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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. 

Some of my current projects include:

  • Dynamic and geochemical evolution of the lithospheric mantle beneath the Western Ross Sea, Antarctica. Cathleen Doherty's graduate research project.
  • The role of magmatism during early stage rifting - a multidisciplinary, multinational study in the southern part of the East African Rift. Gary Mesko's graduate research project.
  • Plate tectonic and geochemical evolution of the young Walvis Ridge and implications for African plate motion modeling, plume zonation and sources related to the African large low shear wave velocity province. Cruise website.
  • Evolution of the Galapagos mantle plume.


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: 

Referenced in the Following News Items:

Selected Publications:

High precision Sr-Nd-Hf-Pb isotopic compositions of USGS Standard Reference Material BCR-2 Jweda, J., Bolge, L., Class, C., Goldstein, S.L. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research (2015)
Meter-scale Nd isotopic heterogeneity in pyroxenite-bearing Ligurian peridotites encompasses global-scale upper mantle variability Borghini, G.; Rampone, E.; Zanetti, A.; Class, C.; Cipriani, A.; Hofmann, A.W.; Goldstein, S.L. Geology Volume: 41 p.: 1055-1058 (2013) 10.1130/g34438.1
How double volcanic chains sample geochemical anomalies from the lowermost mantle Farnetani, C. G.; Hofmann, A. W.; Class, C. Earth and Planetary Science Letters Volume: 359-360 p.: 240-247 (2012) 10.1016/j.epsl.2012.09.057
Hotspot trails in the South Atlantic hospot controlled by plume and plate tectonic processes O'Connor, J.M.; Jokat, W.; le Roex, A.P.; Class, C.; Wijbrans, J.R.; Keßling, S.; Kuiper, K.F.; Nebel, O. Nature Geoscience Volume: 5 p.: 735-738 (2012) 10.1038/NGEO1583
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
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
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)