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Marjorie Schulz


Contact Info

Short Biography

I was shaped by the Illinois prairie, with its unbroken horizons. Summer holidays collecting rocks on the beaches of Lake Michigan led to a life in earth sciences. I have a B.A. in Geology from Knox College and an M.S. in Earth Sciences from University of Missouri. I am currently a project coordinator of the biogeochemistry of soils group. We use soil chronosequences as natural laboratories to study soil biogeochemical processes.  

 I  worked with Art White in the National Research Program of the Water Resources Discipline from 1991 to 2011. We studied mineral weathering/soil development in soil chronosequences and at the Water energy biogeochemstry (WEBB) field sites in Panola, Georigia and Luquillo Forest, Puerto Rico. The results of our work can be found below.

 I joined the USGS Marine Geology Branch of the Geologic discipline in 1987 working on a project studying deep ocean manganese oxide crusts. I was a participant in several research cruises to Micronesia as part of this work.


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White, A.F., Schulz, M.S., Vivit, D.V., Bullen,T.D., Fitzpatrick, J.D. 2012, The impact of biotic/abiotic interfaces in mineral nutrient cycling: A study of soils of the Santa Cruz chronosequence, California, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 77 p. 62–85

Schulz, M.S., Vivit, D., Schulz, C.E., Fitzpatrick, J., and White, A., 2010, Biologic origin of iron-rich soil nodules in a marine terrace chronosequence, Santa Cruz, California: Soil Science Society of America Journal, v. 74, no. 2, p. 550-564.

Hein, J.R., Reid, J.A., Conrad, T.A., Dunham, R.E., Clague, D.A., Schulz, M.S., Davis, A.S. 2010, Seamounts and ferromanganese crusts within and near the U.S. EEZ off California-Data for RV Farnella cruise F7-87-SC: USGS Open File Report 2010-1069.

Moore, J., Macalady, J.L. Schulz, M.S., White, A.F. Brantley, S.L. 2009; Shifting microbial community structure across a marine terrace grassland chronosequence, Santa Cruz, California, Soil Biology and Chemistry, 42, p 21-31.

White, A.F., Schulz, M.S., Stonestrom, D.A., Vivit, D.V., Fitzpatrick, J., Bullen, T.D., Maher, K., and Blum, A.E., 2009, Chemical weathering of a marine terrace chronosequence, Santa Cruz, California. Part II: Solute profiles, gradients and the comparisons of contemporary and long-term weathering rates: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 73, no. 10, p. 2769-2803.

White, A.F., Schulz, M.S., Stonestrom, D.A., Vivit, D.V., Fitzpatrick J., and Bullen, T., 2008, Solute profiles in soils, weathering gradients and exchange equilibrium/disequilibrium: Mineralogical Magazine, v. 72, p. 149-153.

White, A.F., Schulz, M.S., Vivit, D.V., Blum, A.E., Stonestrom, D.A., and Anderson, S.P., 2008, Chemical weathering of a marine terrace chronosequence, Santa Cruz, California I: Interpreting rates and controls based on soil concentration-depth profiles: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 72, p. 36-68.

Hein, J.R., Schulz, M.S., Dunham, R.E., Stern, R.J., and Bloomer, S.H., 2008, Diffuse flow hydrothermal manganese mineralization along the active Mariana and southern Izu-Bonin arc system, western Pacific: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 113, B08S14, doi:10.1029/2007JB005432.

White, A.F. Schulz, M.S., Vivit, D.V., Blum, A.E., and Stonestrom, D.A. 2006, Controls on soil pore water solutes: An approach for distinguishing between biogenic and lithogenic process; Journal of Geochemical Exploration, V88, p. 363-366.

Green, C. T., Stonestrom, D.A., Bekins, B.A., Akstin, K.C., Schulz, M.S.; 2005, Percolation and transport in a sandy soil under a natural hydraulic gradient, Water Resources Research, V. 41, W10414

White, A.F., Schulz, M.S., Lowenstern, J.B., Vivit, D.V., Bullen, T.D., 2005, The ubiquitous nature of accessory calcite in granitoid rocks: Implications for weathering, solute evolution, and petrogenesis, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta; V69, n6, pg1455-1471.

White, A.F., Schulz, M.S., Vivit, D.V., Blum, A.E., Stonestrom, D.A. and Harden, J.W., 2005, Chemical weathering rates of a soil chronosequence on granitic alluvium: III. Hydrochemical evolution and contemporary solute fluxes and rates, Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, V 69, n8, pg1975-1996.

White, A.F., Schulz, M.S., Vivit, D.V., Blum, A.E., 2004 Hydrochemical evolution and contemporary weathering rates in a soil chronosequence, Merced, California, USA.; in Water Rock Interaction, Wanty & Seal II (eds) p891-894

Vivit, D.V., Schulz, M.S., White, A.F., Anderson, S.P., 2004, Si cycling in a marine chronosequence demonstrated by pore-water Ge/Si ratios. in Water Rock Interaction, Wanty & Seal II (eds) p887

Bullen, T.D., Fitzpatrick, J.A., White, A.F., Schulz, M.S. and Vivit, D.V., 2004, Calcium stable isotope eveidence for three soil calcium pools at a granitoid chronosequence. in Water Rock Interaction, Wanty & Seal II (eds) p. 813

Schulz, M.S., White, A.F., & Vivit, D.V.; 2004, Geochemistry and evolution of pedogenic iron nodules in a marine terrace chronosequence. in Water Rock Interaction, Wanty & Seal II (eds) p 1231-1234

Schulz, M.S., Harden, J.W., and Weber, G. E., 2003, Geo-ubiquity: chemical, hydrological and physical evolution of coastal terraces near Santa Cruz, California. In Easterbrook, D.J. ed., Quaternary Geology of the United States, INQUA 2003 Field Trip Guide Volume, Desert Reasearch Institute, Reno, NV, p3---406.

Bayless, E. Randall and Schulz, M.S., 2003, Dissolution and precipitation of minerals beneath two slag sites in Northwestern Indiana, USA, Environmental Geology, V.45, p 252-261.

White A.F., Blum A.E., Schulz M.S., Huntington T.G., Peters N.E., and Stonestrom, D.A., 2002, Chemical weathering of the Panola Granite: Solute and regolith elemental fluxes and the dissolution rate of biotite, in Hellmann, R., and Wood, S.A., eds., Water-rock Interaction, Ore Deposits, and Environmental Geochemisty: A tribute to David A. Crerar: Geochemical Society Special Publication 7, p. 37-59.

White, A.F., Schulz, M.S., Vivit, D.V., and Bullen, T.D., 2001, Disseminated calcite in a global suite of granitic rocks - correlations with experimental solutes, in Cidu, R., ed., Proceedings of the tenth international symposium WRI-10, Villasimius, Italy, 10-15 June 2001: A.A. Balkema, p. 435 - 439.

White, A.F., Bullen, T.D., Schulz, M.S., Blum, A.E., Huntington, T.G., and Peters, N.E., 2001, Differential rates of feldspar weathering in granitic regoliths: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 65, p. 847-870.

Bullen, T.D., White, A.F., Childs, C.W., Vivit, D.V., and Schulz, M.S. 2001, Demonstration of significant abiotic iron isotope fractionation in nature: Geology, v. 29, no. 8, p. 699-702.

White, A.F., Bullen, T.D., Vivit, D.V., Schulz, M.S., 1999, The effect of climate on chemical weathering of silicate rocks. Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium on Geochemistry of the Earth's surface, Reykjavik, Iceland. p79-82

White, A.F., Blum, A.E., Bullen, T.D., Vivit, D.V., Schulz, M.S., Fitzpatrick, J., 1999, The Effect of Temperature on Experimental and Natural Chemical Weathering Rates of Granitoid Rocks. Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta. v. 63, p. 3277-3291.

White, A.F., Bullen, T.D., Vivit, D.V., Schulz, M.S., Clow, D.W., 1999, The role of Disseminated Calcite in the Chemical Weathering of Granitoid Rocks. Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta. v. 63, p. 1939-1953.

Schulz, M.S. and White, A.F., 1999, Chemical Weathering in a Tropical Watershed, Luquillo Mountains, Puerto Rico: III Quartz Dissolution Rates. Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, v 63 p 337-350.

White, A. F., Blum, A. E., Schulz, M. S., Vivit, D. V., Stonestrom, D. A., Larsen, M.,Murphy, S. F., and Eberl, D. 1998, Chemical weathering in a tropical watershed, Luquillo Mountains, Puerto Rico: I. Long-term versus short-term weathering fluxes. Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta 62, 209-226.

White, A. F., Schulz, M., Vivit, D. and Bullen, T. E. 1998 The role of disseminated calcite in rates of calcium release and CO2 consumption during the weathering of granitoid rocks. 8th Annual V.M. Goldschmidt Conference, Proceedings: Mineralogical Magazine 62A, 1647-1648.


Blum, A. E., Schulz, M. and White, A. F. 1998 Controls on silicate weathering in soils. 8th Annual V.M. Goldschmidt Conference, Proceedings: Mineralogical Magazine 62A 172-173


Bullen, T. D., White, A. F., Vivit, D. and Schulz, M. S. 1998 Granitoid weathering in the laboratory: Chemical and Sr isotope perspectives on mineral dissolution rates In Proceedings 9th Intnl. Symp. Water Rock Interaction, Eds. Arehart, G. B. and Hulston, J. R., Taupo New Zealand, A. A. Balkema 383-383.


Schulz, M.S., White, A.F., Vivit, D.V., 1997, Rate of Quartz Dissolution in a Tropical Weathering Environment, In Seventh Annual V.M. Goldschmidt Conference, Proceedings, p. 188, LPI Contribution No.921, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston.


White, A.F., Bullen, T.D., Vivit, D.V., and Schulz, M.S., 1997, Experimental Weathering of Granitiods: Importance of Relative Mineral Reaction Rates. In 7th Annual V.M. Goldschmidt Conference, Proceedings, p. 217, LPI Contribution No.921, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston.

Bullen, T.D., White, A.F., Blum, A.E., Harden, J.W., and Schulz, M.S., 1997, Chemical Weathering of a Soil Chronosequence on Granitoid Alluvium II. Mineralogic and Isotopic Constraints on the Behavior of Sr. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta. Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta 61, 291-306.

White, A.F., Blum, A.E., Schulz, M.S., Bullen, T.D., Harden, J.W., and Peterson, M.L., 1996, Chemical Weathering of a Soil Chronosequence on Granite Alluvium I. Reaction Rates Based on Changes in Soil Mineralogy. Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta 60, 2533-2550.

White, A.F., Blum, A.E., Bullen, T.D., Peterson, M.L., Schulz, M.S., and Harden, J.W., 1992, A three million weathering record for a soil chronosequence developed in granitic alluvium, Merced, California, USA: in Kharaka, Y.K., and Mast, A.S., eds., Water-Rock Interactions: Proceedings of the  7th International Symposium on Water-Rock Interaction, WRI-7, Park City, Utah, USA, p. 607-610.

Hein, J.R., and many others (including Schulz, M.S.), 1992, Geology, geophysics, geochemistry, and deep-sea mineral deposits, Federated States of Micronesia: KORDI-USGS R.V. Farnella Cruise F11-90-CP: U.S. Geological Survey Openfile report 92-218, 191 p.

Hein, J.R., Bohrson, W.A., and Schulz, M.S., 1992, Variations in the fine-scale composition of a Central Pacific ferromanganese crust: paleoceanographic implications: Paleoceanography, V. 7, No. 1, p. 63-77.

Schulz, M.S., and Hein, J.R., 1991, Petrography and chemistry of hydrothermal manganese oxyhydroxides from the Mariana and Izu-Bonin volcanic arcs, West Pacific: U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 91-557, 111 p.

Davis, A.S., Clague, D.A., Schulz, M.S., Hein, J.R., 1991, Sulfur content in glasses from submarine lava suites: Evidence that low sulfur content may not be a reliable indicator of subaerial eruption: Geology, v.19, p. 750-753.

Hein, J.R., Kang, J.-K., Schulz, M.S., Park, B.-K., Kirschenbaum, H., Yoon, S.-H., Olson, R.L., Park, D.-W., Smith, V., Quinterno, P.J., Lee, T.-O., Davis, A.S., Kim, S.-R., Pringle, M.S., Choi, D.-L., Pickthorn, L.B., Schlanger, S.O., Duennebier, F.K., Lincoln, J.M., and Bergerson, D.D., 1990, Geological, geochemical, geophysical, and oceanographic, data and interpretations of seamounts and Co-rich ferromanganese crusts from the Marshall Islands, KORDI-USGS: R.V. Farnella Cruise F10-89-CP: U.S. Geological Survey Open Files Report 90-407, 246 p.

Hein, J.R., Kirschenbaum, H., Schwaab, W.C., Usui, A., Taggart, J.E., Stewart, K.C., Davis, A.S., Terashima, S., Quinterno, P.J., Olson, R.L., Pickthorn, L.G. Schulz, M.S., and Morgan, C.L., 1990, Mineralogy and geochemistry of Co-rich ferromanganese crusts and substrate rocks from Karin Ridge and Johnston Island: R.V. Farnella Cruise F7-86-HW: U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 90-298, 80p.

Hein, J.R., Schulz, M.S., Kang, Jung-Keuk, 1990, Insular and submarine ferromanganese mineralization of the Tonga-Lau region: Marine Mining, V. 9 (3), p.305-354.

Schulz, M.S., 1990, Hydrothermal manganese oxyhydroxide mineralization of volcaniclastic rocks from the Mariana and Izu-Bonin Arcs: Univ. of Missouri-Columbia, Masters Thesis, 143 p

Hein, J.R., Schulz, M.S., and Gein, L.A., 1990, Central Pacific cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts: historical perspective and regional variability: in Keating, B. H. and Bolton, B.R., eds., Geology and offshore mineral resources of the Central Pacific Basin: Circum-Pacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resources, Earth Science Series, v.15, Houston, Texas. p.261-283.



My Science Topics

Science Topic
Natural Resourcessoil resources
Plants and Animalsplants
Geologic Processesgeochemistry
Geologic Processessoil chemistry
Ecology and Environmentecological processes

My USGS Science Strategy Areas

Climate Variability & Change

Biogeochemistry of soils: carbon/water/rock interaction in the critical zone

This project quantifies biogeochemical processes in the critical zone with an emphasis on the interactions among soil minerals, water, and plants. We quantify linkages between mineral weathering and other dynamic processes in the critical zone, such as plant production, decomposition and, carbon stabilization/destabilization in soils, all of which govern the carbon exchange between land and atmosphere. To explore these topics, we make use of natural soil chronosequences (landforms of differing ages within the same geologic, climate, and vegetation zone); we examine the dynamics of biogeochemical processes spanning seasonal to millennial timescales. TO accomplish these goals we employ a variety of biogeochemical analyses, isotopic tracers, and mathematical models.

The geochemistry of the rhizosphere: plants, fungi, microbes and mineral weathering

The understanding of plant processes, their effect on mineral weathering and soil formation are needed for input to geochemical models. The rhizosphere, the zone immediately adjacent to roots and their symbiotic fungi, has long been recognized as chemically different by plant physiologists (Marschner, 1988). The important effect of plants on the soil formation has been long known (Jenny, 1941) but not well studied. Plants respond rapidly to climate changes in ecosystem diversity and plant populations will affect the soils. How quickly will soils respond is related to the resilience of the soil properties that plants have greatest influence over. In addition, secondary soil minerals are responsible for longer term soil carbon storage; an understanding of how these mineral-carbon interactions evolve with time and varied climate is essential to managing carbon storage in soils.

Contact Information

Marjorie Schulz
Bldg 15, McKelvey Building, 345 Middlefield Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025-3561
650-329-4538 - Fax
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