: 3-4 p.: 245-260 (1997)

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