eochemistry is the study of the chemical and
composition and evolution of Earth and its component parts, including
the atmosphere, hydrosphere, crust, mantle, and core, as well as
extraterrestrial matter, such as meteorites and comets, other planets,
the sun, and distant stars. It concerns itself with the distribution
and migration of elements within the Earth and its atmosphere. Over
time, geochemistry has evolved from a descriptive science to one
increasingly concerned with the mechanisms behind its observations.
Geochemistry today is diversified into many
including aqueous geochemistry, cosmochemistry, inorganic geochemistry,
isotope geochemistry, organic geochemistry, and trace-element
geochemistry. Since most geological processes involve chemical
reactions, geochemistry and geochemical data are also used to explain
many of these processes in other areas of the geosciences.
At Caltech GPS, geochemistry has been used since
study the distribution of chemical elements in the Earth and the solar
system; to develop methods to date earth and solar system processes; to
discover and observe the chemical composition of terrestrial and
extraterrestrial materials; and to study chemical reactions in the
interior of the Earth as well as its surface and in the solar system
outside of the Earth.
Sub-programs in this option include: Atmospheric Chemistry, Chemical
Petrology, Cosmochemistry, Environmental Geochemistry,
Extraterrestrial Geochemistry, Geobiology, Instrumentation
Development in Geochemistry, Isotope
Geochemistry, and Mineralogy.