SATURDAY MORNING PHYSICS
Volcanoes and Precious Metal Deposits: What is the Connection?
Volcanoes are a manifestation of a large scale recycling program wherein nature transfers elements among Earth's atmosphere, oceans, crust and mantle. One recognized byproduct of this complex recycling program is the formation of ore deposits rich in metals such as gold, silver and copper. While volcanoes are relatively common, metal-rich ore deposits are not. Thus, while geologists have a relatively good understanding of the processes that cause volcanoes to erupt, we do not yet have a comprehensive model that describes why some volcanic systems yield metal deposits and other do not. In this lecture, Professor Simon will describe the general characteristics of volcano-related metal ore deposits and how our science team combines field and experimental research to shed light on nature's recipe for ore deposit formation.