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understanding earth through isotopes WSU RIGL



Fundamental Research In RIGL

        The fundamental research conducted in RIGL is to understand the Earth from the perspective of geochemistry. Radiogenic isotopes are important tools that enable us to understand how the Earth formed and how it has evolved through its history. Radiogenic isotopes also help constrain the geological processes that are operating on Earth today. To this end, we have worked on a wide range of earth and planetary materials including meteorites, igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks of all ages, modern sediments and volcanic rocks, and water samples.

We use radiogenic isotopes in two different ways: 

  • As natural isotopic tracers of sources and geological processes
  •       Geochronometers to determine the ages of rocks and geological events

The following are examples of our research interests with associated publications, on-going projects, and collaborations:

This is the longest standing research interest of RIGL (Vervoort et al., 1994; Vervoort et al., 1996; Vervoort and Patchett, 1996; Vervoort and Blichert-Toft, 1999; Vervoort et al., 2000; Kemp et al., 2010; Fisher et al., 2018) and a topic that is still actively pursuing (main WSU collaborators, post-doc researchers).

  • The Pb evolution of the Earth

This is also a long-standing research interest (Vervoort et al., 1993; Vervoort et al., 1994) that is still active–in part collaborative with Francis Albarede and Janne Blichert-Toft, Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon.

  • Constraining the Sm-Nd and Lu-Hf isotopic composition of the bulk silicate earth using chondritic meteorites

This was work collaborative with Jon Patchett, University of Arizona and Audrey Bouvier, (now at) Western University. (Patchett et al., 2004; Bouvier et al., 2008).