Kevin L. Shelton Zoned saddle dolomite crystals Research

y recent and ongoing research addresses basic scientific questions regarding transport and deposition of metals in a wide variety of hydrothermal systems. In many cases, economic geologists perform detailed studies of individual ore deposits and extrapolate their results regionally, without ever looking at the large volumes of unmineralized rocks through which the ore fluids flowed. To provide a context within which to place studies of individual ore deposits/ore districts, I use geochemical and stable isotopic tools to

  • define fluid source regions,
  • identify fluid flow pathways,
  • reconstruct fluid-rock reactions along pathways, and
  • determine mechanisms of ore precipitation, with the goal of developing predictive models for ore deposit formation.

My research group is currently focusing on three main themes:

(1) Reconstructing fluid flow in Paleozoic carbonate rocks (Ireland-Isle of Man and U.S. Midcontinent) that are associated with processes of dolomitization and lead-zinc-copper ore formation,

(2) Determining the origin of high-grade scheelite-quartz veins in the Canadian Northwest Territories and their relationship to regional gold-silver metallogeny, and

(3) Developing geochemical models for the formation of giant gold deposits in greenstone belts (Abitibi and Yellowknife, Canada).

Research Projects

1 - Recognizing ore-related hydrothermal fluids outside of mineralized areas: A regional study of fluid inclusion microthermometry-halogen geochemistry of dolomites in the Irish Zn-Pb ore field (recent MU Ph.D. student Aaron Johnson). See abstract and images.

2 - Relationship of evaporites to brine migration and carbonate-hosted Zn-Pb mineralization in the Lower Carboniferous of southeastern Ireland (recent co-advised UMR M.S. student Stephen Becker). See images.

3 - Facies architecture and diagenesis of the Lower Carboniferous shallow marine carbonate rocks of the Irish Midlands: Implications for the fluid-flow system and mineralization (recent co-advised UMR Ph.D. student Zsolt Nagy). See images.

4 - Fluid inclusion halogen - sulfur isotope systematics in the Viburnum Trend MVT district, MO: Evidence of fluid mixing throughout dolomitization and Cu-Zn-Pb sulfide ore deposition (senior honors thesis of recent MU undergraduate Ry Stone and potential available MS-PhD project). See abstract and images.

5 - Deciphering the complex fluid history of a greenstone-hosted gold deposit: Fluid inclusion and stable isotope studies of the Giant mine, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada (MU M.S. Todd McMenamy). See abstract and images.

6 - Geochemical studies of dolomites and vein-hosted mineralization in eastern Ireland and the Isle of Man: Understanding their relationship to regional Zn-Pb mineralizing flow systems (honors thesis of current MU Senior John Truesdale). See images.

7 - Geochemical studies of hydrothermal veins in tungsten deposits of the Northwest Territories and their relationship to regional Au-Ag metallogeny. See abstract and images.

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last revised: spring 2007
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