Marc Hirschmann

Hirschmann NAS

Marc Hirschmann

Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences


John T. Tate Hall
Room 365
116 Church Street Se
Minneapolis, MN 55455


PhD, 1992, University of Washington

Research Interests

I use high pressure/high temperature experiments together with analytical and theoretical tools to understand melting, mass transfer, and differentiation in planetary interiors. Areas of focus include the role of lithologic heterogeneity in basalt source regions, cycling and storage of volatiles (H, C, N, S) in planetary interiors, delivery and loss processes of these volatiles during the early accretion and differentiation of terrestrial planets, regions of possible stability of small-degree partial melts, such as the asthenosphere and above the 410 km discontinuity, and redox processes in both modern and early planetary environments.


Recent and current research projects include studies of the acquisition and loss of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur during formation and differentiation of planets and planetesimals, interactions between volatiles and redox processes in magma oceans, study of the central role of pyroxene in controlling oxygen fugacity and Fe3+ partitioning during basalt formation, redox processes in martian magmatism, and the incorporation of of H in plagioclase, particularly as applied to lunar materials.


Research employs high temperature and high pressure experimental devices and an array of analytical tools including, electron microprobe, FTIR,  SIMS, XANES, Mossbauer spectroscopy, EBSD, and LA-ICP-MS

Experimental Petrology Lab

Currently Teaching Courses
Geo 1001/1101 Earth and its Environments
Geo 2302 Petrology
Geo 3006 Rocks and Stars: Introduction to Planetary Science
Geo 5503 Advanced Petrology

Selected Publications

  • Hirschmann, M.M. (2016) Constraints on the origin of Earth’s major volatiles from C/H, C/N, and C/S ratios. American Mineralogist 101:540-553.
  • Zhang, H.L. Hirschmann, M.M., Cottrell, E. Withers, A.C. (2017) Effect of pressure on Fe3+/ΣFe in a mafic magma and consequences for magma ocean redox gradients. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 204: 83-103
  • Dalou, C., Hirschmann, M.M. Mosenfelder, J., von der Handt, A., Armstrong, L.S. (2017) Nitrogen and carbon fractionation during core-mantle differentiation at shallow depth. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 458:141-151.
  • Keller, T. Katz, R.F., Hirschmann, M.M. (2017) The fate of volatiles in mid-ocean ridge magmatism. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 464:55-68.
  • Conrad, C.P., Selway, K. Hirschmann, M.M. Ballmer, M.D. Wessel, P. (2017) Constraints on volumes and patterns of asthenospheric melt from the space-time distribution of seamounts. Geophysical Research Letters 44 doi:10.1002/2017GL074098.
  • Hier-Majumder S. Hirschmann, M.M. (2017) The origin of volatiles in Earth’s mantle. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 18 3078-3092.
  • Zhang, Z., Hastings, P. von der Handt, A., Hirschmann, M.M. (2018) Experimental determination of carbon solubility in Fe-Ni-S melts. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 225: 66-79.
  • Zhang, H.L., Cottrell, E., Solheid, P.A. Kelley, K.A. Hirschmann, M.M. (2018) Determination of Fe3+/ΣFe of XANES basaltic glass standards by Mössbauer spectroscopy and its application to the oxidation state of iron in MORB. Chemical Geology 479 166-175.
  • Qin, T. Wentzcovitch, R., Umemoto, K. Hirschmann, M.M. Kohlstedt, D.L., (2018) Ab initio study of water speciation in forsterite American Mineralogist 103: 692-699.
  • Hirschmann, M.M. (2018) Comparative deep Earth volatile cycles: The case for C recycling from exosphere/mantle fractionation of major (H2O, C, N) volatiles and from H2O/Ce, CO2/Ba, and CO2/Nb exosphere ratios. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 502:262-273.
  • Mosenfelder, J.L., von der Handt, A. Füri, Dalou, C., Hervig, R., Rossman, G.R. Hirschmann, M.M. (2019) Nitrogen incorporation in silicates and metals: results from SIMS, EPMA, FTIR, and laser-extraction mass spectrometry. American Mineralogist 104: 31-46
  • Pahlevan, K. Schaefer, L., Hirschmann, M.M. (2019) Magma ocean outgassing and hydrogen isotopic constraints on the Hadean Earth. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 525: # 115770
  • Zhang, Z. Qin, T., Pommier, A., Hirschmann, M.M. (2019) Carbon storage in Fe-Ni-S liquids in the deep upper mantle and its relation to diamond and Fe-Ni alloy precipitation. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 520: 164-174.
  • Mosenfelder, J.L., Andrys, J.L, Von der Handt, A. Kolhstedt, D. L., Hirschmann, M. M. (2020) Hydrogen incorporation in plagioclase. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 277 87-110