Department of Earth, Environmental & Planetary Sciences

Earth History

Investigating how the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, surface, and interior have changed through time to understand fundamentally important climatic, tectonic, and biogeochemical changes.

We use field and geophysical observations, elemental and isotopic analyses, high-pressure experiments, and numerical models to investigate the evolution of the Earth. Research topics include: recent climate reconstruction, glacial-interglacial cycling, the rise of oxygen in the atmosphere, growth of the continents, and cooling of the Earth’s interior. Our community seeks to integrate observations and models of diverse phenomena across different timescales to understand how and why the Earth’s climate, life, and interior have interacted and varied over our planet’s history.


Earth History News

A new study shows vascular plants may have contributed to shaping Earth’s atmosphere long before trees evolved. DEEPS Assistant Professor Daniel Ibarra, who was not involved in the study, is quoted saying “It would be interesting to see this method applied to the whole time series from the Devonian to our time.”
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In a WFLA interview, IBES Director & DEEPS Professor Kim Cobb discusses marine limestone as a climate proxy. “The corals that I work with in the middle of the Pacific Ocean are as good, if not better than the temperature records from satellites.”
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