Our Research into Geochemistry - Deep Earth
Deep Earth geochemistry involves studies of the mineralogical and chemical composition of the silicate and metallic shells of Earth’s interior. Our approach includes the analyses of natural samples and experimental run products of analog compositions. In addition, our research group is involved in calculating and testing theoretical models of the planet, the core, and the silicate Earth. These studies help to inform our models of how the Earth was assembled and differentiated. Moreover, the various competing compositional models of the Earth differ widely and predict different amounts of radiogenic power in the Earth and different mineralogical proportions for the bulk of the lower mantle. Thus a fundamental goal in Earth Sciences is to test the consistency of such geochemical models with a wide range of geological, geophysical, geochemical and meteoritical observations.
Our research into Geochemistry - Lithosphere
The lithosphere is the outermost conductive thermal boundary layer of the Earth, including the crust and lithospheric mantle for both the oceanic and continental environment. Studies show that the lithospheric mantle beneath the continents is old, refractory and markedly different from the asthenosphere and lithospheric mantle beneath the oceans. Old cratonic areas are underlain by old cratonic lithospheric mantle. We are involved in chemical and isotopic analyses of samples of the crust and mantle as ways to inform our understanding of the composition and formational processes (including long term stability) of these regions. In addition, a major goal of our research is to characterize the 3-D spatial distribution of the elements in the lithosphere as these data inform models of when, how and through what processes it formed. Moreover, specifying the amount and distribution of K, Th and U, the heat producing elements, constrains models of heat production in the lithosphere and lateral differences in the Earth’s geoneutrino flux.
Our Research into Geochemistry - Enviromental
Chemical reactivity at the Earth’s surface is a rich rewarding field of research. Our group has been involved in marine and terrestrial sited research topics that inform us about surface evolutionary processes. Weathering of the continents has occurred throughout Earth’s history and has varied in style as a function changing atmospheric conditions and global glacial cycles. We are studying the composition of average surface samples to examine temporal and spatial variations and interpret how these reflect the chemical evolution of the Earth’s upper continental crust.
Geochemistry, Solid Earth, Deep Earth publications
- Carlson, R.W., Garnero, E., Harrison, T.M., Li, J., Manga, M., McDonough, W.F., Mukhopadhyay, S., Romanowicz, B., Rubie, D., Williams, Q. and Zhong, S. (2014) How did early Earth become our modern world? Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 42:XXX-XXX (expect June 2014)
- Arévalo*, McDonough, W. F., Stracke, A., Willbold, M., Ireland*, T., R., and Walker, R. J. (2013) Mantle architecture and distribution of radiogenic power. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 14(7): 2265-2285, doi:10.1002/ggge.20152
- Brenan, J.M., Finnigan#, C.F., McDonough, W.F. and Homolova, V. (2012) Experimental constraints on the partitioning of the Ru, Rh, Ir, Pt and Pd between chromite and silicate melt: the importance of ferric iron. Chemical Geology, 302-303: 16-32. doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2011.05.015
- Corgne, A., Armstrong, L.S., Keshav, S., Fei, Y., McDonough, W.F., Minarik, W.G. and Moreno, K. (2012) Trace element partitioning between majoritic garnet and silicate melt at 10-17 GPa: Implications for deep mantle processes. Lithos, 148: 128-141, doi:10.1016/j.lithos.2012.06.013
- O'Driscoll, B., Day, J., Walker, R.J., Daly, S., McDonough, W.F. and Piccoli, P.M. (2012) Chemical heterogeneity in the upper mantle recorded by peridotites and chromitites from the Shetland Ophiolite Complex, Scotland, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 333-334: 226-237, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2012.03.035a
- Arévalo* Jr., R. and McDonough, W. F. (2010) Chemical variations and regional diversity observed in MORB. Chemical Geology, 271: 70-85, 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2009.12.013.
- Wheeler#, K. T., Walker, D. and McDonough, W. F. (2011) Pd and Ag metal-silicate partitioning applied to Earth differentiation and core-mantle exchange. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 46: 199-217, 10.1111/j.1945-5100.2010.01145.x
- Arévalo* Jr., R., McDonough, W.F. and Luong†, M. (2009) The K/U ratio of the silicate Earth: Insights into mantle composition, structure and thermal evolution. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 278: 361-369. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2008.12.023
- Brenan, J. M. and McDonough, W. F. (2009) Core formation and metal-silicate fractionation of osmium and iridium from gold. Nature Geosciences .2: 798-801. doi: 10.1038/NGEO658
- Dasgupta, R., Hirschmann, M. M., McDonough, W. F., Spiegelman, M. and Withers, A. C., (2009) Role of Carbonatitic Melt in Mantle Geochemistry Based on New Mineral-Melt Trace Element Partitioning Experiments. Chemical Geology, 262: 57–77. doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2009.02.004
- Halama**, R., Savov, I., Rudnick, R.L. and McDonough, W.F. (2009) Insights into Li and Li isotope cycling and sub-arc metasomatism from veined mantle xenoliths, Kamchatka, Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 158:197–222. DOI 10.1007/s00410-009-0378-5
- Ireland*, T., Arévalo*, R., Walker, R. J. and McDonough, W. F. (2009) Tungsten in Hawaiian picrites: a compositional model for the sources of Hawaiian lavas. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 73: 4517-4530. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2009.04.016
- O’Driscoll, B., Day, J. M. D., Daly, J. S., Walker, R. J. and McDonough, W. F. (2009) Rhenium-osmium isotopes and platinum-group elements in the Rum Layered Suite, Scotland: Implications for Cr-spinel seam formation and the composition of the Iceland mantle anomaly. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 286: 41-51. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2009.06.013
- Arévalo* Jr., R and McDonough, W. F. (2008) Tungsten geochemistry and implications for understanding the Earth’s interior. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 272: 656-665. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2008.05.031
- Aulbach**, S., Rudnick, R.L. and McDonough, W.F. (2008) Li-Sr-Nd isotope signatures of the plume and cratonic lithospheric mantle beneath the margin of the rifted Tanzanian craton (Labait). Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 155: 79-92.
- Corgne**, A., Keshav**, S., Wood, B.J., McDonough, W.F. and Fei, Y. (2008) New metal-silicate partition coefficients and constraints on core composition and oxygen fugacity during Earth accretion. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 72: 574-589.
- Finnigan#, C. S., Brenan, J. M., Mungall, J. E. and McDonough, W. F. (2008) Experiments and models bearing on the role of chromite as a collector of platinum group minerals by local reduction. Journal of Petrology, 49: 1647-1665. doi:10.1093/petrology/egn041
- Halama**, R., McDonough, W.F., Rudnick, R.L. and Bell, K. (2008) Tracking the lithium isotopic evolution of the mantle using carbonatites. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 265: 726-743.
- McDonough, W.F. and Arévalo* Jr., R. (2008) Uncertainties in the composition of Earth, its core and silicate sphere. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 136 022006 doi:10.1088/1742-6596/136/2/022006
- McDonough, W. F. (2008) Deducing a Reducing Mantle. Nature, 455: 881-882. doi:10.1038/455881a
- Halama**, R., McDonough, W.F., Rudnick, R.L., Keller, J. and Klaudius, J. (2007) The Li isotopic composition of Oldoinyo Lengai: nature of the mantle sources and lack of isotopic fractionation during carbonatite petrogenesis. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 254: 77-89.
- Walker, R.J., Bohlke, J.K., McDonough, W.F. and Li*, J. (2007) Effects of mother lode-type gold mineralization on Os-187/Os-188 and platinum group element concentrations in peridotite: Alleghany district, California. Economic Geology, 102: 1079-1089.
- Corgne**, A., Keshav**, S. Fei, Y. and McDonough, W.F. (2007) How much potassium is in the Earth’s core? New insights from partitioning experiments. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 256: 567-576.
- Wheeler#, K.T., Walker, D., Fei, Y.W., Minarik, W.G. and McDonough, W.F. (2006) Experimental partitioning of uranium between liquid iron sulfide and liquid silicate: Implications for radioactivity in the Earth's core. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 70: 1537-1547.
- Brenan, J.M., McDonough, W.F. and Ash, R. (2005) An experimental study of the solubility and partitioning of iridium, osmium and gold between olivine and silicate melt. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 237: 855-872.
- Keshav**, S., Corgne**, A., Gudfinnsson, G.H., Bizimis, M., McDonough, W.F. and Fei, Y. W. (2005) Kimberlite petrogenesis: Insights from clinopyroxene-melt partitioning experiments at 6 GPa in the CaO-MgO-Al2O3-SiO2-CO2 system. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 69: 2829-2845.
- Walker, R.J., Brandon, A.D., Bird, J.M., Piccoli, P.M., McDonough, W.F. and Ash, R.D. (2005) 187Os- 186Os systematics of Os-Ir-Ru alloy grains from southwestern Oregon. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 230: 211-226.
- Huang#, F., Lundstrom, C.C. and McDonough, W.F. (2006) Effect of melt structure on trace-element partitioning between clinopyroxene and silicic, alkaline, aluminous melts. American Mineralogist 91: 1385-1400.
- Brenan, J. M., McDonough, W.F. and Dalpe, C. (2003) Experimental constraints on the partitioning of rhenium and some platinum-group elements between olivine and silicate melt. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 212: 135-150.
Geochemistry, Solid Earth, Lithosphere Publications
- Liu*, X., Rudnick, R.L., McDonough, W.F. and Cummings, M.L. (2013) Tracing Chemical Weathering of Basalts Using Lithium Isotopes: A Case Study from the Columbia River Basalts. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 115, 73–91 dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2013.03.043.
- Bellucci*, J.J., McDonough, W.F., and Rudnick, R.L. (2011) Thermal history and origin of the Tanzanian Craton from Pb isotope thermochronology of feldspars from lower crustal xenoliths, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 301: 493-501, 10.1016/j.epsl.2010.11.031
- Caciagli#, N., Brenan, J. M., McDonough, W. F. and Phinney, D. (2011) Mineral-Fluid partitioning of lithium and implications for slab-mantle interaction. Chemical Geology, 280: 384-398, 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2010.11.025
- Qiu*, L., Rudnick, R.L., Ague, J.J., and McDonough, W.F. (2011) A lithium isotopic study of sub-greenschist to greenschist facies metamorphism in an accretionary prism, New Zealand. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 301: 213–221, 10.1016/j.epsl.2010.11.001
- Qiu*, L., Rudnick, R.L., McDonough, W.F., and Bea, F. (2011) The behavior of lithium in amphibolite- to granulite-facies rocks of the Ivrea-Verbano Zone, NW Italy. Chemical Geology, 289: 76–85, doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2011.07.014.
- van Acken#, D. Becker, H Walker, R. J., McDonough, W. F., Wombacher, F., Ash, R. D. and Piccoli, P. M. (2010) Formation of pyroxenite layers in the Totalp ultramafic massif (Swiss Alps) – insights from highly siderophile elements and Os isotopes. Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, 74: 661-683, 10.1016/j.gca.2009.10.007
- Tepley III, F. J., Lundstrom, C. C. McDonough, W. F. and Thompson, A. (2010) Trace element partitioning between high-An plagioclase and basaltic to basaltic andesite melt at 1 atmosphere pressure. Lithos, 118: 82-94, 10.1016/j.lithos.2010.04.001
- Qiu*, L., Rudnick, R. L., McDonough, W. F. and Merriman, R. J. (2009) Li and d7Li in mudrocks from the British Caledonides: Metamorphism and source influences. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 73: 7325-7340. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2009.08.017
- Teng*, F. Z., Rudnick, R.L., McDonough, W. F. and Wu, F-Y. (2009) Lithium isotopic systematics of A-type granites and their mafic enclaves: Further constraints on the Li isotopic composition of the continental crust. Chemical Geology, 262: 415–424. doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2009.02.009
- Carmichael#, S. K., Ferry, J. M. and McDonough, W. F. (2008) Formation of replacement dolomite in the Latemar carbonate buildup, Dolomites, Northern Italy: Part I. Field relations, mineralogy and Geochemistry. American Journal of Science, 308: 851-884.
- Teng*, F.-Z., Rudnick, R. L., McDonough, W. F., Gao, S., Tomascak, P. B. and Liu, Y. (2008) Lithium isotopic composition and concentration of the deep continental crust. Chemical Geology, 255: 47-59, doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2008.06.009.
- Teng*, F.Z., McDonough, W.F., Rudnick, R.L., and Wing, B. (2007). Limited lithium isotopic fractionation during progressive metamorphic dehydration in metapelites: A case study from the Onawa contact aureole, Maine. Chemical Geology, 239: 1-12.
- Teng*, F.-Z., McDonough, W.F., Rudnick, R.L. and Walker, R.J. (2006) Diffusion-driven extreme lithium isotopic fractionation in country rocks of the Tin Mountain pegmatite. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 243: 701-710.
- Teng*, F.-Z., McDonough, W.F., Rudnick, R.L., Walker, R. and Sirbescu, M.-L. C. (2006) Lithium isotopic systematics of granites and pegmatites from the Black Hills, South Dakota. American Mineralogist, 91: 1488-1499.
- Wiebe, R.A., Manon, M.R., Hawkins, D.P. and McDonough, W.F., (2004) Late stage mafic injection and thermal rejuvenation of the Vinalhaven Granite, coastal Maine. Journal of Petrology, 45: 2133-2153, doi:10.1093/petrology/egh050.
- Teng*, F.-Z., McDonough, W.F., Rudnick, R.L., Dalpe, C., Tomascak, P.B., Chappell, B.W. and Gao, S. (2004) Lithium Isotopic Composition and Concentration of the Upper Continental Crust. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 68: 4167-4178.
- Rudnick, R.L., Gao, S., Ling, W., Liu, Y.-S. and McDonough, W.F. (2004) Petrology and geochemistry of spinel peridotite xenoliths from Hannuoba and Qixia, North China craton, In (Mitchell, R., Scott-Smith, B., Heaman, L., Stachel, T., eds.) Proceedings of the Eighth International Kimberlite Conf., Lithos, 77: 609-637.
- Zack**, T., Tomascak, P.B., Rudnick, R.L., Dalpe, C. and McDonough, W.F. (2003) Extremely light Li in orogenic eclogites: The role of isotope fractionation during dehydration in subducted oceanic crust Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 208: 279-290.
Geochemistry Enviromental Publications
- Godfrey, L.V., Chan, L.-H., Alonso, R.N., Lowenstein, T.K., McDonough, W.F., Houston, J., Li, J., Bobst, A., and Jordan, T.E. (2013) The role of climate in the accumulation of lithium-rich brine in the Central Andes, Applied Geochemistry , 38, 92–102, 2013, dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeochem.2013.09.002
- Grottoli, A.G., Matthews*, K.A., Palardy, J.E., and McDonough, W.F. (2013) High resolution coral Cd measurements using LA-ICP-MS and ID-ICP-MS: calibration and interpretation, Chemical Geology, 356: 151–159, dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2013.08.024
- Dolor**, M. K., Helz, G. R. and McDonough, W. F. (2012) Cause of the chalcophile trace element enrichments marking the Holocene to Anthropocene transition in northern Chesapeake Bay sediments. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 82: 79-91, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2010.06.040
- Anagnostou#, E., Sherrell, R. M., Gagnon, A., LaVigne, M., Field, M. P., and McDonough, W. F. (2011) Seawater nutrient and carbonate ion concentrations recorded as P/Ca, Ba/Ca, and U/Ca in the deep-sea coral D. dianthus. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 75: 2529–2543, 10.1016/j.gca.2011.02.019
- Dolor*, M. K., Helz, G. R. and McDonough, W. F. (2009) Sediment profiles of less commonly determined elements measured by Laser Ablation ICP-MS. Marine Pollution Bulletin 52: 182-192. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2009.03.027
- Matthews*, K. A., Grottoli, A. G., McDonough, W. F. and Palardy, J. E. (2008) Upwelling, species and depth effects on coral skeletal cadmium to calcium ratios (Cd/Ca). Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 72: 4537-4550.
- Matthews*, K.A., McDonough, W.F., and Grottoli, A.G. (2006) Cadmium measurements in coral skeleton using isotope dilution-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 7, Q11021, doi:10.1029/2006GC001352.
- Hall, J.M., Chan, L.H., McDonough, W.F. and Turekian, K.K. (2005) Determination of lithium isotopic composition of planktic foraminifera and its application as a paleo-seawater proxy. Marine Geology, 217: 255-265.