Parai wins CAREER fellowship to study deep-Earth geochemistry – The Source

Rita Parai, Assistant Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, explains how her lab’s gas extraction line works. (Photo: Sean Garcia)

Rita ParaiAssistant Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences in Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has won a $720,899 CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for her project “Heavy Noble Gases in the Azores Archipelago”.

Parai’s research focuses on the heavy noble gases – neon, argon, krypton and xenon – as unique and powerful tracers for the origins and movement of volatile elements and compounds among planetary reservoirs over time. These volatile compounds include essential ingredients for life on Earth – such as carbon, nitrogen and water – and their changing distributions between deep Earth and the planet’s surface have implications for past and future habitability. of the earth.

The NSF-funded Parai project will use new techniques to measure heavy noble gases in oceanic island basalts of the Azores archipelago, which will shed light on how the mantle plume sampled in the Azores has acquired and lost volatiles throughout Earth’s history and will advance scientists’ understanding of the mantle. volatile plume signatures.

Learn more about the Site of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

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