Unlocking the Mysteries of the Earth’s Mantle
Vast plateaus of lava are formed on the ocean’s floor when mantle plumes, or abnormally hot material from the Earth’s mantle, erupts at the surface of the Earth coming from the core-mantle boundary. These oceanic plateaus belong to large igneous provinces, or LIPs, and can make up a significant part of the Earth’s crust. LIPs, along with tectonic plates, are windows into the evolution of the Earth, and reveal important geochemical facts.
As Canada Research Chair in the Geochemistry of the Earth's Mantle, Dr. Dominique Weis is researching the geochemical evolution of our planet and its environment through the use of isotopic geochemistry (the “fingerprinting” tool of the geochemist).
Working from the Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research at The University of British Columbia, Weis incorporates field and lab experiments in geochemistry to count and explain the transfer of elements within and between the different major geological reservoirs of the Earth, including rivers and oceans.
Weis will model the geochemical and isotopic variations of the Earth's mantle through a comparative study of LIPs and more recent hotspots or volcanic centres. Working primarily with the Hawaiian Islands and the Wrangellia and the Kerguelen oceanic plateaus, she uses isotope fingerprinting to determine the origin and pathways of mantle plumes, and their variations through time.