Marc Hirschmann is the Robert D. and Carol G. Gunn Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences and a Distinguished McKnight Professor at the University of Minnesota. He is known for experimental and theoretical studies of the origin of igneous rocks and applications of these to larger questions of cycling of key volatiles (water, carbon) between Earth’s surface and interior and to the acquisition of these volatiles during the original accretion and differentiation of Earth and other rocky planets. Hirschmann was born in Brooklyn, NY, and received his A.B., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees, respectively from the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Oregon, and the University of Washington. Following a post-doctoral fellowship at Caltech, he arrived at Minnesota in 1997. He is the recipient of the Bowen Award from the Volcanology, Petrology, and Geochemistry section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) (2011) and the Dana Medal from the Mineralogical Society of America (MSA) and is a fellow of MSA, AGU, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a Geochemical Fellow of the Geochemical Society and the European Association of Geochemists.

Research Interests

Long-term research interests and tools include high temperature and high pressure experiments investigating relationships between minerals, melts, and fluids. These elucidate chemical relationships including phase equilibria, solubilities, and partitioning of major and trace elements and particularly, of volatiles during igneous and planetary differentiation. Many of these studies include development, refinement, and calibration of microanalytical techniques for analysis of natural and experimental materials. Recent research projects include: Investigations of the role of iron redox relationships in formation of igneous rocks and in early differentiation of planets during the formation of planetary cores, magma oceans, and earliest planetary atmospheres. Application of partitioning and solubility relationships of major volatiles (C,H,N,S) and trace elements to understand the volatile masses stored in Earth's interior as compared to near-surface reservoirs. Acquisition and loss of major volatiles during accretion and differentiation of planetesimals and planets.

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Primary Section

Section 15: Geology

Secondary Section

Section 16: Geophysics