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Earth and Planetary Sciences Seminar - Dr. Emily Cooperdock: Does Mantle Weathering Help Maintain a Habitable Planet?

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Weathering of mantle rocks exposed at (or near) Earth’s surface has garnered significant interest because of its potentially vital role in the water cycle, long-term CO2 storage, H2 production for clean energy, and as a possible breeding ground for the first life on Earth and other planets. Mantle minerals carried to the Earth’s surface through tectonic processes are unstable in the presence of fluids. As mantle minerals break down, they consume greenhouse gases (CO2and H2O) and produce fuel for microbial communities (H2 and methane). We do not know how these processes have been naturally regulated over Earth’s history because we do not know when or for how long these mineral reactions occur. Here I will show recent work that is beginning to allow us to quantify mantle exhumation and the timing of key mineral reactions associated with serpentinization and mantle weathering.

Dr. Emily H. G. Cooperdock is a Gabilan Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Southern California. Her research uses (U-Th)/He thermochronology, geochemistry, and petrology to study the timing and rates of fluid-rock interactions, plate boundary evolution, and geochemical cycling. Her research also involves the history of diversity in the geosciences and efforts to make the discipline more inclusive.

For zoom information, please get in touch with Rey Garduño (


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