Wasson, John T.

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Professor Emeritus
Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics

Contact Information

Slichter Hall 4859
(310) 825-1986

Short Biography

PhD, Massachusetts Institue of Technology; NSF Fellow, Technical University, Munich; AF, Cambridge Research Laboratories; NIH Fellow, University of Berne; John Simon Guggenheim Fellow

Research Interest


a) To analyze primitive chondritic meteorites to obtain data relevant to:

  • the formation of the solar nebula from presolar materials,
  • the nebular formation of dust and chondrules,
  • the nebular agglomeration of planetesimals, and
  • the accretion of asteroids and planets.

b)To use studies of chondrites to assess the compaction of primitive asteroids and the alteration of chondritic asteroids by impact heating and by aqueous alteration

c) To model the igneous and related processes that produced the iron meteorites

d) To accumulate observations that lead to a better understanding of the products on major impact processes on Earth (e.g., tektites, impact boundary sediments).


Honors & Awards

  • NSF Fellow
  • John Simon Guggenheim Fellow
  • NIH Fellow



Meteorites:  Classification and Properties, Springer, 316 pp. (1974).

Meteorites.  Their Record of Early Solar System History, Freeman, 267 pp. (1985).

Papers and Articles

Wasson J. T. and Hoppe P. (2012) Co/Ni ratios at taenite/kamacite interfaces and relative cooling rates in iron meteorites. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 84, 508-524

Wasson J. T. (2011) Relationship between iron-meteorite composition and size: Compositional distribution of irons from North Africa. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 75, 1757-1772.

Wasson J. T. and Rubin A. E. (2010) Matrix and whole-rock fractionations in the Acfer 094 type-3.0 ungrouped carbonaceous chondrite. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 45, 73-90.

De Leuw S., Rubin A. E., Schmitt A. K. and Wasson J. T. (2010) 53Mn-53Cr systematics of carbonates in CM chondrites: Implications for the timing and duration of aqueous alteration. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 74, 7433-7442.

Wasson J. T. and Rubin A. E.. (2009) Composition of matrix in the CR chondrite LAP 02342. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta  73, 1436-1460.

Wasson J. T. (2008)  Evaporation of nebular fines during chondrule formation. Icarus 195, 895-907.

Kunihiro T., Rubin A. E., McKeegan K. and Wasson J. T. (2004) Initial 26Al/27Al in carbonaceous-chondrite chondrules: Too little 26Al to melt asteroids. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 68, 2947-2957.

Wasson J. T. (2003) Large aerial bursts; an important class of terrestrial accretionary events. Astrobiology 3, 163-179.