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Velbel, Michael A.

Velbel, Michael A. photo


Mineral/Water Interactions
 208B Natural Science
 (517) 353-5273

Professor Velbel (Ph.D., Yale University, 1984) studies regolith geoscience and the rates and mechanisms of mineral-water interactions during rock and mineral weathering.  His research investigates the geological, mineralogical, geochemical, and geomorphic factors which control mineral alterations at the Earth's surface and the migration of chemical elements through the landscape, emphasizing small-watershed geochemistry.  Related areas of research include terrestrial weathering of Antarctic and non-Antarctic meteorites; rock-, mineral-, and chemical-weathering on Mars and in Martian meteorites; recognition of pre-terrestrial aqueous alteration on other meteorite parent bodies from mineralogical investigations of meteorites; and preservation of sample integrity for past and future sample-return missions.  He worked with the Mineralogy-Petrology subteam of the NASA Stardust comet sample-return mission Preliminary Examination Team (2006).  In addition to MSU, Prof. Velbel has held visiting appointments at the University of Cincinnati, the Faculté des Sciences-St Jérôme of the Université Paul Cézanne (Université d'Aix-Marseilles III), the Australian National University and the (Australian) Cooperative Research Centre for Landscape Evolution and Mineral Exploration (CRC-LEME).  He held NASA/ASEE Summer Faculty Fellowships at the NASA Johnson Space Center in 1987 and 1999; and was a Smithsonian Senior Fellow at the Division of Meteorites, Department of Mineral Sciences, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, 2012-2013.  He was President of The Clay Minerals Society 2013-2014.

Recent Publications


  • GLG431 - Sedimentology/Stratigraphy
  • GLG440 - Planetary Geology
  • GLG481 - Reservoirs and Aquifers