Portfolio Prof. Dr. Ronald Schönberg
Earth’s crust, as we see it today, is a result of the dynamic evolution and behaviour of our planet. Research projects in this theme investigate processes within the continental crust as well as on its surface. We use zircon provenance studies to trace sedimentary deposition and mixing of different source materials. Intracrustal processes, such as granite genesis and the formation of layered igneous intrusions, are investigated in order to better understand material transfer within and into the crust.
Paleoenvironmental reconstruction in geochemistry tries to reconstruct temporal changes in surface earth biosphere, geosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere via changing chemical signatures in earth sediments. In the process of formation and dependent on their depositional environment all sediments interact with these one or more of these spheres leading to physical, chemical and biological processes influencing the abundance of elements and their isotopes within the sediment.
Environmental Geochemistry tries to explain and quantify global elemental cycles (e.g. Carbon, Water, etc.) with or without anthropogenic, i.e. human, impact. The relevant processes are mostly controlled by low temperature (e.g. -30 to +50°C), variation in redox and pH and are often bacterially mediated. We use state of the art as well as traditional geochemical tools such as, e.g. ICP-Mass Spectrometry, ultra clean labs, gas-source Mass Spectrometry and X-ray spectroscopy, to measure trace element patterns and isotope ratios to fingerprint sources and sinks and to identify transport pathways.
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia