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Isotope Cosmochemistry and Geochronology Laboratory

Draft holding place

Use the links below to learn more about recent research projects in the Isotope Cosmochemistry and Geochronology Laboratory!


Conditions and dynamics in the solar nebula

Using isotopic analyses of meteorites and their components, we can address outstanding questions about the dynamics and evolution of our early Solar System.

Mass-independent isotopic anomalies in the neutron-rich isotopes of Cr and Ti
The neutron-rich isotopes of Cr and Ti have a nucleosynthetic origin in supernovae and can be used to trace the incorporation of supernova materials into our Solar System, provide constraints on Solar System dynamics and mixing processes, and provide information on the genetic relationships between meteorites. To this end, we perform high-precision isotopic measurements using the Neptune MC-ICP-MS and Isotope Cosmochemistry and Geochronology Laboratory.
Research in the Wadhwa Group includes measuring the Ti isotopic compositions of several calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs), which were the first solids to form in the early Solar System. The results show that CAIs from CV, CK, CO, CM, and ordinary chondrites formed in a common CAI-forming region that preserved some isotopic variability.
Learn more:
Torrano Z. A., Brennecka G. A., Williams C. D., Romaniello S. J., Rai V. K., Hines R. R., and Wadhwa M. (2019) Titanium isotope signatures of calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions from CV and CK chondrites: Implications for early Solar System reservoirs and mixing. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 263: 13-30.
Short-lived radionuclides
Isotopic analyses of short-lived radionuclides such as 26Al and 10Be in CAIs can be utilized to further elucidate conditions in the early Solar System. Recent research in the Wadhwa Group has focussed on correlating the 10Be-10Be isotope systematics of CAIs with 26Al-26Mg and oxygen isotopes in order to evaluate the homogeneity of 10Be; while Al-Mg isotopes record the thermal history of the early Solar System, 10Be is formed by nucleic spalling of energetic particles.
Learn more:
Pristine CR2 CAIs Preserve Initial Abundances of Short-Lived Radionuclides 10Be and 26Al
E. T. Dunham, M. Wadhwa, M.-C. Liu, A. T. Hertwig, N. Kita, K. Fukuda, D. L. Schrader, J. Davidson
50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2019), Abstract #1928
Mesquite: Petrography, Aluminum-26 Chronometry, and Be-B Systematics of an Unusually Large Melilite-Rich CAI from the Northwest Africa (NWA) 7892 CO3.0 Chondrite
A. T. Hertwig, E. T. Dunham, M.-C. Liu, M. Wadhwa
50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2019), Abstract #2955
Differentiation and core formation on rocky bodies
Coming soon!

Timescales of accretion and differentiation of planetesimals in the early Solar System
Coming soon! Members of the Wadhwa group use short-lived radionuclides (26Al-26Mg) to investigate the timing of planetesimal differentiation in the early Solar System.
Volatile history of Mars
Coming Soon!