Alteration and mineralisation of the oceanic crust

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Alteration of the oceanic crust and associated economic mineralisation exerts a crucial control on the composition of seawater and the deep subduction cycle of trace elements and volatiles.  This study will exploit electron microprobe and 40Ar-39Ar geochronological methodologies to measure halogens (Cl, Br, I) and noble gases (He, Ne, Ar, Kr, Xe) in ophiolite samples.  Depending on the students interests vein and wall rock samples can be collected from field locations in Cyprus, or IODP core repositories, in the first year of the project with a focus on either seafloor alteration or mineralisation.  The samples will be used to investigate fluid processes in oceanic crust, and the storage capacity of the hydrated oceanic crust for trace volatiles such as halogens and noble gases.  The results will shed new light on the roles of phase separation and fluid-rock interaction in the generation of high salinity brines, commonly preserved as fluid inclusions in vein samples, the formation of VMS ore deposits and help answer fundamental questions about the subduction flux of trace volatiles into the mantle.  

For more information about this potential research topic, or to discuss any related research area, please contact the supervisor.

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