Climatic Processes in Geology

The climate of the Earth -- that is, the long-term patterns of temperature, precipitation, winds, and atmospheric and oceanic composition -- has evolved over time and left traces in the rocks, soils, and fossils that formed in contact with the changing environment. Geologists, geobiologists, and geochemists can therefore study the climate of the Earth and its history over billions of years through examination of preserved rocks and fossils and the molecular record carried by living organisms.

Climatic Processes - Core Faculty

John Eiler: Geochemistry

The isotope geochemistry of light elements (H, C, N, O and S), as applied to: the origin and evolution of igneous rocks; the origin and evolution of meteorites; planetary atmospheres; atmospheric and environmental chemistry; paleoclimate; and paleontology.


Ken Farley: Noble gas geochemistry and cosmogenic dating

Rare gas composition of terrestrial materials, chemical evolution of the Earth's mantle and atmosphere, petrogenesis of oceanic lavas, low temperature thermochronometry, geologic record of interplanetary dust flux.


Woodward Fischer: Earth history

Evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis and the rise of atmospheric oxygen, origin of Archean and proterozoic iron formation, distribution and evolution of lipid biomarker synthesis, coupled behavior of redox and acid-base processes at critical transitions in Earth history.


Joseph Kirschvink: Geobiology

Geobiology; geophysics; paleomagnetism; paleoclimatology; biophysics; animal navigation; neurobiology; astrobiology.


Climatic Processes - Associated Faculty

Jess Adkins: Geochemistry

Geochemical investigations of past climates using corals, sediments and their interstitial waters; Rate of deep ocean circulation and its relation to mechanisms of rapid climate changes.


Simona Bordoni: Environmental Science and Engineering

Monsoons; tropical circulations; interactions between mesoscale and larger-scale circulations.


Tapio Schneider: Global Environmental Science

Dynamics of Earth's climate and of the global circulation of the atmosphere; global climate changes; turbulence and turbulent transport in atmosphere and ocean.


Andrew F. Thompson: Environmental Science and Engineering

A myriad of physical processes, spanning scales from centimeters to hundreds of kilometers, contribute to the ocean circulation.