Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

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Harry Y. McSween

Harry Y. McSween

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Unlike most geologists, Hap McSween is drawn to rocks falling from the heavens rather than to those already underfoot. For the past three and a half decades NASA has funded his research on meteorites. He and his students and postdocs have characterized the mineralogy, petrology, and cosmochemistry of:

  • Chondrites, the most common type of meteorites falling to Earth – focus is on constraining and computer modeling of thermal metamorphism and aqueous alteration processes on asteroids
  • Shergottites and nakhlites, generally accepted to be rocks from Mars – focus is on understanding magmatic processes and their geologic context
  • Eucrites, diogenites, and howardites, igneous rocks from a differentiated asteroid – focus is on quantifying petrologic and spectral properties and applying them to the interpretation of Dawn spacecraft data for asteroid Vesta

Dr. McSween is co-investigator for the Mars Odyssey spacecraft mission, which is mapping the mineralogy and geochemistry of the Martian surface from orbit, the Mars Exploration Rovers which have analyzed rocks and soils at two landing sites, and the Dawn spacecraft mission, which began orbiting asteroid Vesta in 2011 and will subsequently explore Ceres, the largest asteroid.

Dr. McSween regularly teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in igneous and metamorphic petrology, cosmochemistry, and planetary science.

Harry Y. McSween
Chancellor’s Professor
Planetary Geoscience

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
1412 Circle Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996-1410

Phone: (865) 974-9805

Papers published since 2010

Lang N. P., H. Y. McSween, L. L. Tornabene, C. J. Hardgrove, and P. R. Christensen (2010) Re-examining the relationship between Apollinaris Patera and basalts of Gusev crater, Mars. J. Geophys. Res.115, E04006, doi:10.1029/2009JE003397.

Dunn T. L., G. Cressey, H. Y. McSween and T. J. McCoy (2010) Analysis of ordinary chondrites using powder X-ray diffraction: 1. Modal mineral abundances. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 45, 123-134, doi:10/1111/j.1945-5100.2009.01011.x.

Dunn T. L., H.  Y. McSween, T. J. McCoy and G. Cressey (2010) Analysis of ordinary chondrites using powder X-ray diffraction: 2. Applications to ordinary chondrite parent-body processes. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 45, 135-156, doi:10.1111/j.1945-5100.2009.01012.x.

Dunn T. L., T. J. McCoy, J. M. Sunshine and H. Y. McSween (2010) A coordinated spectral, mineralogical, and compositional study of ordinary chondrites. Icarus 208, 789-797, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2010.02.016.

Beck A. W. and H. Y. McSween (2010) Diogenites as polymict breccias composed of orthopyroxenite and harzburgite. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 45, 850-872, doi:10.1111/j.1945-5100.2010.01061.x.

Milam K. A., H. Y. McSween and J. E. Moersch (2010) Distribution and variation of plagioclase compositions on Mars. J. Geophys. Res. 115, E09004, doi:10.1029/2009JE003495.

Mayne R. G., J. M. Sunshine, H. Y. McSween, T. J. McCoy, C. M. Corrigan and A. Gale (2010) Petrologic insights from the spectra of the unbrecciated eucrites: Implications for Vesta and basaltic asteroids. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 45, 1074-1092, doi:10.1111/j.1945-5100.2010.01090.x.

Usui T., H. Y. McSween, D. W. Mittlefehldt and T. H. Prettyman (2010) K-Th-Ti systematics and new three-component mixing model of HED meteorites: Prospective study for interpretation of gamma-ray and neutron spectra for the Dawn mission. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 45, 1170-1190, doi:10.1111/j.1945-5100.2010.01071.x.

Usui T., M. Sanborn, M. Wadhwa and H. Y. McSween (2010) Petrology and trace element geochemistry of RBT 04261 and RBT 04262 meteorites, the first examples of geochemically enriched lherzolitic shergottites. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 74, 7283-7306, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2010.09.010.

McSween H. Y., I. O. McGlynn and A. D. Rogers (2010) Determining the modal mineralogy of Martian soils. J. Geophys. Res. 115, E00F12, doi:10.1029/2010JE003582.

Riches A. J. V., Y. Liu, J. M. D. Day, I. S. Puchtel, D. Rumble, H. Y. McSween, R. J. Walker and L. A. Taylor (2011) Petrology and geochemistry of Yamato 984028: A cumulate lherzolitic shergottite with affinities to Y-000027, Y-000047, and Y-000097. J. Polar Sci. 4, 497-514, doi:10.1029/j.polar.2010.04.009.

Zipfel J., plus 28 coauthors including H. Y. McSween (2011) Bounce Rock – A shergottite-like basalt encountered at Meridiani Planum, Mars. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 46, 1-20, doi:10.1111/j.1945-5100.01127.x.

McGlynn I. O., C. M. Fedo and H. Y. McSween (2011) Origin of basaltic soils at Gusev Crater, Mars, by aeolian modification of impact-generated sediment. J. Geophys. Res. 116, E00F22, doi:10.1029/2010JE003712.

Mayne R. G., J. M. Sunshine, H. Y. McSween, S. B. Bus and T. J. McCoy (2011) The origin of Vesta’s crust: Insights from spectroscopy of the Vestoids. Icarus 214, 147-160, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2011.04.013.

McSween H. Y., R. L. McNutt and T. H. Prettyman (2011) Spacecraft instrument technology and cosmochemistry.  Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 108 (48), doi/10.1073/pnas.1013476108.

Crumpler L. S., R. E. Arvidson, S. W. Squyres, D. Blaney, T. McCoy, M., Powell, A. Yingst, K. Lewis, J. F. Bell, N. A. Cabrol, B. Cohen, D. DesMarais, P. deSouza, W. Farrand, J. Farmer, R. Gellert, J. Grant, R. Greeley, E. A. Guinness, K.E. Herkenhoff, J. Hurowitz, J. R. Johnson, G. Klingelhöfer, A. McEwen, H. Y. McSween, D. W. Ming, R. V. Morris, J. W. Rice, Jr., M. Rice, S. Ruff, C. Schröder, A. E. Wang, and A. Yen (2011) Field reconnaissance geologic mapping of the Columbia Hills, Mars: Results from MER Spirit and MRO HiRISE observations.  J. Geophys. Res., 116, E00F24, 2010JE003749.

Beck A. W., D. W. Mittlefehldt, H. Y. McSween, D. Rumble, C-T. Lee, and R. J. Bodnar (2011) MIL 03443, a dunite from asteroid 4 Vesta: Evidence for its classification and cumulate origin. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 46, 1133-1151, doi:10.1111/j.1945-5100.20111.01219.x.

McSween H. Y., D. W. Mittlefehldt, A. W. Beck, R. G. Mayne and T. J. McCoy (2011) HED meteorites and their relationship to the geology of Vesta and the Dawn mission. Space Sci. Rev. 163, 141-174, doi:10.1007/s11214-010-9637-z.

Prettyman T., W. C. Feldman, H. Y. McSween, R. D. Dingler, D. C. Enemark, D. E. Patrick, S. A. Storms, J. S. Henricks, J. P. Morgenthaler, K. M. Pitman and R. C. Reedy (2011) Dawn’s Gamma Ray and Neutron Detector.  Space Sci. Rev. 163, 371-459, doi:10.1007/s11214-011-9862-0.

Zuber M. T., H. Y. McSween, R. P. Binzel, L. T. Elkins-Tanton, A. S. Konopliv, C. M. Pieters and D. W. Smith (2011) Origin, internal structure and evolution of 4 Vesta. Space Sci. Rev.163, 77-93, doi:10.1007/s11214-011-9806-8.

Mittlefehldt D. W., A. W. Beck, C.-T. Lee, H. Y. McSween and P. C. Buchanan (2012) Compositional constraints on the genesis of diogenites. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 47, 72-98, doi:10.1111/j.1945-5100.2011.01314.x.

McGlynn I. O., C. M. Fedo and H. Y. McSween (2012) Soil mineralogy at the Mars Exploration Rover landing sites: An assessment of the competing roles of physical sorting and chemical weathering. J. Geophys. Res. 117, E01006, doi:10.1029/2011JE003861.

Beck A. W., K. C. Welten, H. Y. McSween, C. E. Viviano and M. W. Caffee (2012) Petrologic and textural diversity among the PCA 02 howardite group, one of the largest pieces of the Vestan surface. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 47, 947-969, doi:10.1111/j.1945-5100.2012.01360.x.

Marchi S., H. Y. McSween, D. O’Brien, P. Schenk, M. C. DeSanctis, R. Gaskell, R. Jaumann, S. Mottola, F. Preusker, C. A. Raymond, T. Roatsch and C. T. Russell (2012) The violent collisional history of asteroid 4 Vesta.  Science 336, 690-694, soi:10.1126/science.1218757.

Jaumann R., Williams D. A., Buczkowski D. L., Yingst R. A., Preusker F., Hiesinger H., Schmedemann N., Kneissl T., Vincent J. B., Blewett D. T., Buratti B. J., Carsenty U., Denevi B. W., De Sanctis M. C., Garry W. B., Keller H. U., EKernten E., Krohn K., Li J.-Y., Marchi S., Matz K. D., McCord T. B., McSween H. Y., Mest S. C., Mittlefehldt D. W., Mottola S., Nathues A., Neukum G., O’Brien D. P., Pieters C. M., Prettyman T. H., Raymond C. A., Roatsch T., Russell C. T., Schenk P., Schmidt B. E., Scholten F., Stephan L., Sykes M. V., Tricarico P., Wagner R., Zuber M. T., and Sierks H. (2012) Vesta’s shape and morphology. Science 336, 687-694, doi:10.1126/science.1219122.

De Sanctis, M. C., Ammannito E., Capria M. T., Tosi F., Capaccioni F., Zambon F., Carraro F., Fonte S., Frigeri A., Jaumann R., Magni G., Marchi S., McCord T. B., McFadden L. A., McSween H. Y., Mittlefehldt D. W., Nathues A., Palomba E., Pieters C. M., Raymond C. A., Russell C. T., Toplis M. J., and Turrini D. (2012) Spectroscopic characterization of mineralogy and its diversity across Vesta. Science 336, 697-700, doi:10.1126/science.1219270.

Reddy V., Nathues A., Le Corre L., Sierks H., Li J.-Y., Gaskell R., McCoy T., Beck A. W., Schroder S. E., Pieters C. M., Becker K. J., Buratti B. J., Denevi B., Blewett D. T., Christensen U., Gaffey M. J., Gutierrez-Marques P., Hicks M., Keller H. U., Maue T., Mottola S., McFadden L. A., McSween H. Y., Mittlefehldt D., O’Brien D. P., Raymond C., and Russell C. (2012) Color and albedo heterogeneity of Vesta from Dawn. Science 336, 700-704, doi:10.1126/science.1219088.

Schenk P., O’Brien D. P., Marchi S., Gaskell R., Preusker F., Roatsch T., Jaumann R., Buczkowski D., McCord T., McSween H. Y., Williams D., Yingst A., Raymond C., and Russell C. T. 2012. The geologically recent giant impact basins at Vesta’s south pole. Science 336:694-697, doi:10.1126/science.1223272.

Russell C. T., Raymond C. A., Coradini A., McSween H. Y., Zuber M. T., Nathues A., De Sanctis M. C., Jaumann R., Konopliv A. S., Preusker F., Asmar S. W., Park R. S., Gaskell R., Keller H. U., Mottola S., Roatsch T., Scully J. E. C., Smith D. E., Tricarico P., Toplis M. J., Christensen U. R., Feldman W. C., Lawrence D. J., McCoy T. J., Prettyman T. H., Reedy R. C., Sykes M. E. and Titus T. N. (2012) Dawn at Vesta: Testing the protoplanetary paradigm. Science 336, 684-686, doi:10.1126/science.1219381.

Viviano C. E., J. E. Moersch and H. Y. McSween (2012) Evidence for the carbonation of serpentine in Nili Fossae, Mars: Implications for hydrothermal processes. J. Geophys. Res. 117, E7, doi:10.1029.2011JE003985.

Prettyman T. H., D. W. Mittlefehldt, D. J. Lawrence, N. Yamashita, A. W. Beck, W. C. Feldman, T. J. McCoy, H. Y. McSween, M. J. Topis, T. N. Titus, P. Tricarico, R. C. Reedy, J. S. Hendricks, O. Forni, L. Le Corre, J.-Y. Li, H. Mizzon, V. Reddy, C. A. Raymond and C. T. Russell (2012) Elemental mapping by Dawn reveals exogenic H in Vesta’s howarditic regolith. Science 338, 242-246, doi:10.1126science.1225354.

McCord T. B., Li J.-Y., Combe J.-P., McSween H. Y., Jaumann R., Reddy V., Tosi F., Williams D., Blewett D. T., Turrini N. D., Palomba E., Pieters C. M., De Sanctis M. C., Ammannito E., Capria M. T., Le Corre L., Longobardo A., Nathues A., Mittlefehldt D. W., Schroder S. E., Hiesinger H., Beck A. W., Capaccioni F., Carsenty U., Keller H. U., Denevi B. W., Sunshine J. M., Raymond C. A., and Russell C. T. (2012) Dark material on Vesta: Delivering carbonaceous volatile-rich materials to planetary surfaces. Nature 491, 83-86, doi:10.1038/nature11561.

Reddy V., Le Corre L., O’Brien D. P., Nathues A., Cloutis E. A., Durda D. D., Bottke W. F., Bhatt M. U., Nesvorny D., Buczkowski D., Scully J. E. C., Palmer E. M., Sierks H., Mann P. J., Becker K. J., Beck A. W., Mittlefehldt D., Li J.-Y., Gaskell R., Russell C. T., Gaffey M. J., McSween H. Y., McCord T. B., Combe J.-P., and Blewett D. (2012) Delivery of dark material to Vesta via carbonaceous chondritic impacts. Icarus 221, 544-559.

Patzer A. and H. Y. McSween (2012) Ordinary (mesostasis) and no-so-ordinary (symplectites) late-stage assemblages in howardites. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 47, 1475-1490, doi:10.1111/j.1945-5100.2012.01408.x.

Udry A., H. Y. McSween, P. Lecumberri-Sanchez, and R. J. Bodnar (2012) Paired nakhlites MIL 090030, 090032, 090136, and 03346: Insights into the Miller Range parent meteorite. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 47, 1575-1589, doi:10.1111/j.1945-5100.2012.01420.x.

Baziotis I. P., L. Yang, L. A., P. DeCarli, H. J. Melosh, H. Y. McSween, R. J. Bodnar, and L. A. Taylor (2013) The Tissint Martian meteorite as evidence for the largest impact excavation. Nature Comm., doi:10.1038/ncomms2414.

Liu Y., J. B. Balta, C. A. Goodrich, H. Y. McSween and L. A. Taylor (2013) New constraints on the formation of shergottite Elephant Moraine 79001 lithology A. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 108, 1-20, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2013.01.008.

Singerling S. A., A. L. Modi, B. McFerrin, E. A. Worsham, H. Y. McSween, L. A. Taylor, R. Rumble and R. Tanaka (2013) Two new eucrite breccias from Northwest Africa. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 48, E1-E9.

McSween H. Y., E. Ammanito, V. Reddy, T. H. Prettyman, A. W. Beck, M. C. De Santis, A. Nathues, L. Le Corre, D. P. O’Brien, N. Yamashita, T. J. McCoy, D. W. Mittlefehldt, M. J. Toplis, P. Schenk, E. Palomba, D. Turrini, F. Tosi, F. Zambon, A. Longobardo, F. Capaccioni, C. A. Raymond and C. T. Russell (2013) Composition of the Rheasilvia basin, a window into Vesta’s interior. J. Geophys. Res. 188, 335-346, doi:10.1002/jgre.20057.

He Q., L. Xiao, W. Hsu, J. B. Balta, H. Y. McSween and Y. Liu (2013) The water content and parental magma of the second chassignite NWA 2737: Clues from trapped melt inclusions in olivine. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 48, 474-492, doi:10.1111/maps.12073.

Marchi S., W. F. Bottke, B. A. Cohen, K. Wunnemann, D. A. Kring, H. Y. McSween, M. C. De Sanctis, D. P. O’Brien, P. Schenk, C. A. Raymond, and C. T. Russell (2013) High velocity collisions from the lunar cataclysm recorded in asteroidal meteorites. Nature Geosci. 6, 303-307, doi:10.1038/NGEO1769.

Singerling S. A., H. Y. McSween and L. A. Taylor (2013) Glasses in howardites: Impact melts or pyroclasts?  Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 48, 715-729, doi:10.1111/maps.12099.

Beck A. W., H. Y. McSween, and R. J. Bodnar (2013) In situ laser ablation ICP-MS analyses of dimict diogenites: Further evidence for harzburgitic and orthopyroxenitic lithologies. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 48, 1050-1059, doi:10.1111/maps.12129.

Russell C. T., C. A. Raymond, R. Jaumann, H. Y. McSween, M. C. DeSanctis, A. Nathues, T. H. Prettyman, E. Ammannito, V. Reddy, F. Preusker, D. P. O’Brien, S. Marchi, B. W. Denevi, D. L. Buczkowski, C. M. Pieters, T. B. McCord, J.-Y. Li, D. W. Mittlefehldt, J.-P. Combe, D. Williams, H. Hiesinger, R. A. Yingst, C. A. Polanskey, and S. P. Joy (2013) Dawn completes its mission at 4 Vesta. Meteor. Planet Sci., in press, doi:10.1111/maps.12091.

Johnson C., S. McLennan, H. Y. McSween and R. E. Summons (2013) Smaller, better, more: Five decades of advances in geochemistry. Celebrating Advances in Geoscience, Geol. Soc. Amer. 125th anniversary volume, in press.

McSween H. Y. and S. M. McLennan (2013) Mars. In Treatise in Geochemistry, 2nd edition, A. M. Davis, ed., in press.

Golombek M. P. and H. Y. McSween (2013) Mars: Landing site geology, mineralogy and geochemistry. In Encyclopedia of the Solar System, 3rd edition, T. Spohn and T. Johnson, eds., in press.

Balta J. B., M. Sanborn, H. Y. McSween, and M. Wadhwa (2013) Magmatic history and parental melt composition of olivine-phyric shergottite LAR 06319: Importance of magmatic degassing and olivine antecrysts in Martian magmatism. Meteorit. Planet. Sci., in press.

McSween H. Y., R. P. Harvey and C. M. Corrigan (2013) Meteorites from Mars, via Antarctica. In 35 Seasons of U.S. Antarctic Meteorites (1976-2011): A Pictorial Guide to the Collection, K. Righter, T. McCoy, R. Harvey and C. Corrigan, eds., in press.

Takir D., J. P. Emery, H. Y. McSween, C. A. Hibbits, R. N. Clark, N. Pearson, and A. Wang (2013) Nature and degree of aqueous alteration in CM and CI carbonaceous chondrites. Meteorit. Planet. Sci., in press, doi:10.1111/maps.12171.

Ammannito E., M. C. De Sanctis, E. Palomba, A. Longobardo, D. W. Mittlefehldt, H. Y. McSween, S. Marchi, M. T. Capria, F. Capaccioni, A. Frigeri, C. M. Pieters, O. Reusch, F. Tosi, F. Zambon, F. Carraro, S. Fonte, H. Hiesinger, G. Magni, L. A. McFadden, C. A. Raymond, C. T. Russell, and J. Sunshine (2013) Olivine from Vesta mantle exposed on the surface. Nature, submitted.

McSween H. Y., R. P. Binzel, M. C. DeSanctis, E. Ammannito, T. H. Prettyman, A. W. Beck, V. Reddy, L. Le Corre, M. J. Gaffey, T. B. McCord, C. A. Raymond, and C. T. Russell (2013) Dawn, the Vesta-HED connection, and the geologic context for eucrites, diogenites, and howardites. Meteorit. Planet. Sci., doi:10.1111/maps.12108, in press.

Prettyman T. H., D. W. Mittlefehldt, N. Yamashita, A. W. Beck, W. C. Feldman, J. S. Hendricks, D. J. Lawrence, T. J. McCoy, H. Y. McSween, P. N. Peplowski, R. C. Reedy, M. J. Toplis, L. Le Corre, H. Mizzon, V. Reddy, T. N. Titus, C. A. Raymond, and C. T. Russell (2013) Neutron absorption constraints on the composition of 4 Vesta. Meteorit. Planet. Sci., in press.

Toplis M. J., H. Mizzon, M. Monnereau, O. Forni, H. Y. McSween, D. W. Mittlefehldt, T. J. McCoy, T. H. Prettyman, M. C. De Sanctis, C. A. Raymond, and C. T. Russell (2013) Chondritic models of 4-Vesta: Implications for geochemical and geophysical properties.  Meteorit. Planet. Sci., in press.

Ammannito E., M. C. De Sanctis, F. Capaccioni, M. T. Capria, F. Carraro, J-P. Combe, S. Fonte, A. Frigeri, S. P. Joy, A. Longobardo, G. Magni, S. Marchi, T. B. McCord, L. A. McFadden, H. Y. McSween, E. Palomba, C. M. Pieters, C. A. Polanskey, C. A. Raymond, J. M. Sunshine, F. Tosi, F. Zambon, and C. T. Russell (2013) Vestan lithologies maped by the Visual and Infrared Spectrometer on Dawn.  Meteorit. Planet. Sci., in press.

Balta J. B. and H. Y. McSween (2013) Water and the composition of martian magmas.  Geology, in press.


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