Geochemistry is the branch of Earth Science that applies chemical principles to deepen an understanding of the Earth system and systems of other planets. Geochemists consider Earth composed of discrete spheres — rocks, fluids, gases and biology — that exchange matter and energy over a range of time scales. An appreciation for rates of reactions and the range of physical conditions responsible for the chemical expressions of each sphere provides the framework to study the co-evolution of the solid Earth, its oceans, atmosphere, biosphere, and climate.
Sub-disciplines active in the department include biogeochemistry, organic geochemistry, trace and elemental geochemistry, and metamorphic and igneous-rock geochemistry.
Analytical instrumentation include inductively-coupled plasma and stable-isotope mass spectrometers, a chromFTIR lab, fully automated electron microprobe, X-ray diffractometer, laser Raman, SEM, and other facilities.