New PhD Student
DGC would like to welcome Bryony Rogers who has recently started as a new NERC IAPETUS CASE funded student, partnered with the British Geological Survey (BGS). Bryony is based in the Durham University Archaeology dept. but will be working in the Arthur Holmes Isotope Geology labs (Durham Geochemistry Centre) with Geoff Nowell over the next three years. Bryony’s project will be to work on increasing the temporal resolution of animal movements through a comparative study of LA and microdrilling for Sr-isotope profiling of herbivore teeth. This project reinforces the already close collaboration between DGC and Dr Janet Montgomery in Archaeology on developing micro drilling methods that provide the highest possible spatial and temporal resolution Sr isotope data for human and animal tooth enamel. More details of Bryony’s project can be found here.
(8 Dec 2017)
Congratulations to Fienke Nanne who successfully defended her PhD thesis ‘Determining the oxidation state of the Earth's mantle using platinum group elements and their isotopes’.
(1 Nov 2017)
Mountain glaciation drives rapid oxidation of rock-bound organic carbon
Durham Geochemistry Centre PhD student Kate Horan and co-workers have investigated the role of mountian glaciation on the oxidation of rock-bound organic carbon using the redox-sensitive trace element Re as a proxy. The work was recently published in ScienceAdvances.Science Advances 04 Oct 2017: Vol. 3, no. 10, e1701107
Over millions of years, the oxidation of organic carbon contained within sedimentary rocks is one of the main sources of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, yet the controls on this emission remain poorly constrained. We use rhenium to track the oxidation of rock-bound organic carbon in the mountain watersheds of New Zealand, where high rates of physical erosion expose rocks to chemical weathering. Oxidative weathering fluxes are two to three times higher in watersheds dominated by valley glaciers and exposed to frost shattering processes, compared to those with less glacial cover; a feature that we also observe in mountain watersheds globally. Consequently, we show that mountain glaciation can result in an atmospheric carbon dioxide source during weathering and erosion, as fresh minerals are exposed for weathering in an environment with high oxygen availability. This provides a counter mechanism against global cooling over geological time scales.
(4 Oct 2017)
Goldschmidt Conference, Paris, 13-18 August 2017
The Goldschmidt conference, named in honour of Victor M. Goldschmidt (1888-1947) whose classification of the elements in the Earth and meteorites laid the foundation of modern geochemistry. Each year, the conference brings together thousands of scientists from throughout the world to talk about subjects including the origin of the Earth and planets, the chemical processes that have shaped Earth's evolution over time, the interconnections between life and the physical world, the search for new resources, and the environmental challenges facing today's world. Staff and students from the Durham Geochemistry Centre attended Goldschmidt, including Fienke Nanne, Kate Horan, Adam Sproson, Edward Inglis, George Cooper, Alex McCoy-West and Kevin Burton.
(13 Aug 2017)
Geochemistry Group Research in Progress Meeting (GGRiP2017) at the University of Bristol, April 3-4th 2017
Staff and students from the Durham Geochemistry Centre attended GGRiP2017, including Fienke Nanne, Kate Horan, Kathi Schweitzer, Adam Sproson, Edward Inglis and Kevin Burton. Congratulations to Fienke Nanne who won the prize for best student poster.
(3 Apr 2017)
American Geophysical Union, Fall meeting, San Francisco 12-16 December 2016.
With approximately 24,000 attendees in 2016, AGU’s Fall Meeting is the largest Earth and space science meeting in the world. Staff and students from the Durham Geochemistry Centre attended the AGU Fall meeting, including Fienke Nanne, Kate Horan, Adam Sproson, Edward Inglis, George Cooper, Alex McCoy-West and Kevin Burton.
(12 Dec 2016)
11th July 2016, 18:30 to 20:00, Wolfendale Lecture Theatre, Calman Learning Centre, Science Site, University of Durham
PUBLIC TALK: How do meteorites tell us the story of our Solar System?
Dr. James M. D. Day, a former Durham University graduate, and winner of both the 2013 Houtermans Award of the European Association of Geochemistry and 2014 Nier Prize of the Meteoritical Society, is a specialist in high-temperature geochemistry as applied to space-rocks and Earth's magmas. Dr Day is a prominent member of the geochemistry community and his public keynote talk will be engaging for a diverse audience - children and families through to Professors and community/industry/university leadership.
(11 Jul 2016)
4th International Workshop on Highly Siderophile Element Geochemistry
10th July 2016, 19:30 to 14th July 2016, 16:00, Science Site, Durham University
The 4th International Workshop on Highly Siderophile Element Geochemistry will take place in Durham on Monday 11 July - Thursday 14 July 2016 and is hosted by the Durham Geochemistry Group of the Department of Earth Sciences.
The 4th International Workshop on Highly Siderophile Element Geochemistry is of cross-disciplinary appeal in covering analytical advances, as well as low-temperature and high-temperature geo- and cosmochemistry topics pertaining to HSEs and allied elements. The meeting and related activities will provide opportunities for friendly exchange between scientists of all levels, thus offering the potential for all to accelerate knowledge/technology sharing and explore new observations that advance understanding of key geo- and cosmochemistry questions. Additionally, we anticipate many opportunities for useful new international collaborations to nucleate during the workshop; these will be highly beneficial to continued progress in HSE frontier science and will support overall advances within the geochemistry community, help to create pathways for present and future students, and potentially provide for the early-stages of discussions to commercialise scientific applications for industry.
The meeting was enjoyed by those involved (75 delegates from all over the globe) and was a great success.
The workshop was given special mention as a feature in the Geochemistry Society’s news in Elements: https://tinyurl.com/hgrs9vn A full meeting report appeared in a subsequent issue of Elements and was also featured on the European Association of Geochemistry’s blog: https://tinyurl.com/hcmqmkx and https://tinyurl.com/zf4rl7v
(10 Jul 2016)
Funding success brings new instrumentation for the Durham Geochemistry Centre: 26th April 2016
The University approved funding for a new multiple collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS) the ThermoFisher - Neptune Plus with 1013 Ohm resistor amplifiers - the latest generation of high performance MC-ICPMS instrument.
This equipment will build upon investment by the University, in both world-class laboratories and equipment, and in staff, and will enable our multi-disciplinary research group to respond to the outstanding scientific opportunities for interdisciplinary research in the areas of hydrocarbon and mineral exploration, climate change and the environment, and “blue skies” research.
(26 Apr 2016)
Guest Speaker: Dr Frédéric Moynier, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris.
Coupling Vanadium and Boron isotopes to study irradiation processes in the early solar system
Location: TR3, Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University
Time: 13:00, Friday 26th February 2016
Solar activity in protostars produces accelerated particles and X-rays at far greater intensity and flux than the Sun today. The dynamics of the early solar system are contingent on the behaviour of the nascent Sun, however, traces of these processes are subsequently lost upon material processing by interactions between gas and dust in the solar nebula. Rare isotopes, namely 10Be and 50V, could track such processes because they can be formed by in-situ irradiation of early solar system dust or gas interactions. Here, we combine Be and V isotopes in CAIs, the oldest known material in the solar system, to elucidate conditions that prevailed during the birth of the solar system. Coupled enrichments in 10Be and 50V provide strong evidence that these isotopes were produced locally through solar cosmic ray irradiation of primitive condensates of the solar nebula.
(26 Feb 2016)