News

2020

Using microbes, scientists aim to extract rare-earth elements

Collaborators from across Cornell, including Professors Esteban Gazel and Megan Holycross, were awarded $1M to mine rare-earth minerals used in consumer electronics and advanced renewable energy using programmed microbes. 

Cornell’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science Received a $1.4M NASA Grant to Study the Global Effects of Volcanic Ash on the Earth System

The interdisciplinary research team of Natalie Mahowald, Esteban Gazel, and  Matthew Prichard from the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences received a $1.4M grant from NASA to study the global effect of volcanic ash on the Earth system. 

Cornell linked to three 51 Pegasi b astronomy postdocs

Emily First will join the Gazel Research Group, funded the 51 Pegasi b Fellowship for three years of postdoc work. 

2019

Emily First

From Earth’s deep mantle, scientists discover a new way volcanoes form

The Gazel Research Group has discovered the first direct evidence that material from deep within Earth’s mantle transition zone – a layer rich in water, crystals and melted rock – can percolate to the surface to form volcanoes.

The volcano that built Bermuda is unlike any other on Earth

The Gazel Research Group was featured in an article in National Geographic for their findings on the volcano formed at the foundation of the island of Bermuda.

Atkinson Academic Venture Fund awards $1.3M to 10 projects

The Gazel Research Group and collaborators from Cornell’s Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering received a grant from the Atkinson Academic Venture Fund to mine rare Earth elements with engineered microorganisms. 

2018

Mars

Mars’ crustal evolution does not follow Earth’s formula

Mars, strewn with rocks and pocked by craters, may not have an Earth-like, continental crust. Instead, the Gazel Research Group poses an alternative theory: Crystalized magma welled up from inside the red planet.

2017

Researchers discover hottest lavas that erupted in past 2.5 billion years

An international team of researchers led by geoscientists with the Virginia Tech College of Science, including Esteban Gazel, recently discovered that deep portions of Earth’s mantle might be as hot as it was more than 2.5 billion years ago.

2016

Exploring gigantic volcanic eruptions that caused worldwide mass extinctions

A paper published in Nature Communications by Virginia Tech researchers confirms a major feature in the formation of large igneous provinces — massive worldwide volcanic eruptions that created incredibly high volumes of lava and triggered environmental catastrophes and mass extinctions from 170 to 90 million years ago.

2015

How Panama Changed the World

How Did The Earth’s Continents Form? Scientists Move Big Step Closer To Solving Mystery

How did Earth’s continents form? That’s one of geoscience’s deepest mysteries, but now researchers may be a big step closer to solving it — after gaining a new understanding of the process that creates the continental crust, which makes up the land masses on which we live.

Geología de Costa Rica y Panamá da una pista sobre cómo se formó la corteza continental

Contrario a lo pensado hasta ahora, la creación de corteza continental se siguió dando hasta períodos geológicos muy recientes, según comprobó un investigador costarricense.

2014

When Was the Last Time Volcanoes Erupted on the East Coast?

Volcanoes on the East Coast of North America are more recent than you think—and they may be why the region still suffers relatively large earthquakes.

Documentary by Kevin Krajick, Earth Institute of Columbia University

The Isthmus of Panama: Out of the Deep Earth

Cornelia Class, a geochemist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and Esteban Gazel, a Lamont adjunct researcher now based at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, are looking into one of the most mysterious forces at work on this natural construction site: the Galápagos Plume.

Photo Essay: Exploring the Rocks That Join the Americas