Christopher Mattinson (Geological Sciences)
The demand for new technologies and clean energy sources has brought an increase in demand for mineral resources to supply the elements needed. Sulfide minerals are the source of many economically significant elements, such as copper, and are thought to be concentrated by a combination of deep and shallow processes. However, the role of processes deep in Earth’s crust is not well known compared to shallower processes. The Chelan Migmatite Complex is located in the North Cascades near Chelan, Washington and has a multistage history spanning both deep and shallow processes. Preliminary results for a sample recording the deep stages of the geologic history shows an early stage with abundant pyrite (FeS2) containing minor inclusions of chalcopyrite (CuFeS2), with a later stage associated with the replacement of sulfide minerals by magnetite (Fe3O4). These observations suggest that the concentration of copper occurs at the earliest stages of the geologic history, which occurred approximately 30 km deep in the crust. The next stages of my research will further characterize mineral abundances and compositions, as well as compare the relations of samples recording varying depths across the multistage history.
Keywords: Cascades, Sulfides, Mineral Resources