Megan Newcombe
Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow

Postdoctoral Fellow Megan Newcombe

Research Interests

Petrology; numerical modeling; state-of-the-art geochemical analysis to study volcanoes on the Earth, the Moon, and Mars


B.A., 2009, Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge
M.Sci., 2009, Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge
M.S., 2011, Geology, California Institute of Technology
Ph.D., 2016, Geology, California Institute of Technology

Contact & Links


Much of Megan's research revolves around a beautiful green mineral called olivine. This picture shows an olivine crystal erupted in 1977 by Seguam volcano in the Aleutian arc. The brown circular feature within the crystal is a melt inclusion—a parcel of frozen magma that was trapped during the crystal's growth in a crustal magma chamber.

Megan Newcombe's research is focused on volatiles and volcanism on the Earth and other planets. During her PhD at Caltech and her first postdoc at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Megan developed several short-timescale diffusion "clocks" that provide constraints on conditions in volcanic conduits during magma ascent and eruption. She experimentally determined the solubility and diffusivity of water in lunar basalt, and she took part in the Mars Science Laboratory effort to constrain the origin of alkaline igneous rocks on Mars. While at DTM, Megan's research efforts will be devoted to the measurement of water in nominally anhydrous minerals (such as olivine) within achondrite meteorites, with the aim of learning about the sources and transport of water in the early solar system.