School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences


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  • Sonia Tikoo-Schantz

    Sonia Tikoo-Schantz

    Assistant Professor of Geophysics

    BioI utilize paleomagnetism and fundamental rock magnetism as tools to investigate problems in the planetary sciences. By studying the remanent magnetism recorded within rocks from differentiated planetary bodies, I can learn about core processes that facilitate the generation of dynamo magnetic fields within the Earth, Moon, and planetesimals. Determining the longevities and paleointensities of dynamo fields that initially magnetized rocks also provides insight into the long-term thermal evolution (i.e., effects of secular cooling) of planetary bodies. I also use paleomagnetism to understand impact cratering events, which are the most ubiquitous modifiers of planetary surfaces across the solar system. Impact events produce heat, shock, and sometimes hydrothermal systems that are all capable of resetting magnetization within impactites and target rocks via thermal, shock, and chemical processes. Therefore, I am able to use a combination of paleomagnetic and rock magnetic characterization to investigate shock pressures, temperatures, structural changes, and post-impact chemical alteration experienced by cratered planetary surfaces.