Yemane Asmerom

Ph.D., University of Arizona, 1988 (Professor)
Northrop Hall Rm. 312-B Email:

Research and Academic Interests:

Our research scope ranges from early evolution of the solar system to climate change on earth. A number of research initiatives are now underway, including collaborative projects all over the world. Project funding has been obtained from a number of programs at the National Science Foundation, NASA and the Department of Energy.

List of Related Web Links:

Yemane Asmerom Personal Page

Radiogenic Isotope Laboratory

ICP-MS Laboratory


Listing of Recent Publications:

Asmerom, Y., Polyak, V., Burns, S., and Rasmussen, J., 2007, Solar forcing of Holocene Climate: New Insights from a Speleothem Record, Southwestern United States: Geology,35, 1-4.

Smith, J., Hawkins,A., Asmerom, Y., Polyak, V. and Giegengack, R., New age constraints on Middle Stone Age occupation, Kharga Oasis, Western Desert, Egypt: Journal of Human Evolution, in press.

Lachniet, M.S., W. P. Patterson, S. Burns, Y. Asmerom and V. Polyak, 2007, Caribbean and Pacific moisture sources on the Isthmus of Panama revealed from surface water and stalagmite δ18O gradients: Geophysical Research ,34, L01708, doi:10.1029/2006GL028469, 2007

Rasmussen, J., Polyak, V. and Asmerom, Y., 2006, Evidence for Pacific-modulated precipitation variability during the late Holocene from the southwestern USA: Geophysical Research Letters 33, L08701, doi:10.1029/2006GL025714,

DuFrane, S.A., Asmerom, Y., Mukasa, S.B., Morris, J.A., Dreyer, B., 2006, Subduction and melting processes inferred from U-Series, Sr-Nd-Pb isotope, and trace element data, Bataan and Bicol arcs, Philippines: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 70 (2006) 3401–3420.

Asmerom, Y., DuFrane, A., Mukasa, S., Cheng, H., Edwards, L., 2005,Time-scale of magma differentiation in arcs from protactinium radium data: Geology 33, 633–636; doi: 10.1130/G21638.1

Polyak, V. and Asmerom, Y., 2005, Orbital control of long-term moisture in the southwestern USA: Geophysical Research Letters 32, L19709, doi:10.1029/2005GL023919.

Borg, L. E., Edmunson, J. E., and Asmerom, Y., 2005, Constraints on the U-Pb isotopic systematics of Mars inferred from a combined U-Pb, Rb-Sr, and Sm-Nd isotopic study of the Martian meteorite Zagami, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 69, 5819–5830

Teklay, M., Asmerom, Y., Toulkerdist, T., 2005, Geochemical and Sr.Nd isotope ratios in cenozoic basalts from Eritrea: evidence for temporal evolution from low-Ti tholeiitic to high-Ti alkaline basalts in Afro-Arabian continental flood basalt province: Periodico di mineralogia 74, 167 – 182.

Asmerom, Y. and Polyak, V., 2004, Comment on Betancourt et al. (2002) “A test of annual resolution in stalagmites using tree rings.”: Quaternary Research 61, 119-121.

Polyak, V., Rasmussen, J., Asmerom, Y., 2004, Prolonged wet period in the southwestern United States through the Younger Dryas: Geology 32, 5-8.

Borg, L., Shearer, C., Asmerom, Y. and Papike, J., 2004, Evidence for Prolonged KREEP Magmatism on the Moon from the Youngest Dated Lunar Igneous Rock: Nature, 432, 209-211.

Lachniet, M.S., Asmerom, Y., Burns, S., Patterson, W.P., Polyak, V. and Seltzer, G.O., 2004, Tropical Response to the 8200 yr cold event? Speleothem isotopes indicate a weakened early Holocene monsoon in Costa Rica. Geology 32, 957-960.

Lachniet, M.S., Burns, S.J., Piperno, D.R., Asmerom, Y., Polyak, V.J., Moy, C.M. and Christenson, K., 2004, A 1500 year El Niño/Southern Oscillation and rainfall history for the Isthmus of Panama from speleothem calcite. Journal of Geophysical Research, D, Atmospheres109, D20117, doi:10.1029/2004JD004694.

Patrick J. Mickler, P.J., Banner,J.L., Stern, L., Asmerom, Y., Edwards, R.L., and Ito, E., 2004, Stable isotope variations in modern tropical speleothems: Evaluating applications to paleoenvironmental reconstructions. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 68, 4381-4393.

Polyak, V. J. and Asmerom, Y. 2001. Late Holocene climate and cultural changes in the Southwestern United States, Science, 294: 148-151.

Asmerom, Y., Cheng, H., Thomas, R., and Hirschmann, M., Edwards, R.L., 2000, Lithospheric Mantle Melting Constrained by Pa-Th-U Isotopic Data: Nature 406, 293-296.

Polyak, V., Cokendolpher, J., Norton, R., and Asmerom, Y., 2001, A wetter and cooler Late Holocene climate in the southwestern USA from mites preserved in stalagmites: Geology 29, 643-646

Getty, S., Asmerom, Y., Quinn, T., and Budd, A., 2001, Accelerated Pleistocene Coral Extinctions in the Caribbean Basin from Uranium-Lead (U-Pb) Dating: Geology, 29, 639-642.

Teklay, M., T. Haile, A. Kröner, Y. Asmerom, and J. Watson, 2003, A back-arc palaeotectonic setting for the Augaro Neoproterozoic magmatic rocks of western Eritrea: Gondwana Research 6, 629-640.

Denniston, R.F., González, L.A., Asmerom, Y., and Reagan, M.K., 2001, A high-resolution speleothem record of climatic variability during the Allerød-Younger Dryas transition in Missouri, central United States: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 176 147-155.

Zachau, T., Getty, S., Gries, C., Asmerom, Y., Zambrano, A. and Nash, T., 2003, Historical and current atmospheric deposition to the epilithic lichen Xanthoparmelia in Maricopa County, Arizona: Environmental Pollution 125, 21-30.

Grandia F, Asmerom Y, Getty S, Cardellach E, Canals A, 2000, U-Pb dating of MVT ore-stage calcite: implications for fluid flow in a Mesozoic extensional basin from Iberian Peninsula: Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 69, 377-380, 2000.

Teklay, M., Berhe, K., Reimold, W., Armstrong, R., Asmerom, Y., and Watson, J., 2002, Geochemistry and geochronology of a Neoproterozoic low-K tholeiite-boninite association in Central Eritrea: Gondwana Research, 5, 597-612.

Denniston, R.F., González, L.A., Asmerom, Y., and Reagan, M.K., 2000, Speleothem records of early and late Holocene vegetation dynamics in the Ozark Highlands, U.S.A.: Quaternary International , v. 67 pp. 21-27.

Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L., Hoff, J., Gallup, C.D., Richards, D.A., and Asmerom, Y., 2000, The half-lives of uranium-234 and thorium-230: Chemical Geology, 169, 17-33.

Denniston, R.F., González, L.A., Asmerom, Y., Sharma, R.H., and Reagan, M.K, 2000, Speleothem evidence for changes in Indian summer monsoon precipitation over the last 2300 years: Quaternary Research 53, 196-202.

Denniston, R.F., González, L.A., Asmerom, Y., Baker, R.G., Reagan, M.K. and Bettis, E.A. III., 1999, Evidence for increased cool season moisture during the middle Holocene. Geology, 27, 815-818.

Denniston, R.F., Gonzalez, L.A., Baker, R.G., Asmerom, Y., Reagan, M.K., Edwards, R.L., and Alexander, C.E., 1999, Speleothem evidence for a sharp and long-term prairie-forest ecotone at the northeast border of the middle Holocene prairie peninsula. The Holocene, 9, 671-676.

Asmerom, 1999, Y The Th-U Fractionation and Mantle structure: Earth & Planetary Science Letters, 166, 163-175.

Asmerom Y. and R. Walker, R., 1998, Pb and Os Isotopic Constraints on the Composition and Rheology of the Lower Crust: Geology v.26, 359-362.

Banner, J. Musgrove, M., Asmerom, Y., Edwards, L., Hoff, J., 1996, High-resolution temporal record of Holocene ground-water chemistry; tracing links between climate and hydrology: Geology v.24, n.11, p.1049-1053.

Asmerom, Y. and Edwards, L., 1995, U-series evidence for the origin of continental basalts

Earth and Planetary Sciences Letters, , 134, 1-7, 1995.

Asmerom, Y. and S. Jacobsen, S., 1995, Reply to comments on “The Pb isotope evolution of the Earth: inferences from river water suspended loads”: Earth and Planetary Sciences Letters, 132, 239-241.

Asmerom, Y., Jacobsen, S., and B. Wernicke, 1994, Variations in magma source regions during large-scale continental extension, Death Valley region, western U.S.: Earth and Planetary Sciences Letters, 125, 235-254.

Asmerom, Y. and Jacobsen, S., 1993, The Pb isotopic evolution of the earth: Inference from river water suspended loads: Earth and Planetary Sciences Letters, 115, 245-256.

Asmerom, Y., Jacobsen, S., Knoll, A., Butterfield, N. and Swett, 1991, Sr isotopic variation of Neoproterozoic Seawater: Implications for Crust Evolution: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 55, 2883-2894.

Asmerom, Y., Snow, J., Holm, D., Jacobsen, S., Wernicke, B., and Lux, D., 1990, Rapid uplift and crustal growth in extensional environments: Geology, v. 18, p.223-226.

Asmerom, Y., Patchett, P.J., and Damon, P., 1990, Crust-mantle interaction in continental arcs: inferences from the Mesozoic arc in the southwestern U.S.:Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, v.107, 124-134.

Asmerom, Y., Damon, P., Shafiqullah, M. and Zartman, R., 1991,Coherent resetting of Rb-Sr ages of volcanic rocks by low-grade burial metamorphism: Chemical Geology (Isotope Geosciences), 87, 167-173.

Snow, J.K., Asmerom, Y., and Lux, D.R., 1991, Permian - Triassic plutonism and tectonics, Death Valley region, California and Nevada: Geology, v.19, 629-632, 1991.

Asmerom,Y., Zartman, R., Damon, P. and Shafiqullah, M., 1990, Zircon U-Pb-Th and whole-rock Rb-Sr age patterns of early Mesozoic volcanic rocks of the Santa Rita Mountains, SE Arizona: Implication for Mesozoic magmatism and tectonics in the Southern Cordillera: Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., v. 102, 961-968.

Asmerom, Y., Ikramuddin, M., and Kinart, K., 1988, Geochemistry of Late Cretaceous granitoids from NE Washington: Implication for the genesis of two-mica Cordilleran granites: Geology 16, 431-435.

Asmerom, Y., Ikramuddin, M., and Kinart, K.,1989, Geochemistry of Late Cretaceous granitoids from northeastern Washington: Implications for genesis of two-mica Cordilleran granites –Reply:Geology 17, 289, 1989.

Reynolds, S.J., Spencer, J.E., Asmerom, Y., DeWitt, E., and Laubach, S.E., 1988, Early Mesozoic uplift in west-central Arizona and southern California: Geology, 17,207-211..

Book Chapters:


Asmerom, Y., , Speleothems: Encyclopedia of Paleoclimatology and Ancient Environments: Kluwer, Dordrecht, in press

Asmerom, Y., U-series dating: Encyclopedia of Paleoclimatology and Ancient Environments: Kluwer, Dordrecht, in press

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