Department of Geological Sciences
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Research Areas: Mineral Physics and Petrology

1. Aqueous Geochemistry
2. Environmental and Theoretical Geochemistry
3. Mineral Physics and Petrology
4. Paleoecology
5. Paleoclimatology and Paleoceanography
6. Planetary Science    
7. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
8. Seismology
9. Space Geodesy
10. Tectonics and Structural Geology

Craig R. Bina uses thermodynamic equations of state to determine phase diagrams for mantle minerals at temperatures and pressures representative of the transition zone (400-670 km). His goal is to compare these models with seismic velocity profiles to constrain the exact mineralogical nature of mantle discontinuities. He also appliesGraph--click to see a larger image such techniques to the study of lower crustal structure and composition, and to the investigation of lower mantle mineralogy and thermoelasticity. Click the graph to see a larger image.


Steve Jacobsen
uses various experimental techniques to synthesize and probe the physical properties of Earth and planetary materials. His research in the area of mineral physics applies an atomic-scale understanding of mineral properties to geophysical-scale problems. For example, he is currently using novel ultrasonic techniques to measure the effects of hydration on elastic wave propagation in deep-mantle minerals.  High-pressure silicate phases in the mantle transition zone (410-660 km depth) have the potential to store vast quantities of H2O in the solid state, and results from Jacobsen’s lab are being used to interpret seismic studies of the mantle by seismologists such as departmental colleague Suzan van der Lee . Jacobsen’s research also explores structural and electronic transformations in Earth and technological materials at high pressures and temperatures inside diamond-anvil cells, which are capable reaching static pressures in excess of 100 GPa (equal to 1800 miles depth in the Earth) in his Locy Hall laboratory. Much of Jacobsen’s work is carried out using brilliant synchrotron X-rays available at the nearby Advanced Photon Source of Argonne National Laboratory .



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