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Overview

periodic table highlighting elements with multiple isotopes
Periodic table shows which elements have multiple isotopes, which elements are currently being run routinely in Denver, and which elements we are currently evaluating for potential future use. View full size image. [JPG file, 66 KB]

Why is USGS conducting this research?

Understanding the genesis of ore deposits and their behavior in the environment is a subject of great importance to the Nation. Precious and base metals and critical elements may become enriched in the Earth’s crust by a wide range of processes. However, the formation of an ore deposit requires a sequence of extraordinary conditions and/or events, which remain poorly understood in many cases. A relatively new tool to aid in these efforts to investigate the origin and environmental impact of ore deposits is the use of "heavy" metal stable isotopes. These non-traditional stable isotopes are tracers of specific geologic and biologic processes and can be used to further advance our understanding of metal cycling within magmatic, hydrothermal, and low-temperature systems.

Objectives

Our research objectives are to utilize various isotopic systems to advance our understanding of ore genesis and the weathering of mineral deposits. Our studies focus on two themes: 1) use of stable isotopes as source indicators, and 2) use of isotopes as process indicators.

  • Isotopic and Geochemical Systematics of Rare Earth Element Ore Deposits
  • Stable Metal Isotopic and Geochemical Signatures of Element Dispersion from Ore Deposits
  • Studies to Understand Stable Metal Isotope Signatures of Ore Deposits
  • Isotopic Compositions of Mercury in Ore Deposits and Evaluation of Mercury Isotope Fractionation During Mining Processes
  • Insights into the Genesis of Magmatic-Hydrothermal Ore Deposits and Related Active Mineralizing Systems From "Heavy Metal" Stable Isotopes
  • Multicollector-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry Methods Development

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Isotopic and Geochemical Systematics of Rare Earth Element Ore Deposits

carbonatite SEM image
SEM backscattered electron image of REE fluorocarbonates in barite beforsite unit of Elk Creek carbonatite. From Verplanck and others, 2015, BCGS Paper 2015-3.

Contact: Philip Verplanck, plv@usgs.gov

With the increased demand for rare earth deposits outside of China, understanding the processes that control ore-grade enrichment of rare earth elements is critical for not only identifying exploration targets, but also determining which zone of a particular target may be enriched in specific elements of interest. The processes responsible for 1) formation of rare earth element-enriched magmas and 2) ore-grade concentration of rare earth elements are complex and poorly understood. Our objectives are to utilize stable and radiogenic isotopes coupled with trace element geochemistry to constrain the processes responsible for ore-grade enrichment of rare earth elements. We are focusing on carbonatite-related deposits because these deposits:

  1. are the world's primary source of light rare earth elements (La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, and Eu) and Nb,
  2. have been mined for PO4, F, Cu, V, Ti, and Ta,
  3. are potential sources of other critical elements (Th, Y, and other rare earth elements).

Radiogenic, stable, and non-traditional stable isotopic systems can help constrain important questions including:

  1. what is the source of rare earth elements for these deposits;
  2. what processes control ore-grade enrichment; and
  3. why are there over 500 known carbonates but only 9 currently producing ore.

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Stable Metal Isotopic and Geochemical Signatures of Element Dispersion from Ore Deposits

flowchart
Flowchart depicting mechanisms by which an organism may react to excess metal exposure. Green lines represent possible pathways taken by N. triangulifer; dashed red lines are pathways taken by bacteria in hydrozincite biomineralization. From Wanty and others, 2015, doi:10.1016/j.proeps.2015.07.014.

Richard Wanty, rwanty@usgs.gov

Non-traditional isotope ratios may be used to identify sources of metals as they migrate from a mineral deposit or altered area in the weathering environment. These isotopic ratios also may be affected by processes that occur during weathering and transport, including biological uptake. By examining the ratios of selected metal isotopes we hope to resolve the effects of source and process to increase our understanding of the weathering of mineral deposits and surrounding altered areas. Our objectives are to conduct isotopic analyses of several metals, semi-metals, and non-metals, including copper, iron, zinc, tungsten, and uranium to determine the range of values observed in natural systems, and to evaluate the conditions and processes that lead to isotopic fractionation.

We have completed research on the following:

  • Method development for copper, iron, and zinc isotopes in complex aqueous samples,
  • Fate of metals in mining-affected areas,
  • Adsorption of metals onto Fe-oxyhydroxides,
  • Using metal isotopes to examine background/baseline conditions and to estimate pre-mining baseline in mined areas.

We are currently working the following:

  • Multi-isotope characterization of mineralized areas- what do Fe, Cu, and Zn isotopes tell us?
  • Fate of metals in the biosphere- uptake of Zn by aquatic insects
  • Refining methods- lowering blanks for Zn and Cu
Rio Naracauli data
A) Concentration and Zn isotope signature of water in the Rio Naracauli as a function of distance downstream. As hydrozincite precipitates, favoring the heavier isotope of Zn, both the Zn concentration (open symbols) and the value of δ66Zn (solid symbols) decrease. B) Photomicrograph of hydrozincite forming on the surface of bacterial exopolysaccharide secretions. From Wanty and others, 2015, doi:10.1016/j.proeps.2015.07.014.

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Studies to Understand Stable Metal Isotope Signatures of Ore Deposits

banded sphalerite
Banded sphalerite ample from Pomorzany mine, Poland. The sample (right) is 10 cm by 6 cm. From Ridley and others, 2015, doi:10.1016/j.proeps.2015.07.028.

Contact: Ian Ridley, iridley@usgs.gov

In many non-magmatic ore systems the sources of metals and ligands (ion or molecule attached to a metal atom) remains incompletely understood yet is at the heart of determining transport pathways, processes of deposition, and genetic relations between deposits in a mining District. In many deposits the ore minerals are frequently chemically zoned, suggesting complex precipitation mechanisms. Hence, bulk rock compositions, or even bulk chemical properties of individual minerals, cannot reveal the details of the ore forming process or the sources of metals and ligands.

The goal of this study is to provide a more comprehensive understanding of sources, pathways, precipitation mechanisms, of Mississippi Valley-type(MVT), volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) and porphyry deposits through use of stable isotopes of sulfur (S) and associated trace elements in ore-forming sulfides. The goal will be achieved through a number of objectives: 1) development of micro-analytical split flow methods for simultaneous analysis of trace elements and isotopes (in conjunction with multicollector ICP-MS research); 2) analysis of samples from specific, well-characterized deposits and/or ore Districts.

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Insights into the Genesis of Magmatic-Hydrothermal Ore Deposits and Related Active Mineralizing Systems From "Heavy Metal" Stable Isotopes

Contact: Aaron Pietruszka, apietruszka@usgs.gov

The formation of an economically important metal-rich ore deposit requires a sequence of extraordinary conditions and/or events, the details of which remain poorly understood in most cases. The discovery of new ore deposits, and the full production of existing deposits, depends heavily upon clear knowledge of the mineralizing processes and their geologic context. Heavy metal stable isotopes are a relatively new tool to aid in efforts to investigate the origin of ore deposits.

The advent of multiple-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) has made it possible to measure variations in the isotopic composition of a wide array of metals from lithium to uranium. High-precision isotopic measurements of these elements in geological materials have revealed mass-dependent variations due to a range of natural processes, a development that has revolutionized the field of stable isotope geochemistry. These heavy metal stable isotopic systems are particularly well suited to studies of the genesis of ore deposits and related mineralizing systems due partly to the relatively high concentrations of many transition metals and metalloids in these systems. In addition, many of the elements that are amenable to stable isotopic investigations are economically or strategically important (directly, or indirectly because they are key elements that are used to understand the origin of mineral and energy resources). Our primary research objective is to apply “heavy metal” stable isotopic systems to case studies of magmatic-hydrothermal ore deposits, and spatially and genetically related modern (active) natural analogs of ore-forming processes.

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Multicollector-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry Methods Development

mass scan for sulfur isotopes
Mass scan for the three sulfur isotopes (32S, 33S, 34S) resolving the isobaric interference of 16O + 16O on 32S and 32S + 1H on 33S as well as peak coincidence. From Pribil and others, 2015, doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2015.07.014.

Contact: Michael Pribil, mpribil@usgs.gov

The high resolution multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS) laboratory supports the research of this project and other priority research endeavors in the Central Mineral and Environmental Resources and Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Centers. Through collaboration and direct support isotopic compositions can assist geologists and geochemists gain a better understanding in ore processes, sources and migrations. We focus on continually improving isotope capabilities and developing methods and applications to measure new isotope systems.

Current method development and applications include in-situ sulfur, strontium, and lead isotopes, mass dependent fractionation and mass independent fractionation of mercury and sulfur isotopes, and plasma induced mass fractionation.

clean room
Clean room facility.
laboratory equipment
Multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer and Photon machines. Photo by USGS.

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Completed Activities

Isotopic Compositions of Mercury in Ore Deposits and Evaluation of Mercury Isotope Fractionation During Mining Processes

cinnabar
Cinnabar ore from Almadén mining district, Spain. Photo by USGS.

Contact: John Gray, jgray@usgs.gov

Mercury is a common contaminant in the environment due to both natural and anthropogenic sources. It is a heavy metal of environmental concern because elevated concentrations can be toxic to living organisms. Tracing natural and anthropogenic sources of mercury is critical to the understanding of mercury contamination in various ecosystems. Measurement of mercury isotope fractionation during various geochemical processes is also critical in order to facilitate tracing of various sources of mercury. Our objectives are to evaluate mercury isotopic variability during mine processes and historical deposition from anthropogenic sources through the measurement of mercury isotopes in 1) ore samples from several mercury mines, 2) ore processed mine wastes, and 3) lake sediment cores.

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Publications

Aranda, S., Borrok, D.M., Wanty, R.B., and Balistrieri, L.S., 2012, Zinc isotope investigation of surface and pore waters in a mountain watershed impacted by acid rock drainage: Science of the Total Environment, 420, p. 202-213, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.01.015.

Balistrieri, L.S., Borrok, D.M., Wanty, R.B., Ridley, W.I., 2008, Fractionation of Cu and Zn isotopes during adsorption onto amorphous Fe(III) oxides: Experimental mixing of acid rock drainage and ambient river water: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 72(2), p. 311-328, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2007.11.013.

Berger, B.R., Henley, R.W., Lowers, H.A., and Pribil, M.J., 2014, The Lepanto Cu–Au deposit, Philippines: A fossil hyperacidic volcanic lake complex: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 271, p. 70-82, doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2013.11.019.

Bern, C.R., Chadwick, O.A., Kendall, C., Pribil, M.J., 2015, Steep spatial gradients of volcanic and marine sulfur in Hawaiian rainfall and ecosystems: Science of The Total Environment, 514, p. 250-260, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.02.001.

Borrok, D.M., Nimick, D.A., Wanty, R.B., and Ridley, W.I., 2008, Isotopic variations of dissolved copper and zinc in stream waters affected by historical mining: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 72(2), p. 329-344, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2007.11.014.

Borrok, D.M., Wanty, R.B., Ridley, W.I., Lamothe, P.J., Kimball, B. A., Verplanck, P.L., and Runkel, R.L., 2009, Application of iron and zinc isotopes to track the sources and mechanisms of metal loading in a mountain watershed: Applied Geochemistry, 24(7), p. 1270-1277, doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2009.03.010.

De Giudici, G., Wanty, R.B., Podda, F., Kimball, B.A., Verplanck, P.L., Lattanzi, P., Cidu, R., and Medas, D., 2014, Quantifying biomineralization of zinc in the Rio Naracauli (Sardinia, Italy), using a tracer injection and synoptic sampling: Chemical Geology, 384, p. 110-119, doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2014.07.002.

Gray, J.E., Pribil, M.J., and Higueras, P.L., 2013, Mercury isotope fractionation during ore retorting in the Almadén mining district, Spain: Chemical Geology, 357, p. 150-157, doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2013.08.036.

Gray, J.E., Pribil, M.J., Van Metre, P.C., Borrok, D.M., and Thapalia, A., 2013, Identification of contamination in a lake sediment core using Hg and Pb isotopic compositions, Lake Ballinger, Washington, USA: Applied Geochemistry, 29, p. 1-12, doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2012.12.001.

Gray, J.E., Van Metre, P.C., Pribil, M.J., and Horowitz, A.J., 2015, Corrigendum to “Tracing historical trends of Hg in the Mississippi River using Hg concentrations and Hg isotopic compositions in a lake sediment core” [CHEMGE 17429 (2015) Vol/Iss–CHEMGE 395C 80–87]: Chemical Geology, 404, p. 183, doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2015.04.014.

Gray, J.E., Van Metre, P.C., Pribil, M.J., and Horowitz, A.J., 2015, Tracing historical trends of Hg in the Mississippi River using Hg concentrations and Hg isotopic compositions in a lake sediment core, Lake Whittington, Mississippi, USA: Chemical Geology, 395, p. 80-87, doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2014.12.005.

Guo, H., Jia, Y., Wanty, R.B., Jiang, Y., Zhao, W., Xiu, W., Shen, J., Li, Y., Cao, Y., Wu, Y., Zhang, D., Wei, C., and Zhang, Y., 2016, Contrasting distributions of groundwater arsenic and uranium in the western Hetao basin, Inner Mongolia: Implication for origins and fate controls: Science of The Total Environment, 541, 1172-1190, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.10.018.

Guo, H., Liu, C., Lu, H., Wanty, R.B., Wang, J., and Zhou, Y., 2013, Pathways of coupled arsenic and iron cycling in high arsenic groundwater of the Hetao basin, Inner Mongolia, China: An iron isotope approach: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 112, p. 130-145, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2013.02.031.

Harmon, R.S., Wörner, G., Goldsmith, S.T., Harmon, B.A., Gardner, C.B., Lyons, W.B., Ogden, F.L., Pribil, M.J., Long, D.T., Kern, Z., and Fórizs, I., 2016, Linking silicate weathering to riverine geochemistry—A case study from a mountainous tropical setting in west-central Panama: Geological Society of America Bulletin, 128(11-12), 1780-1812, doi:10.1130/B31388.1.

Harmon, R.S., Wörner, G., Pribil, M.J., Kern, Z., Fórizs, I., Lyons, W.B., Gardner, C.B., Goldsmith, S.T., 2015, Isotopic Geochemistry of Panama Rivers: Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, 13, p. 108-111, doi:10.1016/j.proeps.2015.07.026.

Medas, D., Cidu, R., Lattanzi, P., Podda, F., Wanty, R.B., and De Giudici, G., 2012, Hydrozincite seasonal precipitation at Naracauli (Sardinia-Italy): Hydrochemical factors and morphological features of the biomineralization process: Applied Geochemistry, 27(9), p. 1814-1820, doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2012.02.016.

Pribil, M.J., Maddaloni, M.A., Staiger, K., Wilson, E., Magriples, N., Ali, M., and Santella, D., 2014, Investigation of off-site airborne transport of lead from a superfund removal action site using lead isotope ratios and concentrations: Applied Geochemistry, 41, p. 89-94, doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2013.11.004.

Pribil, M.J., Ridley, W.I., and Emsbo, P., 2015, Sulfate and sulfide sulfur isotopes (δ34S and δ33S) measured by solution and laser ablation MC-ICP-MS: An enhanced approach using external correction: Chemical Geology, 412, p. 99-106, doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2015.07.014.

Pribil, M.J., Wanty, R.B., Ridley, W.I., and Borrok, D.M., 2010, Influence of sulfur-bearing polyatomic species on high precision measurements of Cu isotopic composition: Chemical Geology, 272(1-4), p. 49-54, doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2010.02.003.

Ridley, W.I., Pribil, M.J., Koenig, A.E., and Slack, J.F., 2015, Measurement of in Situ Sulfur Isotopes by Laser Ablation Multi-Collector ICPMS: Opening Pandora's Box: Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, 13, p. 116-119, doi:10.1016/j.proeps.2015.07.028.

Stetson, S.J., Gray, J.E., Wanty, R.B., and Macalady, D.L., 2009, Isotopic variability of mercury in ore, mine-waste calcine, and leachates of mine-waste calcine from areas mined for mercury: Environmental Science and Technology, 43(19), p. 7331-7336, doi:10.1021/es9006993.

Verplanck, P.L., Farmer, G.L., and Mariano, A.N., 2015, Nd and Sr isotopic composition of rare earth element mineralized carbonatites, in: Simandl, G.J. and Neetz, M., (Eds.), Symposium on Strategic and Critical Materials Proceedings, November 13-14, 2015, Victoria, British Columbia, British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines, British Columbia Geological Survey Paper 2015-3, pp. 65-68. View BCGS proceedings paper.

Verplanck, P.L., and Hitzman, M.W., 2016, Introduction: Rare Earth and Critical Elements in Ore Deposits, in Verplanck, P.L., and Hitzman, M.W., eds., Rare Earth and Critical Elements in Ore Deposits: Reviews in Economic Geology, 18, p. 1-4.

Verplanck, P.L., Mariano, A.N., and Mariano, Jr., A., 2016, Chapter 1: Rare Earth Element Ore Geology of Carbonatites, in Verplanck, P.L., and Hitzman, M.W., eds., Rare Earth and Critical Elements in Ore Deposits: Reviews in Economic Geology, 18, p. 5-32.

Wanty, R.B., Balistrieri, L.S., Wesner, J.S., Walters, D.M., Schmidt, T.S., Podda, F., De Giudici, G., Stricker, C.A., Kraus, J., Lattanzi, P., Wolf, R.E., and Cidu, R., 2015, Isotopic Insights into Biological Regulation of Zinc in Contaminated Systems: Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, 13, p. 60-63, doi:10.1016/j.proeps.2015.07.014.

Wanty, R.B., Podda, F., De Giudici, G., Cidu, R., and Lattanzi, P., 2012, Zinc isotope and transition-element dynamics accompanying hydrozincite biomineralization in the Rio Naracauli, Sardinia, Italy: Chemical Geology, 337-338, p. 1-10, doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2012.11.010.

Witt, E.C., III, Pribil, M.J., Hogan, J.P., and Wronkiewicz, D.J., 2016, Isotopically constrained lead sources in fugitive dust from unsurfaced roads in the southeast Missouri mining district: Environmental Pollution, 216, 450-459, doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2016.05.070.

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Abstracts

Balistrieri, L.S., Borrok, D.M., Wanty, R.B., and Ridley, W.I., 2007, Fractionation of Cu and Zn isotopes during adsorption onto amorphous Fe(III) oxides: Experimental mixing of acid-rock drainage and ambient river water: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 39, no. 6, p. 177. View Balistrieri 2007 GSA abstract.

Balistrieri, L.S., Seal, R. R., II. Piatak, Nadine, Borrok, D.M., Wanty, R.B., Ridley, W.I., Paul, B., 2008, The cycling of Cu and Zn in a river affect by acid mine drainage: Dissolved and labile concentrations, toxicity, and isotopic fractionation: Centre for Water Research, University of Western Australia, September 2008.

Balistrieri, L.S., Seal, R. R., II. Piatak, Nadine, Borrok, D.M., Wanty, R.B., Ridley, W.I., Paul, B., 2009, The cycling of Cu and Zn in a river affect by acid mine drainage: Isotopic fractionation, speciation, and toxicity: University of California – Berkeley, April 2009.

Balistrieri, L.S., Seal, R. R., II. Piatak, Nadine, Borrok, D.M., Wanty, R.B., Ridley, W.I., Paul, B., 2009, The cycling of Cu and Zn in a river affect by acid mine drainage: Isotopic fractionation, speciation, and toxicity: University of Washington, Earth and Space Science Department, April 2009.

Balistrieri, L.S. Seal, R.R. II, Pribil, M.J., and Piatak, N.M., 2011, The geochemical cycling of Cu, Fe, and Zn in a meromictic, marine pit lake, Callahan Mine Superfund site, Maine, USA: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 43, no. 5, p. 175. View Balistrieri 2011 GSA abstract.

Borrok, D.M., Ridley, W.I., Lamothe, P.J., and Wanty, R.B., 2006, Separation of Cu, Fe, and Zn from complex aqueous solutions for isotopic measurement: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 70(18) Supplement, p. A59, doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2006.06.222.

Borrok, D.M., Wanty, R.B., Ridley, W.I., Lamothe, P., Kimball, B.A., Verplanck, P.L., and Runkel, R.L., 2007, Isotopic signatures of dissolved Cu, Fe, and Zn in an alpine watershed impacted by acidic metal-rich drainage: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 39, no. 6, p. 115. View Borrok 2007 GSA abstract.

De Giudici, G.B., Medas, D., Podda, F., Lattanzi, P., Cidu, R., and Wanty, R.B., 2010, Occurrence of hydrozincite biomineralization in Naracauli (Sardinia, Italy): Structural properties and morphological features: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 74 (12 Suppl.), p. A217, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2010.04.029.

De Giudici, G., Podda, F., Medas, D., Cidu, R., Lattanzi, P., Kimball, B., Wanty, R., Turnau, K., Alisi, C., and Sprocati, A.R., 2012, Case study of an abandoned Zn-Pb mine: Ingurtosu (Sardinia, Italy): Proceedings of 2012 Goldschmidt Conference, Montreal Canada: Mineralogical Magazine, 76(6), p. 1631. View 2012 De Giudici Goldschmidt abstract.

Farmer, G.L., Kettler, R.M., and Verplanck, P.L., 2013, Geochemical and isotopic constraints on the age and origin of the Elk Creek carbonatite complex, SE Nebraska: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 45, No. 5, p. 41. View Farmer 2013 GSA abstract.

Farmer, G.L., Verplanck, P.L., Kettler, R.M., and Blessington, M.J., 2014 Isotopic evidence on the age and origin of the Elk Creek carbonatite, SE Nebraska: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 46, No. 4, p. 21. View Farmer 2014 GSA abstract.

Harmon, R.S., Lyons, W.B., Goldsmith, S.T., Wörner, G., Harmon, B.A., Ogden, F.L., Gardner, C.B., Pribil, M.J., Long, D.T., Kern, Z., Fórizs, I., Welch, K.A., Welch, S.A., and Mitasova, H., 2014, Riverine Geomorphology, Hydrology, and Geochemistry Across Panama: Silicate Weathering and CO2 Consumption in a Mountainous Tropical Setting: Geochemistry of the Earth's Surface (GES-10), 18-22 August 2014, Paris, France.

Heil, E.M., Navarre-Sitchler, A.K., and Wanty, R.B., 2016, Metal cycling in mountain pine beetle impacted watersheds: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 48, No. 7, doi:10.1130/abs/2016AM-282889.

Pribil, M.J., Koenig, A.E., Wilson, S., Rutherford, D.L., and Ridley, W.I., 2015, Pb isotope ratios by LA-MC-ICP-MS using a new USGS synthetic glass spiked with NIST SRM981(BPbISO-1): North American Laser Ablation Workshop 2015: Program and Abstracts, p. 15. View NALAW 2015 abstracts.

Pribil, M.J., Emsbo, P., and Ridley, W.I., 2014, Sulfate Sulfur (δ34S) Isotope Measurements by MC-ICP-MS: Goldschmidt Abstracts, 1992. View Pribil 2014 Goldschmidt abstract.

Pribil, M.J., Gray, J.E., Van Metre, P.C., Borrok, D.M., and Thapalia, A., 2010, Tracing anthropogenic contamination in a lake sediment core using Hg, Pb, and Zn isotopic compositions: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 42, No. 5, p. 83. View Pribil 2010 GSA abstract.

Pribil, M., Koenig, A., Wilson, S., Rutherford, D., and Ridley, W.I., 2015, High Precision Pb Isotope Analyses by LA-MC-ICP-MS: A Novel Approach Using a USGS Synthetic Glass Spiked with NIST SRM 981(BPbISO-1): Goldschmidt Abstracts, 2015 2536. View Pribil 2015 Goldschmidt abstract.

Rutherford Jr., D.L., and Pribil, M., 2015, Using direct combustion and syringe injection for the isotopic analysis of mercury: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 47, No. 7, p. 95. View Rutherford 2015 GSA abstract.

Stetson, S., Gray, J.E., Ridley, W.I., Wanty, R.B., and Macalady, D.L., 2009, Mercury stable isotope variability in ore, mine-waste calcine, and leachates of mine-waste calcine within a historical mercury mining district [abs.], in Proceedings of the Goldschmidt Conference, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, July, 2008: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 73 (13 Suppl.), p. A1274, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2009.05.015.

Stetson, S., Gray, J., Ridley, W.I., Wanty, R.B., Pribil, M., Wolf, R.E., and Macalady, D.L., 2008, Variation of Hg isotope ratios between cinnabar and its resulting calcines by multicollector ICP-MS with standard sample bracket correction [abs.], in Proceedings of the Goldschmidt Conference, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, July, 2008: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 72(12 Suppl.), p. A898, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2008.05.021.

Szynkiewicz, A., Goff, F., faiia, A.M., Vaniman, D.T., Subia, T., Sanchez, D., Coleman, J., and Pribil, M.J., 2015, Aqueous sulfur budget and oxidation of fumarolic H2S in the volcanic complex of Valles Caldera, New Mexico – Geochemical implications for Mars: 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, 16-20 March, 2015, The Woodslands, TX. View Szynkiewicz 2015 abstract. [PDF file, 216 KB]

Verplanck, P.L., 2015, A review of rare earth element ore-grade enrichment in carbonatites: The 13th biennial Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits, Nancy, France, August 24-27, 2015.

Verplanck P.L., Farmer G.L. Mariano A.N. and Verplanck E.P., 2015, Nd and Sr Isotopic Composition of Mineralized Carbonatites: The 31th International Conference on "Ore Potential of Alkaline, Kimberlite and Carbonatite Magmatism", Apatity, Russia, August 7-13, 2015.

Verplanck, P.L., Manning, A.H., Mast, M.A., Graves, J.T., Pribil, M., and Chapin, T., 2011, Determining the origin of portal discharge by underground sampling, the Standard Mine, Crested Butte, Colorado: The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Environmental Geoscience Conference, 21-24 June 2011, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom. (Keynote speaker, Invited).

Verplanck, P.L., Manning, A.H., Mast, M.A., Graves, J.T., and Pribil, M., 2010, Determining the origin of portal discharge by underground sampling, the Standard Mine, Crested Butte, Colorado: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 42, no. 5, p. 202. (Invited). View Verplanck 2010 GSA abstract.

Vikre, P.G., Premo, W.R., Hayden, L.A., Koenig, A.E., and Pribil, M.J., 2013, Sources of host rocks and hydrothermal mineral components in the Miocene Goldfield, tonopah, and Comstock Lode Au-Ag-(Cu) districts, NV: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 45, No. 7, p. 536. View Vikre 2013 GSA abstract.

Wanty, R.B., De Giudici, G., Onnis, P., Rutherford, D., Kimball, B.A., Podda, F., Cidu, R., Lattanzi, P., and Medas, D., 2013 Formation of a Low-Crystalline Zn-Silicate in a Stream in SW Sardinia, Italy: Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, 7 p.888-891, doi:10.1016/j.proeps.2013.03.030.

Wanty, R.B., De Giudici, G., Podda, F., Onnis, P., Rutherford, D., Cidu, R., Lattanzi, P., Medas, D., and Kimball, B.A., 2013, Biomineralization and Zn isotope fractionation in a mining-affected stream in SW Sardinia, Italy: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol. 45, No. 7, p. 383. View Wanty 2013 GSA abstract.

Wanty, R.B., De Giudici, G., Podda, F., Verplanck, P.L., Medas, D., Cidu, R., Lattanzi, P., and Kimball, B.A., 2014, Transport and Fate of Zinc in the Abandoned Mine District of Ingurtosu, Italy: A Mass- and Isotopic-Balance Approach: Goldschmidt Abstracts, 2015 2657. View Wanty Goldschmidt abstract.

Wanty, R.B., Podda, F., De Giudici, G., Cidu, R., Pribil, M., and Lattanzi, P., 2011, Zinc isotopic fractionation during hydrozincite precipitation, rio Naracauli, Sardinia, Italy, in Otero, N., Soler, A., and Audi, C., (eds.), Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium on Applied Isotope Geochemistry, Tarragona, Spain, 19-23 September 2011.

Wilson, S., Pribil, M., Koenig, A., Rutherford, D., and Neymark, L., 2015, BPbISO-1G, a synthetic geologic glass designed to facilitate lead isotopic analysis in geologic materials: Geoanalysis 2015, 9-14 August 2015, Leoben, Austria.

Witt III, E.C., Pribil, M.J., Hogan, J.P., Wronkiewicz, D.J., and Rutherford Jr., D.L., 2015, Isoptope and concentration constrained sources of Pb in fugitive dusts from unsurfaced roads in southeast, MO: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 47, No. 7, p. 299. View Witt 2015 GSA abstract.

Witt III, E.C., Pribil, M.J., Wronkiewicz, D.J., and Rutherford, D., 2014, Source apportionment of lead in fugitive dusts from unsurfaced roads in southeast, MO: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 46, No. 6, p. 391. View Witt 2014 GSA abstract.

Wörner, G., Harmon, R.S., Pribil, M.J., and Lyons, W.B., 2015, Silicate Weathering of Igneous Rocks, Elemental Mobility, and Sources of Chemical Solutes in Rivers of Panama: Goldschmidt Abstracts, 2015 3448. View Wörner 2015 Goldschmidt abstract.

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Project Contacts

Philip Verplanck
Phone: 303-236-1902
Email: plv@usgs.gov
Central Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center

Mineral Resources Program Science Priority

The use of firm, trade, and brand names is for identification purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. government.

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