WASSERBURG, GERALD J. / Earth sciences / Researchers

International Center for Scientific Research

Researchers

Earth sciences / WASSERBURG, GERALD J.

isotopesgps.caltech.edu

Position

John D. MacArthur Professor of Geology and Geophysics, Emeritus, California Institute of Technology, USA.

Research interests

Isotopic Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry in the Lunatic Asylum

Professor Wasserburg and his colleagues in the "Lunatic Asylum" are carrying forward a vigorous research program in several areas. These range from theoretical studies to the development and application of analytical methods to the study of some natural systems. The research areas of interest are in cosmochemistry, geochemistry and aqueous geochemistry.

The general purpose of the cosmochemical research is: 1) to understand the nucleosynthetic and chemical processes which led to the formation of dust grains around presolar stars; 2) to model early nucleosynthesis in galaxies; 3) to establish the chronology of events and processes which led to the formation of the solar system from the interstellar medium, using short and intermediate lifetime radioactive nuclides; 4) to understand the events during the early stages of solar system formation and the development and early evolution of planets.

The geochemical studies are directed toward 1) the structure and evolution of large scale reservoirs within the earth and their relationship to major geodynamical processes and 2) the short term processes involving climate change, recent volcanism and fluid-rock interactions. The fluid rock interactions are particularly important with regard to environmental problems and the stability and storage of radioactive waste. Many of these geochemical studies directly involve field work.

Prizes and awards

Crafoord Prize 1986, with Claude Allègre, "for their pioneering studies of isotope geochemical relations and the geological interpretations that these results permit"

Publications

Papers in Cosmochemistry
J. H. Chen, D. A. Papanastassiou and G. J. Wasserburg
Re-Os systematics in chondrites and the fractionation of the Platinum Group Elements. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 62, 3379-3382 (1998).
B-G. Choi, G. R. Huss and G. J. Wasserburg
Presolar corundum and spinel in ordinary chondrites: Origins from AGB stars and a supernova. Science 282, 1284-1289 (1998).

M. Busso, R. Gallino and G. J. Wasserburg
Nucleosynthesis in AGB stars: relevance for galactic enrichment and solar system formation.
Annual Reviews of Astronomy and Astrophys. 37, 239-309 (1999).

B.-G. Choi, G. R. Huss, and G. J. Wasserburg
Circumstellar hibonite and corundum and nucleosynthesis in asymptotic giant branch stars. Astrophys. J. 522, L133-136 (1999).

H. C. Connolly, Jr., G. R. Huss, and G. J. Wasserburg
On the formation of Fe-Ni metal in CR2 meteorites. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, submitted (2000)

W. Hsu, G. J. Wasserburg, and G. R. Huss
High time resolution by use of the 26Al chronometer in the multistage formation of a CAI. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett 182, 15-29, (2000).

Y.-Z. Qian and G. J. Wasserburg
Evolution of O abundance relative to Fe.
Astrophys. J., in press (March, 2001).

G. Srinivasan, G. R. Huss, and G. J. Wasserburg
A petrographic, chemical, and isotopic study of Ca-Al-Inclusions and Al-rich chondrules from the Axtell (CV3) chondrite. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 35, 1333-1354 (2000).

G. J. Wasserburg and Y.-Z. Qian
A model of metallicity in the evolution of the early universe.
Astrophys. J. 538, L99-L102 (2000).

Papers in Geochemistry
A. Kaufman, G. J. Wasserburg, D. Porcelli, M. Bar-Matthews, A. Ayalon, L. Halicz
U-Th isotope systematics and U-series ages of speleothems from Soreq Cave, Israel and climatic correlations. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 156, 141-155 (1998).

M. Roy-Barman, G. J. Wasserburg, D. A. Papanastassiou and M. Chaussidon
Osmium isotopic compositions and Re-Os concentrations in sulfide globules from basaltic glasses. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 154, 331-347 (1998)

M. Bar-Matthews, A. Ayalon, A. Kaufman, G. J. Wasserburg, B. Ghaleb
Eastern Mediterranean paleoclimate during the last 60,000 years as derived from speleothems, Soreq Cave, Israel. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 166, 85-95 (1999).

M. Sharma, G. J. Wasserburg, A. W. Hofmann, and G. J. Chakrapani
Himalayan uplift and osmium isotopes in oceans and rivers. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 63 , 4005-4012 (1999).

M. Sharma, G. J. Wasserburg, A. W. Hoffman, and D. A. Butterfield
Osmium isotopes in hydrothermal fluids from the Juan de Fuca Ridge.
Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 179, 139-152 (2000)

P. S. Andersson, D. Porcelli, O. Gustafsson, J. Ingri, and G. J. Wasserburg
The behaviour of uranium isotopes in the low salinity zone of a stable estuary. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, in press (2000).

A. Tricca, D. Porcelli and G. J. Wasserburg
The transport of U- and Th-series nuclides in a sandy unconfined aquifer.
Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, in press (2001).

Philosophy
G. J. Wasserburg
The University community: Teaching and research; opportunities and the road to greatness. Kobe University, June 1999.

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