Zachary D. Sharp

Distinguished Professor and Director, Center for Stable Isotopes (CSI); Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1987.Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 337; 277-4204.

Research and Academic Interests:

Stable isotope geochemistry, with application to paleoclimate reconstruction, metamorphic & igneous petrology, atmospheric science and meteoritics. Present work includes: chlorine isotope analyses of subduction-related materials, volcanic gases, and Earth's early exosphere; tracing atmospheric water vapor using hydrogen isotope ratios for climatic reconstruction; CO2 gases in soils and soil carbonates; in situ laser analyses of meteorites (CAIs)

Click here for the Center for Stable Isotopes website

Present Students and their projects:

  • Mel Strong (Ph.D.) Conducting a joint project with Dave Gutlzer and Zach Sharp on climatology, using oxygen and hydrogen isotope ratios of atmospheric water vapor.  We have developed a continuous sampling method for isotope measurements of atmospheric water vapor.  Mel has made numerous vertical sampling campaigns collecting air samples while piloting an ultralight 'airplane'.  Remarkable variations in the isotopic composition of atmospheric moisture have already been found.
  • Justin Dodd (Ph.D.) Co advisor, Peter Fawcett. Justin has developed a laser method for determining the O isotope composition of diatoms, and is studying past climate from a lake core from the Valles Caldera
  • Leah Johnson (Ph.D.) Co advisor, Joe Galewsky. Leah is studying isotopic fractionation during evaporation. She's using our new laser analyzer and has to study in Hawaii (poor thing).
  • Maarten DeMoor (Ph.D.) Co advisors, Tobias Fischer, Penny King. Maarten is looking at the sulfur isotope geochemistry of active volcanoes. Will sample
    Erta Ale (Ethiopia) as an analog to Mars volcanism.
  • Jessica (Jesi) Mumphrey (Masters) Co advisors, Rhian Jones and Adrian Brearley. Jesi is starting a study of Cl isotope variability in meteorites

Listing of Recent Publications:

PRINCIPLES OF STABLE ISOTOPE GEOCHEMISTRY (Prentice Hall), 2005. A general overview of stable isotope geochemistry developed as a textbook for a upper level course and as a reference volume for workers in the field. 344 pg. (Table of contents here). (Click here for errata).
  • Sharp, Z.D., Shearer, C.K. Jr., McKeegan, K.D., Barnes, J.D.,Wang, Y.Q. The Chlorine Isotope Composition of the Moon and Implications for an Anhydrous Mantle. Science 329, 1050 - 1053.  Podcast interview (click here)
  • Barnes, J.D., Sharp, Z.D. and Fischer, T.P. Chlorine isotopevariations along the Central American volcanic front and back arc. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 10, doi:10.1029/2009GC002587
  • Barnes J. D., Sharp Z. D., and Fischer T. P. (2008) Chlorine isotope variations across the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc. Geology 36, 883-886.
  • Breecker, D.O., Sharp, Z.D., McFadden, L.D. Seasonal bias in the formation and stable isotopic composition of pedogenic carbonate in modern soils from central New Mexico, USA. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. 121, 630-640.
  • Breecker, D.O., Sharp, Z.D. and McFadden, L.D. (2009) Atmospheric CO2 concentrations during ancient greenhouse climates were similar to those predicted for A.D. 2100. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. doi:10.1073/pnas.0902323106
  • Dodd, J.P. and Sharp, Z.D. (2009)A laser fluorination method foroxygen isotope analysis of biogenic silica and a new oxygen isotopecalibration of modern diatoms in freshwater environments. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta doi:10.1016/j.gca.2009.11.023.
  • Sharp, Z.D., Barnes, J.D., Fischer, T.P., and Halick, M. (2009) An experimental determination of chlorine isotope fractionation in acid systems and applications to volcanic fumaroles Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 74, 264-273.
  • Sharp, Z.D., Barnes, J.D., Brearley, A.J., Fischer, T., Chaussidon, M., Kamenetsky, V.S. (2007) Chlorine isotope homogeneity of the mantle, crust and carbonaceous chondrites. Nature, 446, 1062-1065.

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