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 and Postdoc Research

  • Fara Rasoazanamparany (recent postdoc) Origin and eruptive history of Quaternary volcanism in Madagascar
  • Patri Larrea (recent postdoc) Geochemical and isotopic evolution of Paricutin Volcano, Mexico
  • Rachelle Sanchez (Ph.D. in progress) Monogenetic volcanism in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt:  mantle sources and magmatic processes
  • 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
  • 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 & Postdocs Designated by *) 

Gilbaud, M.-N., Siebe, C., *Rasoazanamparany, C., Widom, E., Salinas, S. and Castro, Govea, R. (2020) Petrographic, geochemical, and isotopic (Sr-Nd-Pb-Os) study of Plio-Quaternary calc-alkaline amd alkaline volcanics and the Tertiary basement in the Jorullo and Tacantbaro areas, Michoacan-Guanajuato Volcanic Field, Mexico.  Journal of Petrology, 2020, 1-21,

Waters, C.L., Day, J.M.D., *Watanabe, S., Sayit, K., Zanon, V., Olson, K.M., Hanan, B.B. and Widom, E. (2019), Sulfide mantle source heterogeneity recorded in basaltic lavas from the Azores. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 268, 422-445.

*Kousehlar, M. and Widom, E. (2019), Sources of metals in atmospheric particulate matter in Tehran, Iran: tree bark biomonitoring. Applied Geochemistry 104, 71-82.

*Kousehlar, M., Widom, E. and Kuentz, D. (2019), Sources of atmospheric pollution in the rust belt, Ohio, USA. Environment, Energy and Earth Science (E3S).

*Conte, E.R., Widom, E., Kuentz, D.C. and Franca, Z. (2019), 14C and U-series disequilibria age constraints on recent eruptions at Sete Cidades volcano, Azores. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 173, 167-178.

*Larrea, P., Widom, E., Siebe, C., Salinas, S. and Kuentz, D. (2018), A re-interpretation of the petrogenesis of Paricutin volcano: distinguishing crustal contamination from mantle heterogeneity. Chemical Geology 504, 66-82.

Widom, E. and Kuentz, D.C. (2018), Assessment of tree bark as a biomonitor of anthropogenic thorium and radium contamination. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry,

*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 monogenetic eruption. Chemical Geology 434, 62-80.

Chambers, L.G., Chin, Y.-P., Filippelli, G.M., Herndon, E., Long, D.T., Lyons, W.B., McPherson, G.L, McElmurry, S.P., McLean, C.E., Moore, J. Moyer, R.P., Nezat, C.A., Soderberg, K., Teutsch, N. and Widom, E. (alphabetical by last name) (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. (see also erratum: v. 307 (3) DOI: 10.1007/s10967-016-4723-7).


Selected Grants

NSF MRI 1919658, 2019-2022: "Acquisition of a Multi-Collector ICP-MS with Laser Ablation for Geochemical and Geochronological Applications", $711,822.

Ohio Board of Regents Action Fund Grant, 2019-2022: "Acquisition of a Multi-Collector ICP-MS with Laser Ablation for Geochemical and Geochronological Applications", $152,334. 

NSF EAR 1921624, 2019-2022: "Collaborative Research: Testing Source vs. Crustal Processing in High-Mg# Arc Magmas by Os-O-He-Olivine Systematics”, $212,599 to Miami, $482,602 total. 

NSF EAR 1853006, 2019 - 2022: "From Cones to Clusters: Evolution of a Monogenetic Volcanic Field”, $305,000.

NSF EAR 1523442 2015 - 2020: "Origin & Eruptive History of Quaternary Volcanism in Nosy Be and Itasy-Ankaratra, Madagascar”, $300,001.

National Science Foundation 2010-2015: "Identifying Crustal and Mantle Processes in the Central Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt", $277,508.

National Science Foundation 2011-2014, "Acquisition of an Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometer for Geological and Environmental Applications", $115,330

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)", $96,514.

National Science Foundation 2009-2013, "Constraining Processes and Timescales of Magma Evolution", $257,485.

Teaching Interests

GLG 147 - Introductory Seminar - Geology & Environmental Earth 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 2019/2020 Miami Bulletin.