Mark Baskaran

Mark Baskaran



313-577-0517 (fax)

0224 Old Main
Department of Geology
4831 Cass Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201

Curriculum Vitae


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Mark Baskaran

Dr. Mark Baskaran is a tenured Full Professor in the Department of Geology at Wayne State University (Detroit, Michigan). He received his Ph.D. in Physics from Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), a premier research institution in India. After his Ph.D., he spent 2 years at PRL as a postdoctoral fellow before he moved to the Institute of Marine Science at the University of Alaska (Fairbanks, Alaska). After a year, he joined Texas A&M University (Galveston, Texas) where he taught introductory Physics and Geology courses at the Department of Marine Sciences, while conducting research related to atmospheric fluxes of radionuclides, mobility of radionuclides in groundwater, scavenging and particle cycling in marine environment and dating of recent sediments and carbonates. After his eleven year career as a teacher and researcher in Texas, he joined Wayne State University where he became a tenured Full Professor in 2007. He teaches both introductory level courses in Oceanography, Meteorology, and Physical Geology as well as upper level courses including Chemical Fate and Transport in the Environment, Nuclear Geology and Environmental Geochemistry.

Professor Mark Baskaran has published over 140 peer-reviewed articles (with over 6000 Google Scholar cumulative citations, h-index 46 in February 2016), most of which are related to the applications of isotopes as tracers and chronometers in Earth systems. He edited a two-volume Handbook entitled “Handbook of Environmental Isotope Geochemistry” with forty articles contributed by eminent scholars in the field in 2011, published by Springer. He spent three months as a Senior Fulbright Scholar at Ege University (Izmir, Turkey) in 2015. He has given invited and plenary talks/seminars at over sixty national/international conferences, workshops, universities and research institutions around the world.

Dr. Baskaran’s research work includes all subsystems of the Earth system. Most of his work involved collaboration with a large number of researchers from universities and institutions around the world. His work with marine systems (estuarine, coastal, shelf and open-ocean) on the investigations of particular organic carbon export, particle cycling and remineralization and colloidal thorium scavenging in the Arctic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, North Atlantic and East Pacific were funded by several funding agencies in the U.S. that include the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Department of Energy (DOE). His currently funded ongoing research is to investigate sedimentation and sediment dynamics in dams and other freshwater systems. He has been funded by NSF as a part of the U.S. GEOTRACES group in four phases (Intercalibration, North Atlantic, East Pacific and Western Arctic Ocean sections). He has served as a Chief Scientist in six major oceanographic expeditions in the Gulf of Mexico and Arctic Ocean.

He convened a National Workshop entitled “Recent Changes in the Biogeochemistry of the Great Lakes System” in March 2013 at Wayne State University. He also had convened a number of sessions and meetings at both national and international conferences and workshops.
Dr. Baskaran resides in Troy, Michigan with his wife Rachel Baskaran. He has three grown-up children.

Research Interest/Area of Expertise

  • Applications of short-lived radionuclides as tracers and chronometer

  • Dating of sediments, carbonates (corals, speleothem, mollusk shells, etc)

  • Investigations on the distribution of Po-210 and Pb-210 for particle cycling, particle export, and remineralization in marine environment

  • Investigations of sea ice, ice-rafted sediments and snow from the Arctic for the age of ice-rafted sediments, ice core dating and accumulation-ablation rates of sea ice

  • Radium, radon as submarine groundwater exchange tracers in freshwater systems

  • Isotope Geochemistry

Education – Degrees, Licenses, Certifications

  • Ph.D. (1985) - Physical Research Laboratory, India

Awards and Grants

  • Co-PI: “Sediment Yield and Dam Capacity in the Great Lakes Watershed”, PI: Carol Miller, USACE, September 2014 – September 2015.

  • PI: “GEOTRACES Arctic section: Application of 210Po and 210Pb distribution at contrasting interface regimes of Western Arctic”, October 15, 2014 – September 30, 2017, National Science Foundation.

  • “Assessment of Changes in the Environmental Lead levels from Demolition of Houses from a Systematic Sampling of Air and Soil at Demolition Sites”, September 12, 2013 – 30 June 30, 2014, NextEnergy Center.

  • PI: “Workshop to Assess the Recent Changes in the Biogeochemistry of the Great Lakes System (BOGLS)”, February 1, 2013 – January 31, 2014, National Science Foundation.

  • PI: “Dating of Sediments from Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay”, March – December 2013, CILER (NOAA via University of Michigan).

  • PI: ‘Collaborative Research: GEOTRACES – 210Po and 210Pb distribution at Eastern Pacific Interface Regimes”, August 1, 2012 – July 31, 2015 – National Science Foundation.

  • Co-PI: “Sediment Yield and Dam Capacity in the Great Lakes Watershed: Reconnaissance and Laboratory Analysis”, PI: Carol Miller, USACE, September 2010 – August 2012.

  • PI: “Acquisition of Additional Counting Instruments for Radiochemical Research at Wayne State University”, August 31, 2010 – August 31, 2011 – National Science Foundation.

  • PI: “Collaborative Research: GEOTRACES-Application of 210Pb and 210Po distribution at North Atlantic Interface regimes”, April 1, 2010 – March 31, 2014 - National Science Foundation.

  • PI: “Collaborative Research: GEOTRACES-Methods development and Intercalibration for the 210Pb and 210Po radionuclide pair”, July 15, 2009 – July 31, 2012 - National Science Foundation.

Selected Publications

Last 5 years

100) Baskaran, M. (2011) Po-210 and Pb-210 as atmospheric tracers and global atmospheric Pb-210 fallout: a Review. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2010.10.007, 102, 500-513.

101) Baskaran, M. (2011) Environmental Isotope Geochemisry – Past, Present and Future. In: Handbook of Environmental Isotope Geochemistry, (Ed. M. Baskaran), p. 3-10, Springer (ISBN: 978-3-642-10636-1).

102) Porcelli, D. and M. Baskaran (2011) An overview of Isotope Geochemistry in Environmental Studies. In: Handbook of Environmental Isotope Geochemistry, (Ed. M. Baskaran), p. 11-32, Springer (ISBN: 978-3-642-10636-1).

103) Kaste, J.M. and M. Baskaran (2011) Meteoric 7Be and 10Be as process tracers in the environment. In: Handbook of Environmental Isotope Geochemistry, (Ed. M. Baskaran), p. 61-86, Springer (ISBN: 978-3-642-10636-1).

104) Du, J.Z, J. Zhang, and M. Baskaran (2011) Applications of short-lived radionuclides (7Be, 210Pb, 210Po, 137Cs and 234Th) to trace the sources, transport pathways, and deposition of particles/sediments in rivers, estuaries and coasts. In: Handbook of Environmental Isotope Geochemistry, (Ed. M. Baskaran), p. 305-330, Springer (ISBN: 978-3-642-10636-1).

105) Hong, G.-H., T.F. Hamilton, M. Baskaran, and T.C. Kenna (2011). Applications of anthropogenic radionuclides as tracers to investigate marine environmental processes. In: Handbook of Environmental Isotope Geochemistry, (Ed. M. Baskaran), p. 367-394, Springer (ISBN: 978-3-642-10636-1).

106) Lal, D. and M. Baskaran (2011). Applications of cosmogenic isotopes as atmospheric tracers. In: Handbook of Environmental Isotope Geochemistry, (Ed. M. Baskaran), p. 575-590, Springer (ISBN: 978-3-642-10636-1).

107) Baskaran, M. (2011). Dating of biogenic and inorganic carbonates using 210Pb-226Ra disequilibrium method – A review. In: Handbook of Environmental Isotope Geochemistry, (Ed. M. Baskaran), p. 789-810, Springer (ISBN: 978-3-642-10636-1).

108) Hong, G.-H., M. Baskaran, S.M. Molaroni*, H.-M. Lee, and J. Burger (2011). Anthropogenic and natural radionuclides in Caribou and Muskoxen in the western Alaskan Arctic and marine fish in the Aleutian Islands in the first half of 2000s. Science of the Total Environ. 409, 3638-3648.

109) Jweda, J. and M. Baskaran (2011). Interconnected riverine-lacustrine systems as sedimentary repositories: A case study in southeast Michigan using excess 210Pb- and 137Cs-based sediment accumulation and mixing models, Journal of Great Lakes Research 37, 432-446.

110) *Lazano, R.L., E.G. San Miguel, J.P. Bolivar, and M. Baskaran (2011) Depositional fluxes and concentrations of 7Be and 210Pb in bulk precipitation and aerosols at the interface of Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts in Spain. Jour. Geophys. Res. 116, D18231, doi:10.1029/2011JD015675.

111) Bonotto, D.M., I. Karmann, M. Baskaran (2012). Growth rates in modern speleothems from Santana Cave, Brazil, by the 210Pb method. Radiation Measurements 47, 168-177.

112) Hernández-Ceballos, M.A., G.H. Hong, R.L. Lozano, Y.I. Kim, H.M. Lee, S.H. Kim, S.-W. Yeh, J.P. Bolivar and M. Baskaran (2012). Tracking the complete revolution of surface westerlies over Northern Hemisphere using radionuclides emitted from Fukushima. Science of the Total Environ. 438, 80-85.

113) Church, T.M., S. Rigaud, M. Baskaran, A. Kumar, J. Friedrich, P. Masque, V. Puigcorbé, G. Kim, O. Radakovitch, G. Hong, H.-Y. Choi and G. Stewart (2012). Inter-calibration studies of 210Po and 210Pb in dissolved and particulate sea water samples. Limnol. Oceanogr. (Methods), 10, 776-789.

114) Hong, G.-H., M.A. Hernandez-Ceballos, R.L. Lozano, Y.I. Kim, H.M. Lee, S.H. Kim, S.-W. Yeh, J.P. Bolivar, M. Baskaran (2012). Radioactivity impact in South Korea from the damaged nuclear reactors in Fukushima: evidence of long and short range transport. J. Radiol. Prot. 32, 397-411.

115) Kim, K.J., M. Baskaran, J. Jweda*, A.A. Feyzullayev, C. Aliyev, H. Matsuzaki, A.J.T. Jull (2013). Investigation of the Dashgil mud volcano (Azerbaijan) using Beryllium-10. Nuclear Instru. Methods Phys. Res. B 294, 606-610.

116) Baskaran, M., T.M. Church, G.-H. Hong, A. Kumar, M. Qiang, H. Choi, S. Rigaud, K. Maiti (2013). Effects of flow rates and composition of the filter, and decay/in-growth correction factors involved with the determination of in-situ particulate 210Po and 210Pb in seawater. Limnol. Oceanogr. (Methods), 11, 126-140.

117) Hong, G.-H., M. Baskaran, T.M. Church and M. Conte (2013). Scavenging, cycling and removal fluxes of 210Po and 210Pb at the Bermuda Time-series Study. Deep-Sea Res. II 93, 108-118, doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2013.01.005.

118) Swarzenski, P.W., M. Baskaran, R.J. Rosenbauer, B.D. Edwards and M. Land (2013). A combined radio- and stable-isotopic study of a California coastal aquifer system. Water 5(2), 480-504, doi:10.3390/w5020480.

119) Lee, H.M., G.-H. Hong, M. Baskaran, S.H. Kim, Y. I. Kim, and K.C. Cho (2014). Evaluation of plating conditions on the recovery of 210Po onto the Ag planchet. Applied Radiat. Isot. 90, 170-176.

120) Rodrigo, J.F., M. Cass-Ruiz, J. Vidal, L. Barbero, M. Baskaran and M.E. Ketterer (2014). Application of 234U/238U activity ratios to investigations of subterranean groundwater discharge in the Cadiz coastal area (SW Spain). J. Environ. Radioact. 130, 68-71.

121) Karunakara, N. and M. Baskaran (2014). Special issue of Journal of Environmental Radioactivity on 2nd International Conference on Po and radioactive Pb isotopes. 138, 341-342.

122) Barbero, L., M.J. Gazquez, J.P. Bolivar, M. Casas-Ruiz, A. Hierro, M. Baskaran and M.E. Ketterer (2014). Mobility of Po and U-isotopes under acid mine drainage conditions: an experimental approach with samples from Rio Tinto area (SW Spain). J. Environ. Radioact. 138, 384-389.

123) Mudbidre, R., M. Baskaran and L. Schweitzer (2014). Investigations of the partitioning and residence times of Po-210 and Pb-210 in a riverine system in Southeast Michigan USA. J. Environ. Radioact. 138, 375-383.

124) Baskaran, M., J. Nix, C. Kuyper and N. Karunakara (2014). Problems with the dating of sediment core using excess 210Pbxs in a freshwater system impacted by large scale watershed changes. J. Environ. Radioact. 138, 355-363.

125) Rigaud, S., G. Stewart, M. Baskaran, D. Marsan, and T.M. Church (2015). 210Po and 210Pb distribution, dissolved-particulate exchange rates, and particulate export along the North Atlantic US GEOTRACES GA03 section. Deep-Sea Res. II 116, 60-75.

126) Baskaran, M., C.J. Miller, A. Kumar, E. Andersen, J. Hui, J.P. Selegean, C.T. Creech, and J. Barkach (2015). Sediment Accumulation Rates and Sediment Dynamics Using Five Different Methods in a well-constrained Impoundment: Case Study from Union Lake, Michigan. Journal of Great Lakes Research 41, 607-617.

127) Du, J., J. Du, M. Baskaran, Q. Bi, D. Huang and Y. Jiang, 2015. Temporal variations of atmospheric depositional fluxes of 7Be and 210Pb over 8 years (2006-2013) at Shanghai, China and Synthesis of global fallout data. Journal of Geophysical Research, 120, doi:10.1002/2014JD022807.

128) Mawji, E., R. Schlitzer et al. (total of 135 authors, 68 institutions), 2015. The GEOTRACES Intermediate Data Product 2014. Mar. Chem. 177, 1-8.

129) Baskaran, M.,T. Novell, K. Nash*, S.A. Ruberg, T. Johengen, N. Hawley, J.V. Klump and B.A. Biddanda, 2016. Tracking the seepage of subsurface sinkhole vent waters into Lake Huron using radium and stable isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen. Aquatic Geochemistry 22, 349-374.

130) Wang, J., J.Z. Du, M. Baskaran and J. Zhang, 2016. Mobile mud dynamics in the East China Sea elucidated using 210Pb, 137Cs, 7Be and 234Th as tracers. Jour. Geophys. Res. 12/2015; DOI:10.1002/2015JC011300.

131) Eakin, M., S.J. Brownlee, M. Baskaran and L. Barbero, 2016. Mechanisms of radon loss from zircon: Microstructural controls on emanation and diffusion. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 184, 212-226.

132) Kumar, A., J. Hage-Hassan, M. Baskaran, C.J. Miller, J.P. Selegean and C.T. Creech, 2016. Multiple sediment cores from reservoirs are needed to reconstruct recent watershed changes from stable isotopes (δ13C and δ15N) and C/N ratios: case studies from the midwestern United States. J. Paleolimnology 56, 15-31, doi: 10.1007/s10933-016-9888-0.

133) Brooks, Y., M.M. Baustian, M. Baskaran, N. Ostrom and J. Rose, 2016. Historical associations of molecular measurements of Escherichia coli and Enterococci to anthropogenic activities and climate variables in freshwater sediment cores. Environmental Science and Technology 50(13), 6902-6911, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est. 6b01372.

134) Baskaran, M., T.S. Bianchi and T.R. Filley, 2017. Inconsistencies between 14C and short-lived radionuclides-based sediment accumulation rates: effects of long-term remineralization. J. Environmental Radioactivity.

135) Su, K., J.Z. Du, M. Baskaran and J. Zhang, 2017. 210Po and 210Pb disequilibrium at the PN section in the East China Sea. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity.

Currently Teaching

  • GEL 5510: Fate and Transport of Contaminants in the Environment

Courses taught

  • GEL-1010: Physical Geology
  • GEL-1050: Introduction to Oceanography
  • GEL-1370: Weather Studies
  • GEL-5120: Environmental Geochemistry
  • GEL-6400: Nuclear Geology

Citation Index