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The Australian National University

Dr Penelope (Penny) King

Ph.D. Arizona State University, USA
ARC Future Fellow
ANU College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
T: 61-2-6125-0667

Areas of expertise

  • Geology 0403
  • Geochemistry 0402

Research interests

Origin and evolution of planetary interiors and surfaces. Effect of volatiles, pH and oxidation/reduction on materials at high and low temperature. Analysis of astromaterials - especially novel techniques for analyzing light elements, multivalent elements and trace elements - to better constrain past environmental processes. Field analogs for Mars, Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede.

Researcher's projects

My current research focuses on the origin and evolution of planetary surfaces; and the roles of volatiles, pH, and gases on minerals and melts/glasses at high and low temperatures.  I am particularly interested in the interface between volcanic and sedimentary rocks and the atmosphere.  Our group uses techniques in micro-analysis (especially infrared spectroscopy), performs high and low temperature experiments, and examines geology in the field and applies that to other planets like Mars.

Planetary geology projects

  • Effect of coatings on micro-reflectance IR spectra (J.A. Berger, T.S. Aran)
  • Evolution of the salts on Mars (D. Lescinsky, H.W. Nesbitt, H. Y. McSween)
  • Extended calibration of the Alpha-Particle X-ray Spectrometer for the Mars Science Laboratory mission (B. Hyde, R. Gellert, J.L. Campbell)
  • Terrestrial Mg-sulfate rich lakes as analogs for Mars and the Galilean satellites (B. Hyde, I. Foster, G. Southam, K. Moser)
  • Oxygen and hydrogen isotopes in the Tagish Lake meteorite (S.D.J. Russell, F.J. Longstaffe, T. Larsen)
  • IR and XRD of the Tagish Lake meteorite and enstatite meteorites (M.R. Izawa, R. Flemming, P.J.A. McCausland, R. Peterson)
  • Analysis of D/H ratios in amphiboles relevant to Mars (Y. Guan, L. Leshin, T.W. Vennemann)
  • Characterization of Fe3+-rich soils on Mars (M.D. Lane, M.D. Dyar, J. Bishop, M. Parente, B. Hyde)

  • Laboratory projects

  • Effect of composition on the mid-IR spectra of glasses (C. M. Dufresne, K. Dalby, R.J. Lee, M.S. Ramsey, W.A. McCutchin, J.M. Byrnes)
  • Si-O bonding in glasses (K. Dalby, H.W. Nesbitt)
  • H diffusion from wet basalt to dry rhyolite (D. Lui)
  • Bubble nucleation in phonolitic melts (J. Larsen, J. Mongrain)
  • Effects of changing oxidation state on element partitioning (J.R. Holloway, M.D. Dyar, J.S. Delaney, T.W. Vennemann, R.L. Hervig)
  • Volatile elements in andesitic melts & glasses (J.R. Holloway, R.L. Hervig, J. Lowenstern, T. Vennemann, J. Forneris)
  • Substitution of carbonate in apatite at high pressure (M.E. Fleet, X. Liu)
  • Phase equilibria of A-type granites (K. Klimm, W. Johannes, F. Holtz)

  • Analytical & Theoretical Projects

  • Development of micro-reflectance IR techniques for better understanding emission & reflectance TIR data
  • Development of reflectance IR techniques for analyzing volatiles in silicate glasses (J. Larsen)
  • Reflectance and emission IR of quartzofeldspathic glasses (R.J. Lee, J.M. Byrnes, M.S. Ramsey)
  • Synchrotron X-ray Absorption Near-Edge Spectroscopy of Fe3+ in amphiboles (M.D. Dyar, J. S. Delaney)
  • Analysis of metastable sulfates using micro- & bulk analysis techniques (B. Hyde, M. Spilde)
  • Synchrotron X-ray Absorption Near-Edge Spectroscopy of Ce3+/Ce4+ in Ti-rich minerals (T. K. Sham, M.D. Dyar, R. A. Gordon)
  • Theoretical prediction of Fe-and other minerals present on Mars (H.Y. McSween)
  • Electron microprobe methods for analyzing Fe3+ in amphiboles (C. Wagner, M. Fialin, E. Deloule)

  • Field-based projects

  • Volatiles & alteration products of rhyolitic rocks Kaiser Springs, AZ & Obsidian Dome, CA (D. Lui, E. Kirk)
  • Life in MgSO4 lakes - Basque Lakes, British Columbia (I. Foster, B. Hyde, G. Southam)
  • Substitution mechanisms in hydrous minerals (K. Righter, M.D. Dyar, J.S. Delaney, T.W. Vennemann, R.L. Hervig)
  • The origin of A-type granites from eastern Australia (B.W. Chappell, C.M. Allen, A.J.R. White)
  • Publications

    Projects and Grants

    Grants are drawn from ARIES. To add Projects or Grants please contact your College Research Office.

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    Updated:  28 July 2016 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers