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Willam Cassata
Faculty Researcher & Geochronologist

My research is primarily focused on understanding the geologic and atmospheric evolution of Earth, the Moon, and Mars. I measure gases that are trapped in rocks from these planetary bodies and determine their ages to reconstruct ancient histories that are otherwise unobservable. I am particularly interested in climate conditions and habitability on early Mars, the origins and evolution of volatiles and water in the rocky planets, and the chronology of early Solar System events, which can be studied using asteroidal meteorites and samples from the Moon. I am also interested in the methodological development of new laboratory techniques to address these questions.

Selected Publications

Cassata, W.S., Zahnle, K.J., Samperton, K.M., Stephenson, P.C., and Wimpenny, J., 2022, Xenon isotope constraints on ancient Martian atmospheric escape, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 580 (117349).

Willett, C.D., Cassata, W.S., and Marks, N.E., 2022, A window into atmospheric escape on early Mars provided by argon isotopes in a Martian meteorite, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 329, 119-134.

Borg, L.E., Cassata, W.S., Wimpenny, J., Gaffney, A.M., and Shearer, C.K., 2020, The formation and evolution of the Moon’s crust inferred from the Sm-Nd isotopic systematics of highlands rocks. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 290, 312-332.

Bryson, F.J.B., Weiss, B.P., Lima, E.A., Gattacceca, G., and Cassata, W.S., 2020, Evidence for asteroid scattering and distal Solar System solids from meteorite paleomagnetism, Astrophysical Journal 892 (2).

Sio, C.K., Borg, L.E., and Cassata, W.S., 2020, The timing of lunar solidification and mantle overturn recorded in ferroan anorthosite 62237, Earth & Planetary Science Letters 538 (116219).

Cassata, W.S., Cohen, B.E., Mark, D.F., Trappitsch, R., Crow, C.A., Wimpenny, J., Lee, M.R. and Smith, C.L., 2018, Chronology of Martian breccia NWA 7034 and the formation of the Martian crustal dichotomy, Science Advances 4: eaap8306.

Cassata, W.S., 2017, Meteorite constraints on Martian atmospheric loss and paleoclimate, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 479, 322-329.

Cohen, B.E., Mark, D.F., Cassata, W.S., Lee, M.R., Tomkinson, T., and Smith, C.L., 2017, Taking the pulse of Mars via dating of a plume-fed volcano, Nature Communications 8, 640.

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