Professor of Earth Sciences
I study geological processes utilizing isotopic effects as tracers. I have worked on diverse problems including the evolution of early earth, genesis of flood basalts, generation of oceanic lithosphere, meteorite impacts, generation of mantle heterogeneities, serpentinization and methane production on planetary surfaces, economy of osmium in the oceans and relationship between solar magnetism and terrestrial climate. More recently I have become interested in water-rock interaction during hydraulic fracturing (fracking). We are looking at diagenesis of Marcellus Shale as well as what to do with the wastewater that results from fracking. I am working on this problem with Danielle Niu (PhD student), Josh Landis (Research Scientist) and my colleague Prof. Devon Renock. Other projects being carried out in my lab are 1) flux of Ir and Os during the K-T boundary impact (with Prof. J. Moore, Univ. of New Mexico and Prof. J. Kirk Cochran, Stony Brook University), 2) Test of meteorite impact hypothesis at Younger-Dryas (we are looking at sediments as well as ice cores; with PhD student Ji-Hye Seo), 3) Osmium isotope composition of Solar Wind (with PhD student Gayathri J.P. and Dr. Amy Jurewicz using material recovered from NASA's Genesis Mission), and 4) early proton/neutron irradiation history of the solar system (with Gayathri J.P.).
D. Niu, D. Renock, M. Whitehouse, J. Leone, Harry Rowe, J. Landis, K. Hamren, C. W. Symcox, and M. Sharma (2016) A relict sulfate–methane transition zone in the mid-Devonian Marcellus Shale. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 182: 73–87
D. Renock, J. Landis, and M. Sharma (2016) Reductive weathering of black shale and release of barium during hydraulic fracturing. Applied Geochemistry 65: 73-86
T. Blazina and M. Sharma (2013) The impact of arc terrain weathering on the global cycles of Sr, Os and C as deduced from the North Island of New Zealand. G3 doi: 10.1002/ggge.20222
Y. Wu, M. Sharma, M. LaCompte, M. Dimitrioff (2013) The origin and provenance of magnetic sphereules at the Younger Dryas Boundary. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition. www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1304059110
M. Sharma (2011) Applications of Osmium and Iridium as Biogeochemical Tracers in the Environment. Handbook of Environmental Isotope Geochemistry, Advances in Isotope Geochemistry (ed: M. Baskaran), DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-10637-8_11. Springer-Verlag.
R. Andreasen and M. Sharma (2009) Fractionation and mixing in a thermal ionization mass spectrometer source: implications and limitations for high-precision Nd isotope analyses. International Journal of Mass Spectrometry & Ion Processes: doi:10.1016/j.ijms.2009.04.004
C. Chen and M. Sharma (2009) High precision and high sensitivity measurements of osmium in seawater. Analytical Chemistry: doi:10.1021/ac900600e.
C. Chen, P. Sedwick, and M. Sharma (2009) Anthropogenic osmium in rain and snow reveals global-scale atmospheric contamination. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 106:7724-7728.
R. Andreasen and M. Sharma (2007) Mixing and Homogenization in the Early Solar System: clues from Sr, Ba, Nd, and Sm isotopes in meteorites. The Astrophysical J. 665: 874-883.
M. Sharma, E. R. Rosenburg, and D. A. Butterfield (2007) Search for the proverbial mantle osmium sources to the oceans: Hydrothermal alteration of mid-ocean ridge basalt. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 71: 4655-4667.
C. Oze and M. Sharma (2007) Serpentinization and the Inorganic Synthesis of H2 in Planetary Surfaces. Icarus. 186: 557-561 (doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2006.09.012).
R. Andreasen and M. Sharma (2006) Solar nebula heterogeneity in p-process Sm and Nd isotopes. Science. 314: 806-809 (doi: 10.1126/science.1131708).
M. Sharma (2002) Variations in Solar Magnetic Activity during the last 200,000 years: Is there a Sun-Climate Connection? Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 199 (3-4): 459-472.
J. Eisele, M. Sharma, J. Blichert-Toft, C. Devey, S. Galer, and A. W. Hofmann (2002) The role of sediment recycling in EM-1 inferred from Os, Pb, Hf, Nd, Sr isotope and trace element systematics of the Pitcairn hotspot. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 196 (3-4): 197-212.
M. Sharma, G. J. Wasserburg, A. W. Hofmann, and G. J. Chakrapani (1999) Himalayan uplift and osmium isotopes in oceans and rivers, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta,. 63, 4005-4012.
M. Sharma (1997) Siberian Traps. In: Large Igneous Provinces: Continental, Oceanic, and Planetary Flood Volcanism. Eds. J. J. Mahoney and M. Coffin, AGU Monograph, Volume 100, p 273-295, American Geophysical Union, Washington D.C.