Sumit Chakraborty

Prof. Dr. Sumit Chakraborty

Professor of physico-chemical Mineralogy Ph.D. 1990, Arizona, U.S.A.

Tel. +49 (0) 234 / 32-24395
FAX: +49 (0) 234 / 32-14433
Room- No: NA 04/ 691

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Research Interests

Application of Physical Chemistry through experiments, theory and in the field to understand timescales and mechanisms of geochemical and cosmochemical processes. Understanding the atomistic mechanisms of flow and creep of silicates and oxides. Application of diffusion controlled processes in Materials Science problems.

Experiments carried out at high pressures (to 15 GPa) and/or temperatures (upto 1800°C) provide kinetic (e.g. diffusion coefficients) and thermodynamic (e.g. activity coefficients) data. Many of the experiments use nanometer scale thin films of complex oxides and silicates produced using Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD). This facility is unique in the Geosciences and enables us to produce thin films with complex geometry and chemistry. Analytical methods used include a particle accelerator (e.g. RBS, NRA, PIXE) at RUBION on campus, electron microprobes with high resolution FEG capability, SEM with EBSD attachment, CL-microscopes and white light interference microscopes in the department, and SIMS and analytical transmission electron microscopy (ATEM) with collaborators. Facilities for sample thinning using focused ion beams (FIB) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) are available on campus.

Theoretical work is directed towards development of methods and tools for diffusion chronometry and geospeedometry. Exploring relationships between thermodynamic and kinetic parameters, point defect thermodynamics of minerals, combined thermodynamic-kinetic modeling of geochemical processes and integration of thermomechanical models with kinetic calculations to constrain time scales of geological and cosmochemical processes are other theoretical and modelling based research directions.

Current Field based projects include:

  • Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh, Himalaya, India (Metamorphism and Partial melting in a recently active continental collision zone)

  • Madurai Block, Dharwar Craton and the Coorg Block, South India (Rates and timescales of thermal and mechanical processes in the Early Archean Earth)

  • Recent volcanics from Mt. Etna, Sicily (timescales of magmatism studied in connection with surface monitoring data and mechanical modelling, collaboration with the group of Klaus Hackl at mechanical engineering)

  • Other natural samples being studied come from:

  • Hess Deep, Pito Deep and various other sites along the Mid Atlantic and Costa Rica rifts, obtained from the Ocean drilling project (ODP).

  • Chondrites (e.g. Allende) and various Mars meteorites

Currently active Collaborations


Dr. F. Costa (Singapore)


Dr. R. Anzkiewicz (Krakow)


Dr. T. Gerya (ETH – Zürich)


Dr. J. Craven (Edinburgh)


Dr. M. Pompilio (Pisa)


Dr. M. Kahl (Muenchen)
Dr. M. Wiedenbeck (Potsdam)
Dr. K. Marquardt (Bayreuth)

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Selected recent publications

  • Faak, K., Chakraborty, S., Coogan, L. A., Dohmen, R. (2018): Comment on ‘Formation of fast-spreading lower oceanic crust as revealed by a new Mg–REE coupled geospeedometer’ by Sun and Lissenberg. Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

             Referring comment: Sun, C., Lissenberg, C. J. (2018) Caveats and challenges in geospeedometry: A reply to Faak et          al.’s critique of the Mg–REE coupled geospeedometry. → Directlink

  • S. Chakraborty (2017) A New Mechanism for Upper Crustal Fluid Flow
    Driven by Solitary Porosity Waves in Rigid Reactive Media?. Geophysical Research Letters 44:19

  • Chowdhury P., Gerya T., Chakraborty, S. (2017) Emergence of silicic continents as the lower crust peels off on a hot plate-tectonic Earth. Nature Geoscience. DOI: 10.1038/NGEO3010 Article

      Referred comment: Magni, V. (2017): Plate tectonics: Crustal recycling evolution. Nature Geoscience.Article

  • Bhowmik, S. K., Chakraborty, S. (2017) Sequential kinetic modelling: A new tool decodes pulsed tectonic patterns in early hot orogens of Earth. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 460: 171-179

  • Fanara, S., Sengupta, P., Becker, H.-W., Rogalla, D., Chakraborty, S. (2017) Diffusion across the glass transition in silicate melts: Systematic correlations, new experimental data for Sr and Ba in calcium-aluminosilicate glasses and general mechanisms of ionic transport. Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids 455: 6-16

  • Dohmen, R., Ter Heege, J.H., Becker, H.-.W., Chakraborty, S. (2016) Fe-Mg inerdiffusion in orthopyroxene. Amer. Mineral. 101: 2210 – 2221.

  • Chakraborty, S.,R. Anczkiewicz, F. Gaidies, D. Rubatto, N. Sorcar, K. Faak, D.K. Mukhopadhyay, S. Dasgupta(2016): A review of thermal history and timescales of tectonometamorphic processes in Sikkim Himalaya (NE India) and implications for rates of metamorphic processes. Journal of Metamorphic Geology, 34, pages: 785–803 DOI:10.1111/jmg.12200, Article

  • Faak, K., Coogan, L.A., Chakraborty, S. (2015): Near conductive cooling rates in the upper-plutonic of crust formed at the East Pacific Rise, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 423, Pages 36-47, DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2015.04.025

  • Gaidies, F., Petley-Ragan, A., Chakraborty, S., Dasgupta, S., Jones, P. (2015): Constraining the conditions of Barrovian metamorphism in Sikkim, India: P-T-t paths of garnet crystallization in the Lesser Himalayan Belt. Journal of Metamorphic Geology, Volume 33, Issue 1, DOI: 10.1111/jmg.12108

  • Anzckiewicz, R., Chakraborty, S., Dasgupta, S., Mukhopadhyay, D., Koltonik, K. (2014): Timing, duration and inversion of prograde Barrovian metamorphism constrained by high resolution Lu-Hf garnet dating: A case study from the Sikkim Himalaya, NE India; Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 407, Pages 70 – 81, DOI: 10.1016/j.eps1.2014.09.035

  • Faak, K., Coogan, L.A., Chakraborty, S. (2014): A new Mg-in-plagioclase geospeedometer for the determination of cooling rates of mafic rocks. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Volume 140, Pages 691–707, DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2014.06.005

  • Neogi, S., Bolton, E.W., Chakraborty, S. (2014): Timescales of disequilibrium melting in the crust: constraints from modelling the distribution of multiple trace elements and a case study from the Lesser Himalayan rocks of Sikkim. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, Volume 168, Issue 2, DOI: 10.1007/s00410-014-1020-8

  • Mueller, T., Dohmen, R., Becker, H.W., ter Heege, J., Chakraborty, S. (2013): Fe-Mg interdiffusion rates in clinopyroxene: experimental data and implications for Fe-Mg exchange geothermometers. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, v.166, No. 6, p. 1563-1576, DOI:10.1007/s00410-013-0941-y

  • Faak, K., Chakraborty, S., Coogan, L.A. (2013): Mg in plagioclase: Experimental calibration of a new geothermometer and diffusion coefficients. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Volume 123, Pages 195-217, DOI:10.1016/j.gca.2013.05.009

  • Lopez-Galilea, I., Huth, S., Theisen, W., Fockenberg, T., Chakraborty, S. (2013): Effect of high pressure and high temperature on the microstructural evolution of a single crystal Ni-based superalloy. Journal of Materials Science, Volume 48, Issue 1, Pages 348-358, DOI:10.1007/s10853-012-6752-0

  • Rubatto, D., Chakraborty, S., Dasgupta, S. (2013):Timescales of crustal melting in the Higher Himalayan Crystallines (Sikkim, Eastern Himalaya) inferred from trace element-constrained monazite and zircon chronology. Contributions of Mineralogy and Petrology, 165:349-372, DOI:10.1007/s00410-012-0812-y

  • Ganguly, J., Tirone M., Chakraborty, S., Domanik, K. (2013): H-chondrite parent asteroid: A multistage cooling, fragmentation and re-accretion history constrained by thermometric studies, diffusion kinetic modeling and geochronological data. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 105:206–220, DOI:10.1016/j.gca.2012.11.024

  • Kahl, M., Chakraborty, S., Costa, F., Pompilio, M., Liuzzo, M., Viccaro, M. (2013): Compositionally zoned crystals and real-time degassing data reveal changes in magma transfer dynamics during the 2006 summit eruptive episodes of Mt. Etna. Bulletin of Volcanology, 75:692, DOI:10.1007/s00445-013-0692-7

  • Lopez-Galilea, I., Huth, S., Theisen, W., Fockenberg, T., Chakraborty, S. (2012): Effect of high pressure and high temperature on the microstructural evolution of a single crystal Ni-based superalloy. Journal of Materials Science, Volume 48, Issue 1, Pages 348-358, DOI 10.1007/s10853-012-6752-0

  • Faak, K., Chakraborty, S., Dasgupta, S. (2012): Petrology and tectonic significance of metabasite slivers in the Lesser and Higher Himalayan domains of Sikkim, India. Journal of metamorphic Geology, 30:599–622, doi:10.1111/j.1525-1314.2012.00987.x

  • Borinski, S.A., Hoppe, U., Chakraborty, S., Ganguly, J., Bhowmik, S.K. (2012): Multicomponent diffusion in garnets I: general theoretical considerations and experimental data for Fe–Mg systems. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 164:571–586, DOI: 10.1007/s00410-012-0758-0

  • Xu, J., Yamazaki, D., Katsura, T., Wu, X., Remmert, P., Yurimoto, H., and Chakraborty, S. (2011): Silicon and magnesium diffusion in a single crystal of MgSiO(3) perovskite. Journal of Geophysical research-solid Earth, 116: B12205, doi:10.1029/2011JB008444

  • Sengupta, P., Rogalla, D., Hans Werner Becker, H.W., Dey, G.K., Chakraborty, S. (2011): Development of graded Ni–YSZ composite coating on Alloy 690 by Pulsed Laser Deposition technique to reduce hazardous metallic nuclear waste inventory. Journal of Hazardous Materials,192:208-221, doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2011.05.006

  • Chakraborty, S. (2010) Diffusion coefficients in olivine, wadsleyite and ringwoodite, in Diffusion in Minerals and Melts, Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry, 72, eds. Y. Zhang and D. Cherniak, 603-639, DOI: 10.2138/rmg.2010.72.13

  • Dohmen, R., Kasemann, S., Coogan, L.C. and Chakraborty, S. (2010) Diffusion of Li in olivine: I. Experimental observations and a multi species diffusion model, accepted in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

  • Costa, F., Coogan, L.C. and Chakraborty, S. (2010) The time scales of magma mixing and mingling involving primitive melts and melt-mush interaction at mid-ocean ridges,Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 159, 371-387.

  • Harte, B., Taniguchi, T. and Chakraborty, S. (2009) Diffusion in diamond. II. High-pressure-temperature experiments published online in Mineralogical Magazine; April 2009; v. 73; no. 2; p. 201-204; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.2009.073.2.201.

  • Costa, F., Coogan, L.C. and Chakraborty, S. (2009) Decadal timescales for magma mixing and crystal cumulate-magma interaction processes beneath mid-ocean ridges obtained from zoning patterns in plagioclase phenocrysts published online in Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology (doi 10.1007/s00410-009-0432-3).

  • Shimojuku, A., Kubo, T., Ohtani, E., Nakamura, T, Okazaki, R., Dohmen, R. and Chakraborty, S. (2009) Si and O diffusion in (Mg,Fe)2SiO4 wadsleyite and ringwoodite and its implications for the rheology of the mantle transition zone, Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

  • Holzapfel, C., Chakraborty, S., Rubie, D.C. and Frost, D.J. (2009) Fe-Mg diffusion in wadsleyite: The role of pressure, temperature and composition and the magnitude of jump in diffusion rates at the 410 Km discontinuity. Phys. Earth. Planet. Int. 172: 28-33.

  • Dasgupta, S., Chakraborty, S., and Neogi, S. (2009) Petrology of an inverted Barrovian sequence of metapelites in Sikkim Himalaya, India: constraints on the tectonics of inversion, American Journal of Science, 309:43-84.

  • Costa, F., Dohmen, R. and Chakraborty, S. (2008) Time Scales of magmatic Processes from modeling the zoning patterns of crystals in Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry, 69: 545-594, Minerals, Inclusions and Volcanic Processes, Putirka, K.D. and Tepley, F.J. III (Eds.)

  • Chakraborty, S. (2008) Diffusion in solid silicates: A tool to track timescales of processes comes of age. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 36: 153-190.

  • Faccenda, M. Gerya, T.V. and Chakraborty, S. (2008) Styles of post-subduction collisional orogeny: influence of convergence velocity, crustal rheology and radiogenic heat production. Lithos 103: 257 – 287.

  • Costa, F. and Chakraborty, S. (2008) The effect of water on Si and O diffusion rates in olivine and implications for transport properties and processes in the upper mantle, Physics of Earth and Planetary Interiors, 166:11-29.

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  • 176847 Petrology Seminar
    Msc-level: [All staff in Petrology]

  • 176899 Main Seminar Geosciences
    Msc-level: [All staff in Petrology]

  • 176601 Geowissenschaftliches Seminar - BSc – level

  • 176505 Poster presentation, Kolloquium

Winter semester

  • 176102 Introduction to Earth Materials with practicals
    Bsc-level (1st semester): [Lectures: Chakraborty; Practicals: Schertl, Fockenberg]

  • 176513 Geochemistry II - Thermodynamics in Geosciences
    Bsc-level (5th semester): Chakraborty

  • 176741 Petrology of magmatic rocks
    Msc-level (7th semester): Chakraborty

  • 176945 Kinetics
    Msc-level (7th semester): Chakraborty

  • 176841 Analytical methods
    Msc-level (9th semester): Fockenberg, Chakraborty

  • 176840 Fluid flow in porous media at high temperatures
    Msc-level (9th semester): Chakraborty, Willner

  • 176742 Project in magmatic Petrology
    Msc-level (9th semester): [All staff in Petrology]

  • 176941 Recent developments in analytical and experimental petrology
    Msc-level (9th semester): [All staff in Petrology]

Summer semester

  • 176614 Geochemie des Erdinneren
    BSc-level (6. semester): Chakraborty, Fockenberg

  • 176888 Thermodynamics
    MSc-level (8. semester): Chakraborty

  • 176612 Erzminerale und Lagerstätten
    Bsc-level (6. semester): Seifert, Chakraborty (block course)

  • 176842 Project in metamorphic petrology
    Msc-level (8th semester): [All staff in Petrology]

  • 176846 Recent developments in igneous and metamorphic petrology
    Msc-level (8th semester): [All staff in Petrology]

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  • 1997 - Habilitation, University of Cologne
    Habilitationsschrift: Diffusionsvorgänge in geologisch relevanten Mineralen und Schmelzen (Diffusion processes in geologically relevant minerals and melts)
    Supervisor: Prof. H. Palme

  • 1990 - Ph.D, University of Arizona
    Dissertation: Multicomponent cation diffusion in aluminosilicate garnets: theory, experiments and applications.
    Supervisor: Prof. Jibamitra Ganguly

  • 1983 - M.Sc (Geology), Calcutta University, Calcutta, India
    Thesis: Petrology of the area around Bhawanipatna, Kalahandi District, Orissa, India.
    Supervisor: Prof. Aniruddha De

  • 1980 - B.Sc with honors in Geology, Presidency College, Calcutta University, Calcutta, India

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Academic Honours

  • Elected Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America (MSA)

  • Distinguished Lecturer of the Mineralogical Society of America (MSA)

  • Elected to the council of the Mineralogical Society of America for the period 2010 - 2012

  • Elected Fellow of the Geochemical Society

  • Best Paper published in 1998 in American Mineralogist award, Mineralogical Society of America

  • Tucson Gem and Mineral Society graduate research fellowship

  • B.S. Butler Fellowship, Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona (best incoming Graduate Student)

  • Selected for Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Trust Foundation Scholarship -- one out of ten candidates selected from all over India and all fields of academia

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