Department of Earth Sciences
6105 Fairchild Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
Office: 222 Steele
Office Phone: 603-646-0024
Office Fax: 603-646-3922
Lab: 214 Steele
Overview of Research :
I study geological processes utilizing isotopic effects as tracers. I have worked on problems as diverse as the evolution of early earth and solar forcing of the terrestrial climate. Many studies have led to the development of innovative analytical techniques that have opened up avenues to examine old and new geochemical problems. I have been working on the following projects:
- Near surface geochemistry of osmium
- Generation of oceanic lithosphere: the role of mantle heterogeneities
- Magma Differentiation and Source Characteristics of Continental Flood Basalts
- Early evolution of the earth: the terrestrial record of 146Sm
- Study on continental weathering using osmium isotopes
- Variations in Solar Magnetic Activity and the Sun-Climate Connection
- Geochemical and isotopic studies of cosmic dust
- Osmium and Iridium Transport through Estuarine Environments
Current Research :
At the moment the following projects are being carried out in my lab: 1) flux of Ir and Os during the K-T boundary impact (with Prof. J. Moore, Univ. of New Mexico and Prof. J. Kirk Cochran, Stony Brook University), 2) Test of meteorite impact hypothesis at Younger-Dryas (we are looking at sediments as well as ice cores), 3) Anthropogenic pollution of platinum metals: a) Tagus estuary, Portugal (in collaboration with Dr. Antonio Cobello, Spain); b) during Roman times using NEEM ice-cre (in collaboration with Prof. Sungmin Hong, Korea), 4) Osmium isotope composition of Solar Wind ( with Dr. Amy Jurewicz using material recovered from NASA's Genesis Mission), 6) Transport of platinum metals during weathering in the Atacama desert ( with Ji-Hye, grad student), 7) Provenance of phosphorus in Dry Valleys of Antarctica (with Ruth Heindel, grad student and Prof. Ross Virginia), 8) Source of briny solutions, Blood Falls, Antarctica, 9) Osmium isotope composition of Deep Ocean Waters (with Prof. S.K. Singh, India). Additionally, over the past two years I have spent a substantial time researching the problem of water-rock interaction during hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"). We are looking at black shale diagenesis as well as what to do with the wastewater that results from fracking. I am working on this problem with Prof. Renock, a graduate student (Danielle Niu) and an undergraduate student (Ying-Qi Wong).
Research Group Website: Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry Laboratory
- EARS 7: From Big Bang to Planet Earth: How did we get here?
- EARS 8/Human Biology 1/CoCo-4: Life on Mars? (co-taught with J. Buckey, Professor of Medicine, and L. Davies, Professor of Literature) (The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 18, 2001)
- EARS 62: Geochemistry
- EARS 69: Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
- EARS 108: Radiogenic Isotope Geochemistry
Selected Recent Publications:
- C. Oze and M. Sharma (2007) Serpentinization and the Inorganic Synthesis of H2 in Planetary Surfaces. Icarus . 186: 557-561 (doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2006.09.012).
- R. Andreasen and M. Sharma (2006) Solar nebula heterogeneity in p-process Sm and Nd isotopes. Science . 314: 806-8 09 (doi: 10.1126/science.1131708).
- C. Chen, M. Sharma and B. Bostick (2006) Lithologic controls on the Os isotopic composition in the Rio Orinoco. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 252 (1-2): 138-151.
- C. Oze and M. Sharma (2005) Have olivine, will gas: Serpentinization and the abiogenic production of methane on Mars. Geophys. Res. Lett. 32 (10): Art. No. L10203 MAY 26 .
- M. Sharma and C. Chen (2004) Neodymium isotope fractionation in the mass spectrometer and the issue of 142Nd anomalies in the early Archean rocks. Precambrian Research 134: 315-329.
- M. Sharma (2002) Variations in Solar Magnetic Activity during the last 200,000 years: Is there a Sun-Climate Connection? Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. , 199 (3-4): 459-472.