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GMEG - Geology, Minerals, Energy, & Geophysics Science Center

Advanced geophysical characterization of layered mafic and ultramafic intrusions



Issue: The platinum-group elements (PGE) are a critical commodity because they are essential to many technologies and the limited number of deposits makes it possible to disrupt global PGE supply. Most of the world’s production of PGE comes from stratabound “reef-type” deposits in layered mafic-ultramafic (MUM) intrusions; disseminated to massive sulfide “contact-type” mineralization found near the intrusive contacts of large MUM intrusions; and disseminated to massive sulfide “conduit-type” mineralization associated with sills in continental flood basalt provinces.

Objectives: The objective of this project is to characterize and model the geology and mineral resource potential of layered intrusions in the United States based on advanced geophysical surveys. This project will work together with the projects “Assessment of the platinum-group element resources in mafic-ultramafic igneous intrusions of the Midcontinent Rift System, Lake Superior region” and “Geophysical Characterization of the Northeast Iowa Intrusive Complex and Broader Midcontinent Rift System” to characterize mafic and ultramafic intrusions in the Mid-Continent region. The work of the project will help determine specifications for future geophysical surveys of layered intrusions.

Relevance: By using modern geophysical mapping techniques, we should be able to look at the layered intrusions in the United States in new ways and advance our understanding of the PGE potential, extent, and structures of these mafic and ultramafic rocks.

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