Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Modeling magma to find copper

13.01.2017

Copper is an essential element of our society with main uses in the field of electricity and electronics. About 70% of the copper comes from deposits formed several million years ago during events of magma degassing within the Earth's crust just above subduction zones.

Despite similar ore forming processes, the size of these deposits can vary orders of magnitude from one place to another, the main reason of which has remained unclear.


This is an activ magmatic system.

Credit: ©UNIGE

A new study led by researchers from the Universities of Geneva (UNIGE, Switzerland) and the Saint-Etienne (France), to be published in Scientific Reports, suggests that the answer may come from the volume of magma emplaced in the crust and proposes an innovative method to better explore these deposits.

Magmas formed above subduction zones contain important amount of water that is essentially degassed during volcanic eruptions or upon magma cooling and solidification at depth.

The water escaping from the crystallizing magma at several kilometers below surface carries most of the copper initially dissolved in the magma. On its way toward the surface the magmatic fluids cool and deposit copper in the fractured rocks forming giant metal deposits such as those exploited along the Andean Cordillera.

By modeling the process of magma degassing, the researchers could reproduce the chemistry of the fluids that form metal deposits.

"Comparing the model results with available data from known copper deposits, we could link the timescales of magma emplacement and degassing in the crust, the volume of magma, and the size of the deposit", explains Luca Caricchi, researcher at the UNIGE.

The scientists also propose a new method to estimate the size of the deposits, based on high-precision geochronology, one of the specialties of the Department of Earth Sciences in UNIGE's Science Faculty.

This technique is a new add-in in the prospector toolbox with the possibility to identify deposits with the best potential, early in the long and costly process of mineral exploration.

It is anticipated that the computational approach developed in this study can also provide important insights on the role of magma degassing as a potential trigger for volcanic eruptions.

Media Contact

Luca Caricchi
Luca.caricchi@unige.ch
41-223-796-630

 @UNIGEnews

http://www.unige.ch 

Luca Caricchi | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: COPPER electricity eruptions magma subduction zones volcanic volcanic eruptions

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>