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Durham University

Durham Geochemistry Centre


Isotope and trace element geochemistry is a broad field that has made some remarkable contributions to our understanding of the solar system, and the history, surface processes and inner workings of the Earth. Mass spectrometric techniques are used to measure small variations in atomic abundance that may occur due to natural radioactive decay, mass dependent fractionation, cosmic ray spallation and nucleosynthesis in stars. These isotope and elemental variations provide information on; (1) The timing of events, from the age of the solar system to the timing of climate or tectonic events recorded in ocean sediments; (2) Fingerprinting the sources of material, from identifying the types of stars that contributed to our solar system, to tracing the sources of different water masses in the oceans; (3) Past conditions of the Earth system, from the redox state of the mantle to past temperatures of the Oceans.


The research in this group is currently focused on the following areas: