Exploring Planetary Differentiation through an Isotopic Lens
February 9, 2018
The Grace Anne Stewart Speakers Series is excited to announce that Dr. Anat Shahar from the Carnegie Institute will be visiting our Department February 9. She will be delivering a keynote address at noon, but we invite all members of the department to chat with her over lunch or to sign up for a private meeting.
Planetary differentiation occurred at high temperature, high pressure, varying oxygen fugacity and on bodies with varying compositions. The specific conditions at which bodies differentiated can be probed and the chemical fingerprints of that differentiation can be found in stable isotope ratios measured today in natural samples. Experiments are key to understanding the mechansims behind the fractionations seen in nature as the pressure, temperature and compositional space can be interrogated systematically. In this talk I will focus on how pressure, temperature and composition affect the partitioning of isotopes between metal and silicate. In particular I will focus on whether experiments can explain the isotopic signatures found in rocks on Earth and if the light element in the core has left a fingerprint on the isotopic ratios in the mantle.
Dr. Shahar received her PhD at UCLA and is currently a Staff Scientist at the Geophysical Laboratory at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. She is a Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America and has received numerous awards including excellence in teaching awards and the prestigious Clarke Medalist from the Geochemical Society.