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Simplified geologic map of Lake Superior geology
The Midcontinent area, showing mineral deposits and geology. Image courtesy of Dean Peterson, Duluth Metals.

The Mineral Resources Program is conducting data acquisition and multidisciplinary research to image and characterize the Midcontinent rift and related mineral resources, to document mineral resource potential, and to evaluate mineral environmental impact of past and future mineral resource development in the region. The midcontinent rift is a 1.1 billion-year-old structural feature that is exposed in the Lake Superior region, but is covered by younger rocks as it extends to the south through Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. Rocks that formed in response to the rift, such as the Duluth layered igneous complex in northern Minnesota, contain significant known resources of copper, nickel, and platinum group metals.

Current Studies

Completed Studies