Prof Bernard Wood
Planets and planetary interiors
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My area of research is experimental petrology, aimed at experimentally simulating conditions within the Earth in order to understand fundamental petrological and geochemical processes. One aspect of this has been the development of quantitative models to predict trace element partitioning between crystals and melts during igneous processes. This research uses high pressure-high temperature experiments in conjunction with microanalysis of mineral and melt phases and theory based on the elastic properties of the minerals.
A second major interest is the conditions under which the Earth and other terrestrial planets formed and differentiated into silicate crusts, silicate mantles and iron-rich metallic cores. This uses high pressure, high temperature experiments coupled to thermodynamic calculations and isotopic measurements of meteoritic and planetary materials. The experiments generate, for example, a small sample (10 mgm) in which a ball of metal has segregated from a metal-silicate mixture. We chemically analyse the different parts of sample in order to determine the partitioning of specific elements between metal and silicate under the physical conditions of interest. In this way we determine the extent to which elements enter the metal (siderophile character) or the silicate (lithophile). The experimental partitioning is then compared with that observed on the Earth (between core and mantle) in order to understand the core formation process.
Selected Publications (Extended Publications)
- Wood, BJ, Walter, MJ, Wade, J, (2006) 'Accretion of the Earth and segregation of its core', NATURE. pp. 825-833 doi: 10.1038/nature04763
- Wood, BJ, Halliday, AN, (2005) 'Cooling of the Earth and core formation after the giant impact', NATURE. pp. 1345-1348 doi: 10.1038/nature04129
- Wade, J, Wood, BJ, (2005) 'Core formation and the oxidation state of the Earth', EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS. pp. 78-95 doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2005.05.017
- Blundy, J, Wood, B, (2003) 'Partitioning of trace elements between crystals and melts', EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS. pp. 383-397 doi: 10.1016/S0012-821X%2803%2900129-8
- Wood, BJ, Blundy, JD, (2001) 'The effect of cation charge on crystal-melt partitioning of trace elements', EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS. pp. 59-71 doi: 10.1016/S0012-821X%2801%2900294-1
- Wade, J, Wood, BJ, (2001) 'The Earth's 'missing' niobium may be in the core.', Nature. pp. 75-78 doi: 10.1038/35051064
- Wood, BJ, Blundy, JD, Robinson, JAC, (1999) 'The role of clinopyroxene in generating U-series disequilibrium during mantle melting', GEOCHIMICA ET COSMOCHIMICA ACTA. pp. 1613-1620 doi: 10.1016/S0016-7037%2898%2900302-0
- Wood, BJ, Blundy, JD, (1997) 'A predictive model for rare earth element partitioning between clinopyroxene and anhydrous silicate melt', CONTRIBUTIONS TO MINERALOGY AND PETROLOGY. pp. 166-181 doi: 10.1007/s004100050330
- BLUNDY, J, WOOD, B, (1994) 'PREDICTION OF CRYSTAL-MELT PARTITION-COEFFICIENTS FROM ELASTIC-MODULI', NATURE. pp. 452-454 doi: 10.1038/372452a0