Esther Schwarzenbach

As a Research Scientist at Virginia Tech I study alteration processes of the oceanic lithosphere from mid-ocean ridges to subduction zones. My main focus thereby is the serpentinization of ultramafic rocks and the processes that accompany this mineralogical transformation. In this regard, I’m interested in (i) the mineralogical and petrological characterization of alteration processes during water-rock interaction of the oceanic lithosphere, e.g. caused by exposure to seawater along mid-ocean ridges or during metasomatism in subduction zones, (ii) the impact of serpentinization on the chemical exchange and cycling of elements (e.g. carbon and sulfur) between Earth’s surface and Earth’s interior, (iii) the influence of serpentinization and the formation of hydrogen and methane on microbial activity, and (iv) continental, weathering-type alteration of ultramafic rocks, and the formation of Mg-rich to highly alkaline waters (and their implication for biological activity).


Esther:    CV   email

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Publications

Schwarzenbach, E.M., Gazel, E, Caddick, M.J., 2014. Hydrothermal processes in partially serpentinized peridotites from Costa Rica: Evidence from native copper and complex sulfide assemblages. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, v168, article 1079: 1-21.

Sanchez-Murillo, R., Gazel, E., Schwarzenbach, E. M., Crespo-Medina, M., Schrenk, M. O., Boll, J., Gill, B. C., 2014. Geochemical evidence for active tropical serpentinization in the Santa Elena ophiolite, Costa Rica: An analogue of a humid early Earth? Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, doi: 10.1002/2013GC005213.

Schwarzenbach, E. M., Lang, S. Q., Früh-Green, G. L., Lilley, M. D., Bernasconi, S. M., Méhay, S., 2013. Sources and cycling of carbon in continental, serpentinite-hosted alkaline springs in the Voltri Massif, Italy. Lithos, 177, 226-244.

Schwarzenbach, E. M., Früh-Green, G. L., Bernasconi, S. M., Alt, J. C., Plas. A., 2013. Serpentinization and the incorporation of carbon: A study of two ancient peridotite-hosted hydrothermal systems. Chemical Geology, 351, 115-133.

Alt, J. C., Schwarzenbach, E. M., Früh-Green, G. L., Shanks III, W. C., Bernasconi, S. M. Garrido, C. J., Crispini, L., Gaggero, L., Padron-Navarta, J. A., Marchesi, C., 2013. The role of serpentinites in cycling of carbon and sulfur: Seafloor serpentinization and subduction metamorphism. Lithos, 178, 40-54.

Schwarzenbach, E. M., Früh-Green, G. L., Bernasconi, S. M., Alt, J. C., Shanks III, W. C., Gaggero, L., Crispini, L., 2012. Sulfur geochemistry of peridotite-hosted hydrothermal systems: Comparing the Ligurian ophiolites with oceanic serpentinites. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 91, 283-305.

Alt, J. C., Shanks III, W. C., Crispini, L., Gaggero, L., Schwarzenbach, E. M., Früh-Green, G. L., Bernasconi, S. M., 2012. Uptake of carbon and sulfur during seafloor serpentinization and the effects of subduction metamorphism in Ligurian peridotites, Chemical Geology, 322-323, 268-277.

Published Conference Abstracts

Schwarzenbach, E. M., Caddick, M. J., Beard, J. S., 2014. Vein formation and element mobility during serpentinization of peridotites: Mineralogy and thermodynamic modeling, Eos Trans. AGU; V53A-4828. Poster presentation, AGU fall meeting San Francisco, USA, December 2014.

Vogel, M., Früh-Green, G. L., Boschi, C., Schwarzenbach, E. M., 2014. Si-metasomatism during serpentinization of Jurassic ultramafic seafloor: A comparative study, Eos Trans. AGU; V53A-4829.

Lang, S., Schwarzenbach, E. M., Früh-Green, G. L., Tracking the fate of carbon in serpentinite-hosted systems, Goldschmidt 2014

Lamadrid, H., Schwarzenbach, E., Caddick, J., Rimstidt, J.D., Bodnar, J., 2014 Tracking serpentinization reactions in situ using synthetic fluid inclusions in ultramafic minerals. Goldschmidt 2014

Scott, S. R., Sims, K. W. W., Frost, B. R., Kelemen, P. B., Evans, K. A., Schwarzenbach, E. M., 2014. Fe isotopes in serpentinites: A positive Fe isotopic reservoir in the oceanic crust, Goldschmidt 2014

Vogel, M., Früh-Green, G. L., Boschi, C., Schwarzenbach, E. M., 2014. Serpentinization and fluid-rock interaction in Jurassic mafic and ultramafic sea-floor: constraints from Ligurian ophiolite sequences. EGU

Lamadrid, H. M., Schwarzenbach, E., Bodnar R. J., 2014. Monitoring serpentinization reactions in olivine in situ using synthetic fluid inclusions. GSA, 46 (3)

Schwarzenbach, E. M., Beard, J. S., Caddick, M. J., 2013. Element transport in veins during serpentinization. Eos Trans. AGU, MR33B-2328

Schwarzenbach, E. M., Früh-Green, G. L., Lang, S. Q., Bernasconi, S. M., Alt, J., Lilley, M. D., 2013. Carbon cycling in seafloor and continental peridotite-hosted hydrothermal systems. Eos Trans. AGU; B12B-01

Sanchez-Murillo, R., Gazel, E., Schwarzenbach, E. M., 2013. A new tropical active serpentinization end-member discovered in Costa Rica. Eos Trans. AGU, MR33B-2319

Schwarzenbach, E. M., Gazel, E., 2013. Serpentinization history of the Santa Elena complex peridotites, Costa Rica. Mineralogical Magazine, 77 (5), 2170.

Vogel, M., Früh-Green, G. L., Boschi, C., Schwarzenbach, E. M., 2013. Serpentinization, metasomatism and carbonate precipitation in Jurassic mafic and ultramafic seafloor. Mineralogical Magazine, 77 (5), 2424.

Alt, J. C., Shanks III, W. C., Schwarzenbach, E. M., Früh-Green, G. L., Bernasconi, S. M. Garrido, C. J., Crispini, L., Gaggero, L., Padron-Navarta, J. A., Marchesi, C., 2012. The role of serpentinites in cycling of carbon and sulfur: Seafloor serpentinization and subduction metamorphism. Eos Trans. AGU

Schwarzenbach, E. M., Früh-Green, G. L., Bernasconi, S. M., 2011. The Ligurian ophiolite: An analogue to marine serpentinite-hosted hydrothermal systems. Mineralogical Magazine, 75 (3), 1830.

Schwarzenbach, E. M., Früh-Green, G. L., Bernasconi, S. M., Méhay, S., Lilley, M. D., 2010. Present-day serpentinization and microbial activity in peridotites hosting high-pH spring waters, Gruppo di Voltri (Italy). Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 74 (12), A928.

Früh-Green, G.L., Schwarzenbach, E.M., Méhay, S., Lilley, M.D., Bernasconi, S.M., Molinari, M. and Marini, L., 2009. Alkaline fluids and reduced volatiles in modern serpentinizing environments. Eos Trans. AGU, 90 (52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract V43B-2256.

Schwarzenbach, E. M., Früh-Green, G. L., Bernasconi, S. M., 2009. Sulfur and carbon geochemistry of carbonate-veined serpentinites from Liguria: A comparison to the Iberian Margin and Lost City. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 73 (13), A1187.

Schwarzenbach, E. M., Früh-Green, G. L., Bernasconi, S. M., Delacour, A., Plas, A., 2008. Comparing sulfur and carbon speciation in ophiolites and active peridotite-hosted hydrothermal systems. Eos Trans. AGU, 89 (53), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract T43B-2029.

Schwarzenbach, E. M., Früh-Green, G. L., Bernasconi, S. M., Plas, A., Delacour, A., 2008. Carbon in ancient serpentinite-hosted hydrothermal systems: The northern Apennine ophiolites (Italy) and the Iberian Margin. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 72 (12), A843.