Véronique Le Roux


DOEI Postdoctoral Scholar
April 2011 - September 2012

Véronique Le Roux joined the DOEI program in April 2011 after she spent two years at Rice University (Houston, TX) as a post-doctoral Research Fellow.  Her research interests focus on understanding how the chemical composition and rheology of the Earth’s mantle evolve through time.  She uses a multi-disciplinary approach to study mantle rocks and mantle-derived lavas.  In particular, she analyzes the elemental and isotopic chemistry of mantle-derived rocks to understand geochemical processes in time and space, study the microstructure of mantle rocks to unravel their deformation history and geodynamic context, and perform laboratory experiments that re-create conditions inside the Earth’s mantle to compare with observations on natural materials.

The Earth’s mantle represents ~80% of the volume of the planet and thus plays a major role in the thermal, mechanical and chemical evolution of the planet.  However, its composition is only partially constrained and likely heterogeneous.  Véronique’s main research projects are aimed to understand processes such as partial melting and associated melt percolation that can dramatically change the composition and rheology of the mantle over time.  In particular, her PhD work has been questioning the composition of what geochemists call the “primitive mantle” (before the crust was extracted) by combining field, geochemical and petrophysical evidence of melt percolation.  During her post-doctoral appointment at Rice University, she continued to work on the distribution of lithological/chemical heterogeneities that are created through melt-rock reactions or recycling of crustal material into the mantle, by using geochemical tools and experimental petrology to interpret the composition of mantle-derived basalts.  The main goal of this research project was to explore chemical tracers that can give insights on the composition of the source regions of basalts.

By joining the DOEI program she will be mainly collaborating with Glenn Gaetani on an experimental project that aims to understand the effect of slab melts/fluids on the chemistry of the mantle wedge in a subduction zone environment, with Henry Dick on a multi-disciplinary project that aims at using natural peridotite samples from a mantle wedge environment and abyssal peridotites from ridge environments to further constrain melt-rock reaction processes in the mantle, and with Nobu Shimizu and others as part of side projects.

Véronique received a Ph.D. from the University of Montpellier (France) and Macquarie University (Australia) in November 2008.  Her Ph.D. dissertation focused on ‘melt-rock reaction and melt-assisted deformation in the Lherz peridotite, with implications for the structural, chemical and isotopic evolution of the lithospheric mantle'.  She also received a M.S. from the University of Montpellier (France) in 2005 and a B.S. from the University of Nantes (France) in 2003.