Eastern Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center
1. Geochemistry of Aluminum in Surficial Environments:
The objective of this task is to develop new approaches for tracing and modeling near-surface processes that affect mineral deposits in humid enveronments through the study of minerals, mineral surfaces, and related substrate material. Atomic force microscopy and multi-gas BET surface area analysis will be used to complement existing techniques. The stoichiometries and pathways of weathering reactions and reaction mechanisms for aluminous minerals will be studied to provide needed quantification to rate-controlled processes that result in elemental mobility in silicate-dominated rocks in humid environments. Solid solutions in processes will be studied to develop an understanding of (solid and liquid) solution effects on thermodynamic parameters for these systems. The task will integrate field and laboratory studies of previously well-characterized surficial environments to identify selected minerals that can be used to effectively track reaction pathways for metals and other pollutants in low temperature environments.
4. Science in Support of Mitigation and Remediation:
The sustainable development of mineral resources and the remediation of the environmental legacy of historic mining requires a thorough and predictive understanding of the physical and geochemical processes that affect mineral deposits and their waste products under a variety of climatic settings. The behavior of contaminants is is dictated by complex combinations of these processes. The interplay among these processes forms the basis of natural attenuation of contamination nd of remediation of mine sites, but is poorly understood. This task aims to better understand the geochemical details of processes such as:
5. Geoenvironmental Studies of Mineral Deposits in Tropical
The objectives of this task center around investigating geochemical processes associated with the weathering of mineral deposits and their wastes in humid tropical climatic settings, which are characteristic of the eastern United States. The research will be conducted as in Task 4 above. Likely deposit types to be studied include porphyry copper deposits and high-sulfidation epithermal deposits.
6. Tracking geologic sources of trace elements in mineral deposits formed
in sedimentary basins:
In this task we will study, at various scales, the interaction of fluids, metal sources, and processes that lead to the generation of metalliferous organic environments in selected sedimentary basins representing a transect across metamorphic grade, and including an examination of pristine modern sedimentary environments. Studies will focus on the effects of metamorphism and the changing mineralogical framework hosting the toxic metals, and on the effects of prograde and retrograde metamorphic and surficial weathering processes on felsic schistose rocks that result in mobilization of toxic metals and their availability in the near-surface environment.
|Mineral Resources Program||National Minerals Information / Geology, Minerals, Energy and Geophysics|
|Alaska / Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry / Central Mineral and Environmental Resources / Spatial Data|