Research in Lithosphere Evolution

The SNF Eccellenza Professorship in Lithosphere Evolution focuses on answering the questions how Earth’s continents formed and how they evolved over time? These tasks will be approached with a diverse research program that includes the development of new analytical techniques, the performance of petrologic experiments, the better characterization how magmatic fractionation processes changed over Earth history, and the analysis of different geological reservoirs that allow to track the evolution of the continental crust and its interaction with the mantle.

Additional research avenues include (i) the application of non-traditional isotope systems to study mechanisms responsible for the production of large scale metal-mineralizations, (ii) defining the temporal and chemical evolution of large igneous provinces and (iii) investigating the geological and biological changes that occurred at the Archean-Proterozoic boundary.

To achieve these goals, the research group follows a modern interpretation of geochemistry, by producing highest-quality data of different traditional, non-traditional and radiogenic isotope systems, that are then integrated into analytical models to obtain quantitative insights on the geological processes that were at work throughout Earth’s history.

Lava flow on Hawaii. Did Earth first emerged lands form in a similar manner? (c) Basil Greber