In 2012 I earned my PhD degree in geology from the University of Copenhagen,
Denmark. I then moved to the US, where I worked for two years in New
York City as a post-doctoral researcher at the Lamont-Doherty Earth
Observatory, Columbia University. After that I conducted a two-year study at Stanford University
in California. I then moved back permanently to Denmark, where spent one year as a postdoc at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS). I am currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, and I am an associate editor for the high impact journal Geoscience Frontiers.
Most of my fieldwork has been carried out in Greenland, where I have spent 13 summers collecting samples for my different research projects. At Instagram I present some of my best photos from fieldwork in Greenland.
area of research focuses on the petrology and geochemistry of rocks in
Greenland from the Archaean Eon, ranging in age from 3.8 to 2.5 billion
years old. These
rocks show the earliest evidence of surface processes and life on
Earth. Back then Earth was a very different planet from what we know
now. The Sun was about 25% less bright, there was no oxygen in the
atmosphere, the few small continents that had formed by then would have
been completely submerged in iron-rich oceans, due to the hotter mantle
and lower crust, which could not support the weight of large mountains.
Earth was basically a cold water world covered by green oceans (due to
reduced iron hydroxide aka. green rust).
a few years I did research on what type of tectonic setting was likely
responsible for the Archaean volcanic rocks found in south-west
Greenland. The conclusion based on my
peer-reviewed publications consistently point towards a subduction zone
environment, similar to what is presently found in the circum-Pacific
region. This means that despite the vastly different conditions of the
early Earth, the shallow volcanic processes have not changed much over
the course of the past several billions of years. However, the
processing of such crust to form continents, has definitely changed due
to the cooler mantle and crustal temperatures that exist today and
therefore continent formation has essentially ceased.
I currently lead the Early Earth Research Group at the University of Copenhagen. One of our research projects is about the origins of ultramafic rocks in south-west Greenland, which are somewhat enigmatic. These Archaean rocks are commonly disturbed by alteration to a degree that makes it difficult to determine if they represent magmas, cumulates or mantle rocks. We are therefore using platinum-group element systematics to solve this problem, because these elements are relatively immobile and can yield diagnostic features that relate to the petrogenesis of such ultramafic rocks.
If you happen to have any questions about my research, or if you wish to have a copy of one of my papers or any of the supporting data, you are very welcome to contact me at the following e-mail address:
Fieldwork in Greenland. (c) Kent Pørksen