Cin-Ty A. Lee

Harry Carothers Wiess Professor of Geology and Department Chair

Room Number: 324
(713) 348-5084
Google Scholar Link

Biographical Info

Born in Taiwan, but raised in southern California on a grove of orange trees, surrounded by hills of rounded granite blocks and coastal sage scrub. Fell in love as a kid with the snakes, the mountain lions, coyotes, birds, lizards, plants and rocks around me. In college, strayed a little towards becoming an architect, but eventually returned to my heart - geology.


2001-2002 California Institute of Technology (post-doctorate)
2001 Harvard University PhD
1996 University of California at Berkeley

Awards & Honors

2016 Mineralogical Society of America Distinguished Lecturer
2014 Mineralogical Society of America Fellow
2013 Shen-Su Sun Lecturer, Chinese Geochemistry Society
2012 Agassiz Lecturer, Harvard University
2012 Miller Visiting Professor, UC Berkeley
2011 Mutch Lecturer, Brown University
2010 Geological Society of America Fellow
2009 Donath Medal – Geological Society of America
2009 Clarke Medal – Geochemical Society
2008 Kuno Award – American Geophysical Union – Volcanology, Geochemistry, Petrology
2005 David and Lucile Packard Fellow


geochemistry, petrology, geochronology, geodynamics, volcanology, mass spectrometry


Differentiation of the Earth - from mantle to crust

DIfferentiation in subduction zones

Redox processes in the deep Earth

Origin of ore deposits

Magma dynamics and volcanology

Deep sulfur cycling

Long-term climate evolution

Marine geochemistry


Trace element geochemistry

Featured Publication / Poster

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Selected Publications

Lee, C.-T A., Yeung, L. Y., McKenzie, N. R., Yokoyama, Y., Ozaki, K., Lenardic, A., 2016. Two-step rise in atmospheric oxygen is an inevitable consequence of the growth of granitic continents and continental carbonates, Nature Geoscience doi:10.1038/NGEO2707.

Lee, C-T A, Thurner, S., Paterson, S., Cao, W., 2015, The rise and fall of continental arcs: interplays between magmatism, uplift, weathering, and climate, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2015.05.045.

Chin, E. J., Lee, C-T A, Blichert-Toft, J., 2015, Geochronologic constraints on the thermal evolution of the deep lithosphere beneath continental arcs, Geochemical Perspectives Letters 1:20-32; doi:10.7185/geochemlet.1503.

Lee, C-T A, Morton, D. M., Farner, M. J., Moitra, P., 2015, Field and model constraints on silicic melt segregation by compaction/hindered settling: The role of water and its effect on latent heat release, American Mineralogist;

Lee, C-T A, and Lackey, J. S., 2015, Arc magmatism, crustal carbonates, and long-term climate variability, Elements 11:125-130.

Lee, C-T A, Morton, D. M., 2015, High silica granites: terminal porosity and crystal settling, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 409:23-31.

Erdman, M., Lee, C-T A, 2014, Implications and limitations of buoyancy-driven exhumation of high-pressure and ultrahigh-pressure terranes, Earth-Science Reviews 139:33-46.

Karlstrom, L., Lee, C-T A, Manga, M, 2014, The role of magmatic crustal thickening on arc front migration, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 15: doi:10.1002/2014GC005355.

Lee, C.-T. A., Chin, E. J., 2014, Calculating melting temperatures and pressures of peridotite protoliths: implications for the origin of cratonic mantle, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2014.06.048.

Lee, C.-T. A., Bachmann, O., 2014, How important is the role of crystal fractionation in making intermediate magmas? Insights from Zr and P systematics, Earth Planet Sci. Letters, 393:266-274;

Chin, E. J., Lee, C.-T. A., Barnes, J., 2014, Thickening, refertilization, and the deep lithosphere filter in continental arcs: constraints from major and trace elements and oxygen isotopes, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett.397:184-200;

Lee, C-T A, 2014, The physics and chemistry of recycling lower continental crust, Treatise of Geochemistry, 2nd edition,

Erdman, M., Lee, C.-T. A., Yang, W., Ingram, L., 2014, Sulfur concentration in rock standard reference materials by solution ICP-MS, Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research, 38:51-60, DOI: 10.1111/j.1751-908X.2013.00226.x.

Lee, C.-T. A., Lee, T.-C., Wu, C.-T., 2013, Modeling the compositional evolution of recharging, evacuating, and fractionating (REFC) magma chambers: implications for differentiation of arc magmas, Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta,

Chin, E. J., Lee, C.-T. A., Tollstrup, D. L., Xie, L.-W., Wimpenny, J. B., Yin, Q.-Z. 2013. On the origin of hot metasedimentary quartzites in the lower crust, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 361: 120-133.

Lee, C.-T. A., Shen, B., Slotnick, B., Liao, K., Dickens, G., Yokoyama, Y., Lenardic, A., Dasgupta, R., Jellinek, M., Lackey, J. S., Schneider, T., Tice, M., 2013, Continental arc-island arc fluctuations, growth of crustal carbonates and long-term climate change, Geosphere 9 (doi:10.1130/GES00822.1).

Lee, C.-T. A., P. Luffi, Chin, E. J., Bouchet, R., Dasgupta, R., Morton, D. M., Le Roux, V., Yin, Q.-Z., Jin, D., 2012. Copper systematics in arc magmas and implications for crust-mantle differentiation. Science 336:64-68.

Chin, E. J., Lee, C-T A, Luffi, P, Tice, M, 2012, Deep lithospheric thickening and refertilization beneath continental arcs: case study of the P, T and compositional evolution of peridotite xenoliths from the Sierra Nevada, California, J. Petrology 53:477-511.

Lee, C.-T. A., Luffi, P., Chin, E., 2011, Building and destroying continental mantle, Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Sciences 39:59-90.

Shen, B., Lee, C.-T. A., Xiao, S., 2011, Germanium/silica ratios in diagenetic chert nodules from the Ediacaran Doushantou Formation, South China, Chemical Geology 280:323-335.

Lee, C-T A, Luffi, P, Le Roux, V, Dasgupta, R, Albarede, F., Leeman, W., 2010, The redox state of arc mantle using Zn/Fe systematics, Nature 468:681-685, doi:10.1038/nature09617

Le Roux, V., Lee, C-T A, Turner, S., 2010, Zn/Fe systematics in mafic and ultramafic systems: implications for detecting major element heterogeneities in the Earth’s mantle, Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta 74:2779-2796.

Lee, C-T A, Luffi, P., Höink, T., Li, J., Dasgupta, R., Hernlund, J., 2010, Upside-down differentiation and generation of a “primordial” lower mantle, Nature 463:930-933, doi:10.1038/naturee08824.

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