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Using Stable Isotopes as Fluid Tracers in the Crust and Upper Mantle

Jaime Barnes, UT Austin

Stable isotopes are excellent tracers of fluid sources and the extent of fluid-rock interaction in the crust and upper mantle. By tracing the source, we can make global mass balance calculations for volatile cycling on Earth. Determining volatile fluxes is critical to understanding the geochemical evolution of the Earth’s mantle and atmosphere and volcanic eruptive behavior. For my talk, I will trace volatile fluxes through subduction zones: from the initial hydration of the oceanic lithosphere, release of volatiles within the subduction zone, and the return of volatiles to the atmosphere through the volcanic front and to the Earth’s mantle within the dehydrated residual subducting slab.



Jaime Barnes is beginning her 6th year as an assistant professor in the Department of Geological Science at UT-Austin. Jaime is a stable isotope geochemist who uses stable isotopes as a geochemical tracer of fluids in various tectonic settings. Most of her research interests center around volatile cycling, metamorphism and volatile transport in subduction zones, serpentinization, and fluid-rock interactions and metasomatism in the high-temperature environment. However, she has been involved in a wide range of research, including the isotopic composition of lunar samples and hyperarid soils.

Jaime is a native Texan who received a B.S. in geology from UT, as well as, a B.A. in the Plan II Liberal Arts Honors Program. She completed a M.S., Ph.D., and post-doctoral fellowship at the University of New Mexico. Part of her post-doctoral fellowship was supported by a L’Oreal USA For Women in Science Fellowship. Jaime received the Subaru Outstanding Woman in Science award from the Geological Society of America in 2009. In 2011, she was selected as a member of the Society for Teaching Excellence at UT-Austin.