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Research

  1. Facilities

   

Aquatic Geochemistry Research Group

This group studies the chemistry of naturally occurring organic matter in freshwaters, from soil waters to streams and lakes. Currently, its work focuses on carbon cycling in arctic and temperate freshwaters. Facilities include instrumentation for the analysis of organic carbon in water and its pathways of oxidation.

 

Biogeochemistry and Environmental Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory

The Biogeochemistry and Environmental Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory specializes in research at the boundary between geochemistry and ecology. We study the biogeochemical cycling of geologically derived toxic metals as well as essential nutrients in the atmosphere, fresh waters, oceans, soils, foodwebs and humans. The majority of our research involves applications of high precision isotope ratio measurements of the elements mercury, lead and strontium and trace concentration analyses of a broad range of elements. We apply these measurements to the understanding of sources, transformations and fate of metals and nutrients in the environment.

 

Climate Change Research Group

This group’s research investigates climate change in the past, present, and future, using both theoretical and observational methods. They are interested in understanding how the climate system operates using both climate models and observations in order to understand its capacity for future change. They work at scales ranging from global to local, and from millions of years to seasons. 

 

Continental Environments Research Group

CERG studies paleoclimatology, global change, and biosphere-climate interactions. The group's research investigates linkages between climate and weathering/soil formation on a variety of spatial and temporal scales using whole rock geochemistry, light stable isotopes, and modeling to understand past climatic and environmental change and biogeochemical processes.

 

Geomicrobiology Research Group

This group’s research interests are focused on the interplay between the biosphere and the geosphere, examining how microbes drive geochemistry and how geochemistry in turn shapes microbial diversity, metabolism, and evolution. Research relies heavily on molecular-biological approaches that are closely coupled with geochemical approaches to achieve an integrated view of geomicrobiology.  

 

Geophysics Research Group

The Geophysics Research Group focuses on earthquakes and the structure and physical processes of Earth's interior, and it features experts in seismology, geodynamics and mineral physics. Group members work on such topics as mantle convection, seismic imaging of Earth's interior, the structure and formation of planetary cores, earthquake processes, and the deformation of the crust and lithosphere.

 

Hydrology and Noble Gas Geochemistry Group

The Hydrology and Noble Gas Research Group at the University of Michigan studies noble gases in a diversity of hydrological systems to derive information on past climate, the functioning of freshwater, brines and hydrothermal systems, and to identify sources of methane in groundwaters. We have been developing new methodologies to obtain high precision noble gas isotopic measurements in most fluids, including rainwater, groundwater, river water, snow, ice, fog, brines and shale gas. We have projects that span from glacial, to equatorial, to mid-latitude regions in the USA and elsewhere.

 

Mineralogy and Materials Science Research Group

The Mineralogy and Materials Science Research Group studies such topics as environmental mineralogy, nano-materials, radiation effects, and radioactive waste management.

 

Paleomagnetism, Structure and Tectonics Laboratories (PaSTeL)

Students and researchers in PaSTeL combine geologic observations with modern laboratory techniques (such as geochemistry, paleomagnetism, and thermochronology) and modeling in various combinations.  The strong integration of modern quantitative and laboratory approaches offers a unique environment to study the principles that govern lithospheric processes.

 

Paleontology Research Group 

The Museum of Paleontology faculty, research scientists, and students perform research in paleontology in many different areas of the world.

 

Physical Oceanography and Ocean Modeling Group

This group uses realistic numerical models, idealized numerical models, analysis of in-situ and remotely sensed observations, and model/data comparison to better understand the dynamics and energy budgets of wind-driven and tidal motions in the ocean. Research is interdisciplinary, often involving collaborations with marine geophysicists, geodynamicists, and glaciologists, as well as with other physical oceanographers.

 

Surface Geochemistry and Computational Mineralogy Group

This group studies mineral surface reactions such as crystal growth, adsorption reactions, mineral dissolution, redox reactions, and the growth of crystallites from the melt. They seek to analyze the atomic and electronic structure as well as the chemistry and reactivity of mineral surfaces, including at a quantum mechanical level.

 

Tectonics and Structural Geology Research Group

This group studies tectonics, structural geology, and geomorphology. Active research projects span the globe—from the Tibetan Plateau to the Bolivian Andes, eastern Africa, and central Asia—and the geologic time scale, from the Precambrian to the Holocene. Scales of interest range from the evolution of gouge along a single fault to the reconstruction of continents.