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 geologic and geochemical processes observed in terrestrial rocks and in the laboratory to fluid-rock interactions, mineral assemblages, and suites of rocks on other planets. My research 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, and gas hydrate formation/decomposition 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-moderate temperature environments. Current projects apply these techniques to constrain near‐surface mineral-ice-brine interactions on 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.