Steven B Shirey

Senior Staff Scientist

Department of Terrestrial Magnetism

Carnegie Institution for Science

✦ The human occupied submersible DSRV Alvin a mile and a half deep on a seamount on the Pacific Ocean floor, OASIS Cruise, Nov 2016. Funded by the National Science Foundation. (photo: courtesy Dan Fornari ††)

Steven Shirey is a member of the five person Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry Group of the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism and works chiefly on terrestrial geological problems. In conjuction with students and postdocs, his research uses the trace element and isotopic compositions of natural minerals and rocks to understand the magmatic and geodynamic processes that have shaped the Earth since its formation.

His main research emphasis has been on the formation of the continents from Earth's mantle, the only geologic process that spans most of Earth history and records conditions on the ancient Earth. A recurring research theme has been to show how ancient episodes of mantle-derived magmatism and crust formation differ from today. Field work on modern rocks (like with this ALVIN dive to collect ocean floor pillow basalt, above) is as important as that on ancient rocks to understand how the Earth's geologic processes have changed.

✦ In Acadia National Park, ME

PhD 1984, SUNY Stony Brook

MS 1975, U Mass Amherst

AB 1972, Dartmouth College

✦ At AGU, San Francisco

Dept of Terrestrial Magnetism

Carnegie Institution for Science

5241 Broad Branch Road, NW

Washington, DC 20015 USA

Cell: +1 (301) 792-9083

Office: +1 (301) 478-8473


Skype: stevenshirey (Washington)

†† Photo: © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, National Deep Submergence Facility, courtesy of Dan Fornari - MISO Facility (

Copyright © Steven Shirey 2010-2018 Last updated 1/15/18