The geochemistry of platinum group elements in felsic rocks

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The concentration of PGEs in felsic rocks is very low and below the detection limit of existing analytical techniques. We have developed a new method that allows us to make the first measurements of PGE concentrations in felsic rocks.

This is virgin territory and the student would study the distribution of PGEs in classic suites of igneous rock such as the ilmenite and magnetite series in Japan and the one of the classic 'I-type' suites in Australia. The PGEs partition very strongly into sulphides and can therefore be used to monitor sulphide saturation in melts, which has important implications for whether a given felsic system can evolve to produce an economic gold or copper deposit.

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