Velbel, Michael A.

Velbel, Michael A.

Mineral/Water Interactions
  Office: 208B Natural Science
 Phone: (517) 353-5273

Professor Velbel (Ph.D., Yale University, 1984) studies regolith geoscience and the rates and mechanisms of mineral-water interactions during rock and mineral weathering.  His research investigates the geological, mineralogical, geochemical, and geomorphic factors which control mineral alterations at the Earth's surface and the migration of chemical elements through the landscape, emphasizing small-watershed geochemistry.  Related areas of research include terrestrial weathering of Antarctic and non-Antarctic meteorites; rock-, mineral-, and chemical-weathering on Mars and in Martian meteorites; recognition of pre-terrestrial aqueous alteration on other meteorite parent bodies from mineralogical investigations of meteorites; and preservation of sample integrity for past and future sample-return missions.  He was a member of the Mineralogy-Petrology subteam of the NASA Stardust comet sample-return mission Preliminary Examination Team (2006).  In addition to MSU, Prof. Velbel has held visiting appointments at the University of Cincinnati, the Faculté des Sciences-St Jérôme of the Université Paul Cézanne (Université d'Aix-Marseilles III), the Australian National University and the (Australian) Cooperative Research Centre for Landscape Evolution and Mineral Exploration (CRC-LEME).  He held NASA/ASEE Summer Faculty Fellowships at the NASA Johnson Space Center in 1987 and 1999; and was a Smithsonian Senior Fellow at the Division of Meteorites, Department of Mineral Sciences, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, 2012-2013.  He was President of The Clay Minerals Society 2013-2014.

Recent Publications

Velbel, M.A., 2014.  Terrestrial weathering of ordinary chondrites in nature and continuing during laboratory storage and processing: Review and implications for Hayabusa sample integrity.  Meteoritics and Planetary Science, v. 49, p. 154-171.

Price, J.R., and Velbel, M.A., 2014.  Rates of biotite weathering, and clay mineral transformation and neoformation, determined from watershed geochemical mass-balance methods for the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, Southern Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, USA.  Aquatic Geochemistry (Bricker Volume), v. 20, p. 203-224. 

Stopar, J.D., Taylor, G.J., Velbel, M.A., Vicenzi, E.P., Norman, M.D., and Hallis, L.J., 2013.  Element abundances, patterns, and mobility in nakhlite Miller Range 03346 and implications for aqueous alteration.  Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 112, p. 208-225.

Price, J.R., Bryan-Ricketts, D.S., Anderson, D., and Velbel, M.A., 2013.  Weathering of almandine garnet: Influence of secondary minerals on the rate-determining step, and implications for regolith-scale Al mobilization.  Clays and Clay Minerals, v. 61, p. 34-56.  doi:10.1346/CCMN.2013.0610104.
Goetz, W., Hecht, M.H., Hviid, S.F., Madsen, M.B., Pike, W.T., Staufer, U., Velbel, M.A., Harrit, N.H., Zych, E., and Edgett, K.S., 2012.  Search for ultraviolet luminescence of soil particles at the Phoenix landing site, Mars.  Planetary and Space Science, v. 70, p. 134-147.  doi:10.1016/j.pss.2012.05.002.
Velbel, M.A., 2012. Aqueous alteration in Martian meteorites: Comparing mineral relations in igneous-rock weathering of Martian meteorites and in the sedimentary cycle of Mars. In Grotzinger, J., and Milliken, R. (eds.) Sedimentary Geology of Mars, SEPM – Society for Sedimentary Geology Special Publication 102, p. 97-117.
Velbel, M.A., Tonui, E.K., and Zolensky, M.E., 2012. Replacement of olivine by serpentine in the carbonaceous chondrite Nogoya (CM2). Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 87, p. 117-135. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2012.03.016.
Sanders, N.E., and Velbel, M.A., 2012. The size distributions of nanoscale Fe-Ni-S droplets in Stardust melted grains from comet 81P/Wild 2. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, v. 47, p. 594–612. doi: 10.1111/j.1945-5100.2012.01352.x.


GLG321 - Mineralogy and Geochemistry
GLG431 - Sedimentology/Stratigraphy
GLG440 - Planetary Geology
GLG481 - Reservoirs and Aquifers
Publications (PDF)