Using isotopes to understand Earth surface processes

Our goal is to understand in detail the range of processes that shape the Earth’s surface. To this end, employing state-of-the-art analytical tools, our work is largely focused around the following two research methods:

Cosmogenic-nuclide based Geomorphology

The possibility to measure the rates and dates of landscape processes by in situ-produced cosmogenic nuclides (e.g., 10Be and 26Al) is currently leading to an entirely new understanding of the processes that shape the Earth’s surface. We have applied cosmogenic nuclides to infer process rates of erosion and weathering, from the individual soil profile to a continental drainage basin. We have explored how these nuclides behave when stored in large floodplain basins. We develop the ratio of the meteoric cosmogenic nuclide 10Be to that of stable, lithosphere-derived, 9Be as an innovative tracer of Earth surface processes.

Novel stable isotopes

We explore the field of novel stable isotope (Fe, Si, Li, Mg) fractionation. These methods are employed to fields such as the budgets of the Earth’s principle geochemical reservoirs, experimental calibration of stable isotope fractionation, and evolution of the Earth’s hydrosphere’s redox-state. The emphasis is on calibrating these new tools in settings in which we understand the underlying geomorphic and weathering processes, including the cycling of these elements through plants.