Megan E. Elwood Madden
Associate Professor and Stubbeman-Drace Presidential Professor
922 Sarkeys Energy Center
School of Geology and Geophysics
University of Oklahoma
Planetary Geochemistry applies knowledge we have learned about geologic and geochemical processes on Earth to fluid-rock interactions, mineral assemblages, and suites of rocks on other planets. My research program focuses on the thermodynamics and kinetics of geochemical processes at low temperature and low to moderate pressure conditions analogous to near‐surface conditions on Mars, Earth, Ceres, Titan, Europa, Enceladus, and other planetary bodies. My students and I use laboratory experiments to measure the rate of mineral-fluid interactions, gas hydrate formation/decomposition, and volatile diffusion under a range of planetary analog conditions. Combining kinetic data from these experiments with thermodynamic models of mineral assemblages, aqueous fluids, and/or gas hydrate systems, we constrain the duration and magnitude of volatile fluxes and aqueous systems in cold, water‐rich environments. Current projects apply these techniques to constrain near‐surface mineral-ice-brine interactions Mars, Earth, and other icy planetary bodies, as well as collaborative projects to determine understand how chemical weathering varies under different climate conditions to better interpret clues recorded in ancient sediments.