Dr. Peter Kelemen

Peter
Kelemen
Arthur D. Storke Professor and Chair of the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Columbia University

Biography

Peter Kelemen is Arthur D. Storke Professor and Chair of the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. He was recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the Mineralogical Society of America, and the Geochemical Society. He studies the chemical and physical processes of reaction between fluids and rocks. He has worked on the genesis and evolution of oceanic and continental crust, chemical cycles in subduction zones, and new mechanisms for earthquake initiation. His primary focus now is on geologic capture and storage of CO2 (CCS), and reaction-driven cracking processes in natural and engineered settings, with application to CCS, geothermal power generation, hydrocarbon extraction, and in situ mining. He teaches a popular course on “Earth Resources for Sustainable Development” at Columbia, as well as courses and seminars on petrology, geochemistry, and geodynamics. Kelemen was a founding partner of Dihedral Exploration (1980-1992), consultants specializing in exploration for mineral deposits in steep terrain, with contracts in Canada, Alaska and Greenland. Research and climbing have taken him to Peru, India, Oman, the Aleutian Islands, 7,500 meters above sea level in Pakistan, and 5,500 meters below sea level via submersibles along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. He received his AB from Dartmouth College in 1980, and his PhD from the University of Washington in 1987. He spent 16 years at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution before moving to Columbia’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory in 2004.