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Lamont Associate Research Professor
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
415 Comer
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000
(845) 365-8464
(845) 365-8155


Fields of interest: 
Magmatic fluxes in subduction zones

The processing of crustal and mantle materials in subduction zones plays a key role in creating and maintaining the habitable Earth. In order to understand the impact of magmatic subduction zones fluxes on the broader geochemical cycles, I pursue integrative geochemical and geological studies in the intra-oceanic Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc (NW Pacific), and the continental Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt.

The lifetime of arcs (~20-100 myr) scales to the evolution of the Earth’s mantle and crustal reservoirs as well as to the plate tectonic cycle, to the opening and closing of ocean gateways, and to the evolution of the global climate. Understanding if and how the arc outflux is linked to these cycles requires a temporally precise and highly resolved record of arc evolution. Such a record is preserved in the minute igneous particles of marine tephra fallout and can be obtained by using state-of-the-art analytical techniques.

My research in Mexico focuses on understanding arc growth rates as key variable of mass balance calculations. We begun a study that shall lead to a closer integration of geochemistry with geology and volumes of extrusive series emplaced through time. This will allow us to relate subduction parameters (e.g. crustal thickness, convergence rate) to the chemical compositions of convergent margin volcanics and to test various hypotheses for the formation of convergent margin magmas. This data base project is complemented by selected field studies that aim to understand differentiation and origin of the alkaline and calc-alkaline magmas of the Mexican Volcanic Belt.

Active projects:

  • Testing the Processes of Melt Differentiation in the Mexican Volcanic Belt, NSF-EAR
  • Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf isotope evolution of the Mariana volcanic arc, NSF-EAR (MARGINS) 
List of degrees from highest to lowest:
Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, Germany
Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet, Kiel, Germany
Diplom ( ~M.Sc.)
Technische Universit‰t Clausthal, Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany
Honors & Awards: 
Visiting Research Fellowship, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, 2009
Visiting Research Fellowship, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, 2007
Research Fellowship, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft 2003
Habilitation Fellowship, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft 1997
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft 1994

Referenced in the Following News Items:

Selected Publications:

Mid-ocean-ridge basalt of Indian type in the northwest Pacific Ocean basin Straub, S. M.; Goldstein, S. L.; Class, C.; Schmidt, A. Nature Geoscience Apr Volume: 2 Issue: 4 p.: 286-289 (2009) Doi 10.1038/Ngeo471
Evidence from high-Ni olivines for a hybridized peridotite/pyroxenite source for orogenic andesites from the central Mexican Volcanic Belt Straub, S. M.; LaGatta, A. B.; Pozzo, A. L. M. D.; Langmuir, C. H. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems Mar 7 Volume: 9 p.: - (2008) Doi 10.1029/2007gc001583
Geochemical evidence for slab melting in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt Gomez-Tuena, A.; Langmuir, C. H.; Goldstein, S. L.; Straub, S. M.; Ortega-Gutierrez, F. Journal of Petrology Mar Volume: 48 Issue: 3 p.: 537-562 (2007) DOI 10.1093/petrology/egl071
Uniform processes of melt differentiation in the central Izu Bonin volcanic arc (NW Pacific) Straub, S. M. Geological Society Special Publication (2007)
Volcanic glasses at the Izu arc volcanic front: New perspectives on fluid and sediment melt recycling in subduction zones Straub, S. M.; Layne, G. D.; Schmidt, A.; Langmuir, C. H. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems Jan 22 Volume: 5 p.: - (2004) Doi 10.1029/2002gc000408