Cornelia Class

Lamont Associate Research Professor
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Earth and Environmental Sciences
439 Comer
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000
(845) 365-8712
(845) 365-8155
Fields of interest: 
Solid Earth Geochemistry and Dynamics

As a student I became fascinated by the ability of geochemical tools to *look* into the otherwise inaccessible Earth's mantle and constrain its heterogeneity and temporal evolution as well as aspects of its convective regimes. Combined with the stunning beauty of volcanoes, which provide such *windows* into the Earth's interior, mantle geochemistry became my passion. In an attempt to understand the present and past geology of the mantle, I integrate a wide range of analytical techniques (major and trace elements, Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf-Os isotopic compositions and noble gases) to quantify geochemical processes wherever possible. My present research focuses on the following questions: (i) Constraints on the age and precursor materials of plume sources, (ii) Processes of plume-lithosphere interaction, identification of deep mantle plume components, and the composition of old oceanic lithospheric mantle, (iii) The significance of detached continental lithosphere in the source regions of oceanic basalts and processes of detachment, (iv) Processes of element transport from subducting slabs to the sub-arc mantle, (v) The subcontinental lithospheric mantle as a chemical layer and its role in volcanism, and (vi) The origin of primordial 3He in oceanic basalts and its implications for mantle dynamics. 

My current projects include:

  • Shona and Discovery Seamount Chains, South Atlantic 
  • Dynamic and geochemical evolution of the lithospheric mantle beneath the Western Ross Sea, Antarctica
  • Plate tectonic and geochemical evolution of the young Walvis Ridge and implications for African plate motion modeling
  • Tectonic and magmatic processes during early-stage rifting: An integrated study of Northern Lake Malawi, Africa



List of degrees from highest to lowest:
Ph.D. (Dr. rer. nat.)
Max-Planck Institute for Geochemistry Mainz and University of Karlsruhe, Germany
MA (Diplom Mineraloge)
University of Karlsruhe, Germany
Honors & Awards: 
Otto-Hahn-Medal of the Max-Planck-Society, Germany 06/22/1995
Lamont/DEES Student List: 
Selected Publications: 
South Atlantic DUPAL anomaly - Dynamic and compositional evidence against a recent shallow origin, Class, C.; le Roex, A. P. , Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 305, p.92-102, (2011)

Osmium isotopes in Grande Comore lavas: constraints on EM-type mantle components, Class, C; Goldstein, S L; Shirey, S B , Earth and Planetary Letters, Volume 284, p.219-227, (2009)

Ce anomalies in Gough Island lavas - Trace element characteristics of a recycled sediment component, Class, C.; le Roex, A. P. , Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Jan 30, Volume 265, Issue 3-4, p.475-486, (2008), DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2007.10.030

Continental material in the shallow oceanic mantle - How does it get there?, Class, C.; le Roex, A. P. , Geology, Mar, Volume 34, Issue 3, p.129-132, (2006), Doi 10.1103/G21943.1

Evolution of helium isotopes in the Earth's mantle, Class, C.; Goldstein, S. L. , Nature, Aug 25, Volume 436, Issue 7054, p.1107-1112, (2005), Doi 10.1038/Nature03930

Grand Comore Island: A well-constrained "low He-3/He-4" mantle plume, Class, C.; Goldstein, S. L.; Stute, M.; Kurz, M. D.; Schlosser, P. , Earth and Planetary Science Letters, May 15, Volume 233, Issue 3-4, p.391-409, (2005), DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2005.02.029

Distinguishing melt and fluid subduction components in Umnak volcanics, Aleutian Arc, Class, C.; Miller, D. M.; Goldstein, S. L.; Langmuir, C. H. , Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, Volume 1, Issue 6, (2000), 10.1029/1999GC000010

The process of plume-lithosphere interactions in the ocean basins - the case of Grande Comore, Class, C.; Goldstein, S. L.; Altherr, R.; Bachelery, P. , Journal of Petrology, May, Volume 39, Issue 5, p.881-903, (1998)

Plume-lithosphere interactions in the ocean basins: constraints from the source mineralogy, Class, C.; Goldstein, S. L. , Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Aug, Volume 150, Issue 3-4, p.245-260, (1997)