Liz Widom


Janet & Elliot Baines Professor and Department Chair

Ph.D. (1991) Univ. of California, Santa Cruz

122 Shideler Hall

My research involves the application of trace elements and isotope systems (radiogenic and stable) to address a wide variety of geologic problems.  Current research foci include investigations of the processes and timescales operating in active magmatic systems (Azores and Japan); the composition and evolution of the Earth's mantle, with ongoing projects on basalts and mantle xenoliths from ocean island settings (Azores and Canary Islands), arc settings (Kamchatka, Izu, Italy and Mexico), and continental settings (China, Nevada, Madagascar); and the application of radiogenic isotope systems to meteorite impact studies (Serpent Mound, Ohio) and environmental contaminant tracing (SW Ohio and Nevada)

Possible thesis/dissertation topics

  • Sr isotope and U-series disequilibria studies of magmatic processes and timescale in active silicic volcanic systems (Azores, Canary Islands, Japan, Mexico, Nevada).
  • Re-Os isotope studies of mantle heterogeneity and crustal recycling in island arc and ocean island settings (Mexico, Azores)
  • Geochemistry and dating of Quaternary Volcanism and mantle xenoliths in Madagascar
  • U and Pb isotopic studies of environmental contamination (Ohio and Nevada).

Current/recent graduate student & postdoc research:

  • Fara Rasoazanamparany (current postdoc) Origin and eruptive history of Quaternary volcanism in Madagascar
  • Patri Larrea ( recent postdoc) Geochemical and isotopic evolution of Paricutin Volcano, Mexico
  • George Daly (Ph.D. in progress) Petrogenetic processes and timescales in Terceira, Azores and Dominica, Lesser Antilles; and isotope applications to wine provenancing
  • Masoomeh Kousehlar (Ph.D. in progress) Sources of urban dust and Pb contamination, Tehran, Iran and Middletown, Ohio
  • Emily Salings (Ph,D. in progress) Geochemical and isotopic evolution of Xitle Volcano, Mexico
  • Kelly McHugh (Ph.D. 2017) Tree rings as archives of environmental U contamination for nuclear forensics and environmental applications
  • Elise Conte (Ph.D. 2017) Petrogenesis and recent eruptive recurrence intervals of Sete Cidades volcano, Azores; and uranium isotopes in tree bark with nuclear forensics and environmental applications
  • Fara Rasoazanamparany (Ph.D. 2015) Re-Os isotope systematics in Jorullo volcano, Mexico and the Lunar Crater Volcanic Field, NV
  • Rebecca Tortorello (M.S. 2012) Application of uranium isotopes as a temporal and spatial tracer of nuclear contamination in the environment
  • Huimin Yu (Ph.D. 2011) Li, Hf and Os isotope systematics of Azores basalts and a new microwave digestion method for Os isotopic analysis
  • Shizuko Watanabe (Ph.D. 2010) Isotope and trace element investigation of magmatic processes and timescales in the Azores.

Selected publications (Widom students and postdocs designated by *) 

*Larrea, P., França, Z., Widom, E. and Lago, M. (2018), “Petrology of the Azores Islands”. In Volcanoes of the Azores, Kueppers, U. and Beier, C., eds. Active Volcanoes of the World Series, Cimarelli, C. and Müller, S. eds. Springer. ISBN 978-3-642-32225-9 (hardcover) p. 197-250; ISBN 978-3-642-32225-6 (eBook).

*McHugh, K.C., Widom, E., Spitz, H.B., Wiles, G.C. and Glover, S.E. (2017), Uranium mobility across annual growth rings in three deciduous tree species. Journal of Environmental Radiation 182, 183-189.

*Larrea, P., Salinas, S., Widom, E., Siebe, C. and Abbytt, R. (2017), Compositional and volumetric development of a monogenetic lava flow field: The historical case of Paricutin (Michoacán, Mexico). Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 348, 36-48.

*Conte, E.R., Widom, E., Kuentz, D.C. (2017), Uranium isotopes in tree bark as a spatial tracer of environmental contamination near former uranium processing facilities in southwest Ohio. Journal of Environmental Radiation 178/179, 265-278.

Valentine, G.A., Cortés, J.A., Widom, E., Smith, E.I., *Rasoazanamparany, C., Johnsen, R., Briner, J.P., Harp, A.G. and Turrin, B. (2017), Lunar Crater Volcanic Field (Reveille and Pancake Ranges, Basin and Range Province, Nevada, USA). Geosphere 13 (2), doi:10.1130/GES01426.1.

*Rasoazanamparany, C., Widom, E., Claus Siebe, Guilbaud, M.-N., Spicuzza, M.J., Valley, J.W., Valdez, G., Salinas, S. (2016), Temporal and compositional evolution of Jorullo Volcano, Mexico: implications for magmatic processes associated with a monogentic eruption. Chemical Geology 434, 62-80.

Chambers, L.G., Chin, Y.-P., Filippelli, G.M., Herndon, E., Long, D.T., Lyons, W.B., Macpherson, G.L, McElmurry, S.P., McLean, C.E., Moore, J. Moyer, R.P., Nezat, C.A., Soderberg, K., Teutsch, N. and Widom, E. (2016), Developing the scientific framework for urban geochemistry. Applied Geochemistry 67, 1-20.

*Conte, E.R., Widom, E., Kuentz, D.C. (2016), Characterization and transport modeling of uranium particulate from Fernald area tree bark. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 307, 1675-1679.

*McHugh, K.C., Widom, E., H. Spitz and S. Glover (2016), Analysis of sugar maple tree cores for monitoring environmental contamination. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 307, 1691-1696.

*Rasoazanamparany, C., Widom, E., Valentine, G.A., Smith, E.I., Cortés, J.A., Kuentz, D. and Johnsen, R. (2015). Origin of Chemical and Isotopic Heterogeneity in a Mafic, Monogenetic Volcanic Field: A Case Study of the Lunar Crater Volcanic Field, Nevada. Chemical Geology 397, 76-93.

Selected grants

National Science Foundation 2015-2019
Origin & Eruptive History of Quaternary Volcanism in Nosy Be and Itasy-Ankaratra, Madagascar

National Science Foundation 2010-2015
Identifying Crustal and Mantle Processes in the Central Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt

National Science Foundation 2011-2014
Acquisition of an Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometer for Geological and Environmental Applications

National Science Foundation 2010-2014
Collaborative Research:  Testing the links between magma source characteristics, shallow plumbing, and eruptive styles in mafic intraplate volcanic fields (Lunar Crater Volcanic Field, Nevada).

National Science Foundation 2009-2013
Constraining Processes and Timescales of Magma Evolution

Teaching Interests

GLG 111 - The Dynamic Earth
GLG 147 - Introductory Seminar - Geology & Environmental Eart Science
GLG 211 - Chemistry of Earth Systems
GLG 417/517 - Forensic Isotope Geochemistry
GLG 427/527 - Isotope Geochemistry
GLG 617 - Chemistry of Earth's Interior
GLG 627 - Applications of Non-Traditional Isotope Systems
GLG 670 - Geochemical Modeling
GLG 770 - Advanced Isotope Geochemistry

for a complete description of the courses please see the 2018/2019 Miami Bulletin.