The Magnet Lab's Geochemistry Program was established in 1994 with the hiring of Vincent Salters and Alan Zindler and the move of several of the faculty (Roy Odom and Paul Ragland) from the FSU Geological Sciences Department to the new MagLab. Ragland and Zindler have since retired and new faculty have been added. Today the program has four professors (Munir Humayun, Odom, Salters and Yang Wang) and one faculty member from Oceanography (Philip Froelich). Froelich joined the Geochemistry Department in 2003 as an Eppes Professor. Staff members in the geochemistry program also include an engineer (Joe Mas), a chemist (Afi Sachi-Kocher), a secretary and about 10 graduate students. Please see our Group Members page for more information on our faculty and staff.
Together with faculty in the departments of chemistry and oceanography, we have started a program in biogeochemical dynamics. This program combines the MagLab's strengths in detailed characterization of organic matter through NMR, FT-ICR-MS and ESR analyses with the capabilities in the geochemistry program for high-precision trace level concentration and high-precision isotope composition analyses.
The geochemistry facilities are also used by faculty and students from other divisions at the MagLab, the FSU departments of Geological Sciences, Oceanography and Chemistry & Biochemistry, as well as by researchers at other universities. The division is open to outside users.
The Magnet Lab was the original site for a new electronic Earth science journal, G3: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. Both the MagLab and FSU are founding institutions of this new journal.
Geochemistry facilities are in general open to any user for research projects. Access is granted on an individual basis; contact program director Vincent Salters. Although there is a charge for the use of the facilities, pilot projects and development of analytical techniques are regularly accommodated without a charge.
Research in the geochemistry program is centered around the use of trace elements and isotopes to understand the Earth processes and environment. The research interests range from the chemical evolution of the Earth and solar system through time to local scale problems on the sources and transport of environmentally significant substances. The studies conducted by the geochemistry division concern both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial questions and involve land-based and sea-going expeditions and spacecraft missions. Some of the oceanographic research has relations to the RIDGE and ODP programs.
- Siderophile element microanalysis by Laser Ablation ICP-MS (NASA): trace element microanalysis of metal, sulfide and other phases in chondrites to determine the origins of metal grains in meteorites, including carbonaceous chondrites, ordinary chondrites, and enstatite chondrites; and the origins of iron meteorites.
- Platinum group element geochemistry of high-MgO lavas (NSF): isotope dilution ICP-MS analysis of PGEs, and Re-Pt-Os isotope studies of modern lavas (e.g., Iceland) and komatiites, both Archean and Phanerozoic.
- Analysis of implanted Solar Wind in NASA's NASA's Genesis mission wafers: measurements of low-level elemental elemental abundances in ultrapure Si and Si-on-sapphire wafers exposed to solar wind regimes by the GENESIS spacecraft mission for the purpose of obtaining precise Solar System Elemental Abundances.
- Elemental analyses of cometary material that will be returned by NASA's Stardust mission
- The distribution of FeO in the mantle between hotspot lavas and other mantle-derived lavas from precise measurements of the Fe/Mn ratio.
- The biochemical and genetic mechanisms of metal uptake by micro-organisms using stable isotope tracers.
- Siderophile element abundances in Archean metasediments.
- Speciation of metals and nutrients in natural waters.
- Hf-isotopes in mantle materials.
- Near mantle solidus trace element partitioning at pressures up to 3.4 GPa.
- Assessing the presence of pyroxenite in the source of Hawaiian basalts: hafnium-neodymium-thorium isotope evidence.
- Temporal Chemical Variations within Lowermost Jurassic Tholeiitic Magmas of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province.
- Determining the mineralogy of the MORB source through Nd-isotope analyses on abyssal peridotites.
- Determining the 176Hf/177Hf and 143Nd/144Nd of bulk Earth through studies of meteorites.
Read more about Salters' research projects.
Most of the funding for these projects is through grants from the National Science Foundation to the principal investigators.
For more information contact program director Vincent Salters at email@example.com or