Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Newton Horace Winchell School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Samuel B. Mukasa


PhD, 1984, University of California, Santa Barbara

Research Interests

  • Integrated use of trace elements and Pb, Nd, Sr, Hf and Os isotopes to model the evolution and dynamics of Earth’s mantle as recorded by materials derived from alpine peridotite massifs, ultramafic xenoliths, arc lavas, and continental flood basalts.
  • Uranium-series disequilibrium (U, Th, Pa &Ra) in arc and continental rift lavas, and in climate science studies.
  • Chemical and physical dynamics of the magma chambers that form layered mafic intrusions.
  • Applications of U-Pb (SIMS and TIMS) and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology to providing constraints on the evolution of the continents, and continental and oceanic magmatic arcs.
  • Kinematic evolution of orogenic belts and their bearing on palinspastic plate reconstructions and the tectonic histories of supercontinent amalgamations and breakups.
  • Volatiles (H2O, CO2, F, Cl and S) in olivine-hosted mantle melt inclusions and their insight on mantle-melting processes.

Recent Publications

  • Aviado, K. B., Rilling-Hall, S., Bryce, J. G., and Mukasa, S. B., 2015, Submarine and subaerial lavas in the West Antarctic Rift System: Temporal record of shifting magma source components from the lithosphere and asthenosphere. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (G-Cubed), doi: 10.1002/2015GC006076.
  • Cabato, J. A., Stefano, C. J., and Mukasa, S. B., 2015, Volatile concentrations in olivine-hosted melt inclusions from the Columbia River flood basalts and associated lavas of the Oregon Plateau: Implications for magma genesis. Chemical Geology, 392, 59-73.
  • Hudgins, T. R., Mukasa, S.B., Simon, A. C., Moore, G., and Barifaijo, E., 2015, Melt-inclusion evidence for CO2-rich melts beneath the western branch of the East African Rift: Implications for long-term storage of volatiles in the deep lithosperic mantle. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol., 169, 5, doi: 10.1007/s00410-015-1140-9
  • Page, F. Z., Essene, E. J., Mukasa, S. B., and Valley, J. W., 2014, A garnet-zircon oxygen isotope record of subduction and exhumation fluids from the Franciscan Complex, California. Jour. Petrology 55, 103-131. doi:10.1093/petrology/egt062
  • Akinin, V. V., Andronikov, A. V., Mukasa, S. B., and Miller, E. I., 2013, Cretaceous lower crust of the continental margins of the northern Pacific: petrological and geochronological data on lower to middle crustal xenoliths. Petrology, 21, 28-65.
  • Mukasa, S. B., Wilson, A. H., and Young, K. R., 2013, Geochronological constraints on the magmatic and tectonic development of the Pongola Supergroup (Central Region), South Africa.
    Precambrian Research, 224, 268-286.
  • Yong, W., Zhang, L., Hall, C. M, Mukasa, S. B., and Essene, E. J., 2013, The 40Ar/39Ar and Rb-Sr chronology of the Precambrian Aksu blueschist. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 63, 197-205.
  • Choi, S. H. and Mukasa, S. B., 2012, Lu-Hf and Sm-Nd isotope systematics of Korean spinel peridotites: A case for metasomatically induced Nd-Hf decoupling. Lithos 154, 263-276.
  • Jin, L., Mukasa, S. B., Hamilton, S. K., and Walter, L. M., 2012, Impacts of glacial/interglacial cycles on continental rock weathering inferred using Sr/Ca and 87Sr/86Sr rations in Michigan watersheds. Chemical Geology 300, 97-108.


Recent Research Support

  • NSF MRI-1337897: MRI: Acquisition of Analytical Scanning Electron Microscope for Engineering and Earth Science Research (09/01/2013 – 08/31/2016; $683,558; 0 MTDC).
  • NSF MRI-1255888: MRI: Acquisition and development of a plasma mass spectrometer facility for Earth Sciences research and research training in Northern New England (08/01/2013 – 07/31/2015; $722,107; 0 MTDC).
  • NSF HRD-1209189*: UNH UNBIASED: Leadership Development and Policy Change to Promote Institutional Transformation (10/01/2012 – 09/30/2017; $3,475,893; 47% MTDC).
    *Interim Provost P. T. Vasudevan is the PI, and I am 1 of 4 co-PIs.
  • NSF OPP-1025513: Geochemistry and Geochronology of the First Submarine Intraplate Lavas Recovered from the Arctic Ocean – Bearing on the Plate Tectonic Evolution of the Amerasian
    Basin (07/01/2010 – 12/31/2014; $286,927; 47% MTDC).


Selected Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of California, Santa Barbara, May 2006
  • D.Sc. Honorary Degree (Commencement Speaker), Nkumba Univ, Entebbe, Uganda – April 2008