Why does the Earth have water oceans? Where did our atmosphere come from? Is Earth uniquely habitable among Solar System bodies? This course is an exploration of the origins of volatiles such as water and carbon on planetary bodies, and the internal features that help to regulate our planet’s surface conditions. The importance of magnetic fields, plate tectonics, and climate feedbacks with respect to the origins and sustenance of life on Earth will be discussed.
Theory and application of radioactive decay systems as tracers of geological processes. Traditional lithophile systems such as Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, U-Th-Pb, Lu-Hf and Re-Os are covered as well as the extinct radionuclide systems, cosmogenic nuclides, U-series and noble gas geochemistry.