Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Amy M. Gaffney

Research Staff
Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division

 +1 925-422-4396

Ph.D. Geological Sciences
University of Washington
M.S. Geological Sciences
University of Washington
B.A Geology
Colorado College

Research Interests

Dr. Gaffney's research involves the development and application of radiometric chronometry and isotope geochemistry to problems in nuclear forensics and planetary geochronology and petrogenesis. Her current projects in nuclear forensics focus on developing actinide radiochronometers and isotope ratio signatures for sourcing of nuclear material. In her planetary research, she is leading projects that use long-lived isotope chronometers to establish the timing of formation and early differentiation of the Moon. These projects utilize the ThermoElectron Triton TIMS, the Nu Plasma HR MC-ICP-MS and the Nu Plasma II MC-ICP-MS instruments at LLNL.


Gaffney, A.M. and Borg, L.E., in review, A young solidification age for the lunar magma ocean. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.

Kayzar, T.M., Gaffney, A.M., Williams, R.W., and Borg, L.E., in review, Development of mass spectrometry (TIMS and MC-ICP-MS) techniques for the measurement of 226-Radium for 226Ra-230Th age dating of nuclear materials. Proceedings 54th Institute of Nuclear Materials Management Conference.

Kayzar, T.M., Villa, A.C., Lobaugh, M.L., Gaffney, A.M., and Williams, R.W., in revision, Investigating uranium distribution in surface sediments and waters: a case study of contamination from the Juniper Uranium Mine, Stanislaus National Forest, CA. Applied Geochemistry

Elardo, S.M., Shearer, C.K., Fagan, A.L., Borg, L.E., Gaffney, A.M., Burger, P.V., Neal, C.R., and McCubbin, F.M., in press, The origin of young mare basalts inferred from lunar meteorites NWA 4734, NWA 032 and LAP 02205. Meteoritics and Planetary Science.

Eppich, G.R., Williams, R.W., Gaffney, A.M. and Schorzman, K.C., 2013, 235U-231Pa age dating of uranium materials for nuclear forensic investigations. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, DOI: 10.1039/c3ja500041a.

Williams, R.W. and Gaffney, A.M., 2011, 230Th-234U model ages of some uranium standard reference materials. Proceedings Radiochimica Acta, v. 1, 31-35

Gaffney, A.M., Borg, L.E., Asmerom, Y., Shearer, C.K., and Burger, P.V., 2011, Disturbance of isotope systematics in meteorites during shock and thermal metamorphism and implications for shergottite chronology. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, v. 46, p. 35-52

Richter, F.M., Mendybaev, R.A., Christensen, J.N., Ebel, D., and Gaffney, A., 2011, Laboratory experiments bearing on the origin and evolution of olivine-rich chondrules. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, v. 46, p. 1152-1178.

Shearer, C.K., Burger, P.V., Neal, C.R., Sharp, Z., Spivak-Birndorf, L., Borg, L.E., Fernandes, V.A., Papike, J.J., Karner, J., Wadhwa, M., Gaffney, A., Shafer, J., Geissman, J., Atudorei, N.V., Herd, C., Weiss, B.P., King, P.L., Crowther, S.A., and Gilmour, J.D. 2010, Non-basaltic asteroidal magmatism during the earliest stages of solar system evolution: A view from Antarctic achondrites Graves Nunatak 06128 and 06129. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 74, p. 1172-1199

Borg, L.E., Gaffney, A.M., Shearer, C.K., DePaolo, D.J., Hutcheon, I.D., Owens, T.L., Ramon, E., Brennecka, G., 2009, Mechanisms for incompatible element enrichment on the moon deduced from the lunar basaltic meteorite Northwest Africa 032. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 73, p. 3963-3980

Shearer, C.K., Burger, P.V., Neal, C.R., Sharp, Z., Borg, L.E., Spivak-Birndorf, L., Wadhwa, M., Papike, J.J., Karner, J.M., Gaffney, A.M., Shafer, J., Weiss, B.P., Geissman, J., and Fernandes, V.A., 2008, A unique glimpse into asteroidal melting processes in the early solar system from the Graves Nunatak 06128/06129 achondrites. American Mineralogist, v. 93, p. 1937-1940

Gaffney, A.M., Borg, L.E., and Connelly, J.N., 2007, Uranium-lead isotope systematics of Mars inferred from the basaltic shergottite QUE94201. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 71, p. 5016-5031

Gaffney, A.M., Blichert-Toft, J., Nelson, B.K., Bizzarro, M., Rosing, M., and Albar├Ęde, F., 2007, Constraints on source-forming processes of West Greenland kimberlites inferred from Hf-Nd isotope systematics. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 71, p. 2820-2836

Gaffney, A.M., Borg, L.E., and Asmerom, Y., 2007, The origin of geochemical diversity of lunar mantle sources inferred from a combined U-Pb, Rb-Sr and Sm-Nd isotopic study of mare basalt 10017. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 71, p. 3656-3671

Tachibana, Y., Kaneoka, I., Gaffney, A., and Upton, B., 2006, Ocean-island basalt-like source of kimberlite magmas from West Greenland revealed by high 3He/4He ratios. Geology, v. 34, p. 273-276

Gaffney, A.M., Nelson, B.K., and Blichert-Toft, J., 2005, Melting in the Hawaiian plume at 1-2 Ma as recorded at Maui Nui: the role of eclogite, peridotite and source melting. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, v. 6, doi: 10.1029/2005GC000927

Gaffney, A.M., Nelson, B.K., Reisberg, L. and Eiler, J., 2005, Oxygen-osmium isotopic compositions of West Maui lavas: a record of shallow-level magmatic processes. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 239, p. 122-139

Gaffney, A.M., Nelson, B.K., and Blichert-Toft, J, 2004, Geochemical constraints on the role of oceanic lithosphere in intra-volcano heterogeneity at West Maui, Hawaii, Journal of Petrology, v. 45, p. 1663-1687

Gaffney, A.M., 2002, Environments of crystallization and compositional diversity of Mauna Loa xenoliths, Journal of Petrology, v. 43, p. 963-980

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