Emeritus Faculty

Jonathan Erez

Jonathan Erez

Professor
Room 214 South
972-2-65-84882

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Scientific interests: Oceanography, marine and aquatic biogeochemistry

  

1.      Biomineralization in foraminifera and corals: Physiology, cellular mechanisms and their implications for paleoceanographic interpretations.

2.      Marine aspects of the global carbon cycle, particularly photosynthesis and calcification in corals and foraminifera in view of ocean acidification.

3.      Biogeochemistry of stable carbon isotopes in marine and aquatic systems.

4.      Development of new tools for paleoceanography and paleolimnology using stable isotopes and trace elements.

5.      Carbon and nutrient cycling in coral reefs in view of global change.

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Amos Frumkin

Amos Frumkin

Professor
Room 303 South
972-54-8820489

 

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Research Interests

(1) Karst and caves systems within the environment serve as the major arena for my research. Understanding karst helps me in solving questions in a diversity of research fields, such as paleoclimate, geomorphic evolution, paleohydrology, tectonics, environmental problems, human impact on ecosystems, and human use of underground space. Our group uses various methods for research, such as field observation and survey, hydrological measurements, geochemical analysis of water and rocks, stable isotopes analysis of water and sediments, radiometric dating (e.g. radiocarbon, U series, cosmogenic isotopes), geographic information systems, borehole analysis, and geophysical methods for analyzing the sub-surface. Evolution of aquifers as a result of enlarging karst conduits is an important focus of my research. Understanding such processes allows better utilization of the water resources of Israel and its neighbors, and avoiding pollution. Our group studies the recharge vadose zone at the mountains in central Israel, concentrating on recharge through karst shafts and cave drips injecting water and potentially pollution into the aquifer. Much of my research is focused in the phreatic, confined and hypogenic parts of the aquifers. It is found that most Israel's carbonate caves have initiated and developed to full size under such conditions. Ageing and dying stages of cave life are studied through excavations in filled caves.

Caves preserve unique records of the geological history of their region. They form along structural lines, they are deformed and uplifted with the rock, and they preserve ancient sediments with geological records. We study such features of tectonics, diapir rising rates and morphostructure of the Dead Sea basin and its shoulders.

cave

(2) Paleoclimate and paleoenvironment: Reconstructing past environments is a major challenge in my research, addressing the need to calibrate climatic models and predict future environmental change. Karst caves function as shielded sediment traps within continental regions under erosional conditions. Therefore cave sediments have a great potential for climatic reconstruction in inhabited regions. We have succeeded in obtaining detailed well-dated climatic records for the Quaternary in Israel. The results solve some important questions on climate change during the Quaternary in the Levant and other regions, how it could influence humans, and the nature of climatic belts migration during glacial/interglacial cycles. The answers obtained have direct impact on understanding present and future climatic change. We have extended the paleoclimatic studies to lava caves, ancient wood preserved in caves, and to stromatolite caves in the Dead Sea basin. We obtained paleoenvironmental records for various climatic regions, such as the northern-central Dead Sea catchment, where we showed that glacials were wetter than interglacials in the Levant. Environmental catastrophes during the Holocene received particular attention, due to their relevance to present and future global change.

cave

(3) Geoarchaeology: We mainly concentrate in using earth sciences methods for understanding human evolution, ancient water systems, natural processes in inhabited caves, and reasons for human use of caves in the past. The collaboration with archaeologists and earth scientists from several universities is very productive. We combine detailed geological and archaeological field study with modern laboratory methods in order to answer open questions. Among our studies: Dating of early Paleolithic cave inhabitants; paleoclimatic corridors for human migration out of Africa; understanding technical innovations and dating ancient water supply systems; understanding cave usage by humans, such as during Bar-Kokhba Revolt, using underground archaeoloy; comparing field evidence with historic and archaeologic records.

gliding

 

 

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Alexander  Khain

Alexander Khain

Professor
972-2-65-85822

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Research interest:

Cloud dynamics and microphysics; Cloud-aerosol interactions; 
Motion and interaction of inertial particles in a turbulent flow;
Tropical cyclones and their interaction with the ocean,Binary tropical cyclones;
Lightning in hurricans, thunderstorms;
Atmospheric boundary layer, cellular convection;
Breezes, coastal circulation; 
Numerical modeling of atmospheric processes.

 

Curriculum Vitae

 

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Yehoshua  Kolodny

Yehoshua Kolodny

Professor
Room 215 South
972-2-6584685

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Research interests: Geochemistry and Paleolimnology of Pleistocene lakes in the Dead Sea Transform (with M. Stein, Funded by GIF); Lisan & Amora Fms.; Pleistocene Climate Change; Radioactivity of groundwater and seawater; Uranium series disequilibrium; Ra and Rn in water, especially Gulf of Elat (with Lazar); Three isotopes of oxygen in evaporating waters and in carbonates (with Luz); Geochemistry of cherts; Combustion metamorphism, the Hatrurim Fm.

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Boaz  Lazar

Boaz Lazar

Professor
Room 5 South
972-2-65-86535

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Research interests: 

My research has been focused on geochemical and biogeochemical processes at and near natural interfaces such as between water (saline/fresh) and rocks (or sediments or particles) and water-atmosphere boundaries. The research covers a wide-scale variety of geological environments. I have studied fluid inclusions within crystals, microgradients between seawater and electrode surfaces, stromatolites (microbial mats), coral reefs, porewaters within corals and sediments, floods and the open sea water column. A brief description of the research activities:Sr isotopes in ground waters as tracers of the calcite-calcite and calcite-dolomite transformations; Fluid inclusions in halite and the reconstruction of the chemical evolution of the oceans during the geological history; Diagenesis of reef corals and the distribution of trace elements (proxies for paleo-oceanographic conditions) between coralline aragonite and seawater; The fate of manganese in the soil-aquifer treatment of a sewage reclamation system; Isotopic effect of CO2 influx across brine-atmosphere interface induced by intense photosynthesis; 14C fluxes into marine sediments, across freshwater seawater interface, flood water and radiocarbon budgets; Carbon, oxygen and nutrients variations in coral reefs emphasizing the role of bioeroders, the decrease in reef calcification due to eutrophication, and suggesting that reefs will stop to grow on atmospheric CO2 doubling; Nutrients budget of the northern Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea that enable to determine the role of fish farming in the eutrophication of that oligotrophic basin; Using the disequilibrium in the U-Th series, the cosmogenic isotopes 14C and 10Be for identifying atmospheric exchange, flood intensity, fluxes into porewater and water dating and analyzing the open system effect on dating corals by the U-Th method and studying water fluxes and adsorption/desorption kinetics. 4)
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Menachem  Luria

Menachem Luria

Professor
972-2-65-84156

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Interests: Chemical transport of atmospheric trace gases from natural and anthropogenic sources. Long-range transport of atmospheric pollutants. Urban air quality

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 Alan  Matthews

Alan Matthews

Professor
Room 203 North
972-2-65-84913

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Research interests: Plasma  mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS). Iron, molybdenum and copper isotope stable isotope studies of low temperature marine sedimentary processes and sub-surface continental mineralization. Paleohydrology using fluid inclusion stable isotopes and clumped  isotopes studies of carbonate speleothems. Petrology and stable isotope studies of igneous and metamorphic rocks in orogenic settings (Cyclades, Greece, Pan-African Orogen).

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Oded  Navon

Oded Navon

Professor
Room 202 North
972-2-65-8 5549

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Research interest: I am fascinated by volcanoes, diamonds and pink granites*.  Perhaps this is why I am interested in the role of water and other volatiles in magmatic processes.  Volatiles are involved in most igneous processes.  They are central in formation of melts, play a major role in transporting trace elements and radio-isotopes between mantle reservoirs or between mantle and crust, and are the driving force of explosive volcanic eruptions.  In my studies, diamonds provide a window to the nature of deep mantle fluids.  The geochemistry of Cenozoic alkali basalts, late-Proterozoic igneous rocks and lower crustal xenoliths from Israel is interpreted as reflecting progressive melting of hydrated lithosphere and is used to follow the transport of trace element between mantle and crust.  Hydrothermal experimental setup is combined with computer simulations in a study of melt-fluid separation and interaction during volcanic eruptions.

 

* I must admit that I also love colorful sandstones, but I do not study these rocks or their coloration.

Curriculum Vitae 

 

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 Nathan  Paldor

Nathan Paldor

Professor
Room 301 North
972-2-65-84924

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My research interests encompass the fundamentals of atmospheric and oceanic dynamics. The complex whirling of eddies of all sizes, the majestic major ocean currents or jet streams in the atmosphere are all examples of large scale dynamical features of the ever evolving fluids that move on the surface of the rotating spherical earth. The amount of fluid (be it gas in the atmosphere or saline water in the ocean) that are transported by these flows is too large for us to grasp at first glance. The Gulf Stream transports about 100 million tons of water every second from low latitudes to the mid-latitudes along the eastern coast of North America; about 3,000 times the amount of water flowing down the Niagara Falls. The Subtropical Jet Stream in the atmosphere transports about half-a-million tons of air (recall that the density of air is about 1/1000 that of water) around the earth from west to east at altitudes of about 10 km and speeds of the order of 100-150 km/h. The existence of the Subtropical Jet Stream enables the Israeli Airline El-Al to fly non-stop from Los-Angeles to Tel-Aviv, which it does in the opposite direction quite seldom. In my Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (GFD) research I attempt to define the exact physical origin of certain fluid dynamical phenomena and to provide exact theoretical descriptions of their observed features (such as the way they change with time and space). I also attempt to highlight the geophysical ramifications of their presence. 

In recent years I developed a theory of non-harmonic (also described as Trapped) waves of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics based on the formulation of a time-independent, Schrodinger eigenvalue equation for zonally propagating wave of the Rotating Shallow Water Equations (AKA Laplace Tidal Equations). The energy levels of the eigenvalue equation provide explicit expressions for the phase speeds of the waves and the associated eigenfunctions describe the meridional amplitude structure of the various waves. This formulation is relevant to many physical settings including the mid-latitude f-/\(\beta-\) plane, the equatorial \(\beta-\)plane and the spherical Earth. In particular, this formulation provided, for the first time, explicit expressions for the dispersion relations of Planetary (Rossby) waves and Inertia-Gravity (Poincare) waves on the spherical Earth (i.e. a rotating sphere but without the centrifugal acceleration. In additon to providing approximate, but highly accurate expressions for Planetary and Inertia-Gravity waves on the spherical earth the formulation of the  Schrodinger eigenvalue equation has provided a clear demonstration that Yanai wave (AKA the mixed Rossby-Gravity mode) exists on a sphere but for different reasons than on the equatorial \(\beta-\)plane: In the latter this wave exists only because the second westward propagating wave is associated with singular zonal velocity while on a sphere the approximate solution by the Schrodinger equation yields an unacceptable (complex) phase speed near the gravity wave phase speed.

In contrast to the planar theories where Kelvin waves exist as additional modes to Inertia-Gravity waves (e.g. modes in which one velocity component vanishes identically so the other velocity and the height fields solve the three scalar Rotating Shallow water Equations) on a sphere these waves do not exist at all but the eastward propagating Inertia-Gravity n=0 mode is nearly non-dispersive.                

These theoretical advances enabled the construction of test cases for the dynamical cores of global scale General Circulation Models and the explicit expressions have also been applied in the interpretation of satellite borne observations of Sea Surface Height Anomalies in the Indian Ocean south of Australia where the nearly zonal coast provides the "wall" at which the waves are Trapped. 

My book entitled “Shallow Water Waves on the Rotating Earth” which was published by Springer in 2015 provides the details of this unified approach to the known waves of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics

My recent CV and list of publications

My updated list of publications

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Ze'ev Reches

Ze'ev Reches

Associate Professor

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Interests: 

Structural geology, earthquakes, rock mechanics

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Eitan_sas

Eytan Sass

Professor
Room 212 South
972-2-65-84668

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Interests: Geochemistry and petrology of dolomites. Solubility relations of carbonate minerals. Geochemistry of brines

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Moti Stein

Moti Stein

Professor (Adjunct)
0506235798

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Interests: isotope geology and geochemistry, igneous petrology,geochronology, paleolimnology, geochemistry of Dead Sea brines,geology of the Quaternary,paleoseismology

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