Magmas, fluids, faults and metals – re-assessing the controls on magmatic-hydrothermal W-Sn-Cu-As-Zn-Pb mineralisation and zonation associated with the Cornubian Batholith, SW England - Geology PhD studentship (NERC GW4+ DTP funded) Ref: 4023
About the award
Dr Robin Shail, University of Exeter, Cambourne School of Mines.
Professor Jamie Wilkinson, Natural History Museum.
Professor Dr Jens Andersen, University of Exeter, Camborne School of Mines.
Location: Penryn Campus, University of Exeter, Falmouth, Cornwall.
This project is one of a number that are in competition for funding from the NERC Great Western Four+ Doctoral Training Partnership (GW4+ DTP). The GW4+ DTP consists of the Great Western Four alliance of the University of Bath, University of Bristol, Cardiff University and the University of Exeter plus five Research Organisation partners: British Antarctic Survey, British Geological Survey, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the Natural History Museum and Plymouth Marine Laboratory. The partnership aims to provide a broad training in earth and environmental sciences, designed to train tomorrow’s leaders in earth and environmental science. For further details about the programme please see http://nercgw4plus.ac.uk/
For eligible successful applicants, the studentships comprises:
- An stipend for 3.5 years (currently £15,285 p.a. for 2020-21) in line with UK Research and Innovation rates
- Payment of university tuition fees;
- A research budget of £11,000 for an international conference, lab, field and research expenses;
- A training budget of £3,250 for specialist training courses and expenses.
- Up to £750 for travel and accomodation for compulsory cohort events.
SW England granites (Simons et al. 2016, 2017)
QEMSCAN image of polymetallic magmatic-hydrothermal mineralisation at Dolcoath Mine
The W-Sn-Cu-As-Zn-Pb ore field, centred upon the Early Permian Cornubian Batholith, is a global exemplar of magmatic-hydrothermal mineralisation associated with peraluminous granites and mineral zonation, where there is often a progressive change in dominant mineral assemblage with distance from the granite (W-Sn ± As proximal and Cu, Zn and Pb distal). Changes in source melting and differentiation control the broad distribution of granite types and metal prospectivity (Simons et al., 2017). But the heterogeneous distribution of metals and mineralisation styles around “emanative centres”, including the anomalous occurrence of substantial Cu with peraluminous granite, indicates a complex relationship between magmatism, separation of magmatic volatile phases, faulting and fluid mixing. The purpose of this project is to: (1) provide a state-of-the-art characterisation of the principal mineral parageneses and associated fluid types, and (2) evaluate the role of structurally controlled fluid migration and mixing on the distribution of these mineral assemblages and metals. The project is in collaboration with four CASE partners: Cornish Lithium, Cornwall Resources, Cornish Metals and Osprey Mining.
Project Aims and Methods:
The project is focussed upon the systematic analysis of melt and fluid inclusions in different granite types and mineralisation styles from across the SW England orefield. These will be used to determine: (1) the compositional variability of primary exsolved magmatic-hydrothermal fluids and their control by evolving melt compositions, and (2) the parameters controlling precipitation of ore metals from these solutions (e.g. cooling, phase separation, wall-rock reaction). Careful sample mineralogy and petrography, including SEM, QEMSCAN
and cathodoluminescence techniques, will underpin the fluid inclusion microanalysis using microthermometry and laser ablation ICP-MS. Isotopic analysis of minerals will be used to evaluate alternative models for the source and evolution of fluids. These data will be combined with the distribution of syn-magmatic fault systems and historical metal production, to provide a re-evaluation of the controls on mineralisation, mineral zonation and the origin of “emanative centres”. The project will utilise material from CASE partner drillcore and archive collections but will also include fieldwork in SW England.
We are looking for a well-qualified and highly motivated Earth Sciences/Geology graduate who wishes to carry out a PhD in mineralogy/petrology and economic geology. Excellence in geochemistry and mineralogy are essential; experience of microanalytical techniques and statistical data evaluation are desirable.
The four CASE partners are actively involved in mineral exploration and development across Cornwall. They will provide the student with an unparalleled insight into contemporary mineral exploration and access to diamond drill cores for sampling and relevant assay and historical production data showing distribution of metals within fault-controlled vein systems (lodes).
The student will spend 80% of their time at the University of Exeter (UoE) where they will be based for their fieldwork and receive training in GIS / sample collection / preparation, transmitted / reflected microscopy, SEM / QEMSCAN (automated SEM), cathodluminescence, electron probe microanalysis and preliminary microthermometric evaluation of inclusion fluids. The student will spend 10% of their time at the NHM where they will receive training in laser ablation ICP-MS analysis of granite melt inclusions and inclusion fluids in granite-hosted magmatic quartz and inclusion fluids in representative hydrothermal vein parageneses.
Background reading and references:
Simons, B.J., Shail, R.K. & Andersen, J. 2016. The petrogenesis of the Early Permian Variscan granites of the Cornubian Batholith: Lower plate post-collisional peraluminous magmatism in the Rhenohercynian Zone of SW England. Lithos, 260, 76-94. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lithos.2016.05.010
Simons, B.J., Andersen, J.C.Ø., Shail, R.K. & Jenner, F.E. 2017. Fractionation of Li, Be, Ga, Nb, Ta, In, Sn, Sb, W and Bi in the peraluminous Early Permian Variscan granites of the Cornubian Batholith: precursor processes to magmatic-hydrothermal mineralisation. Lithos, 278-281, 491-512. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lithos.2017.02.007
Wilkinson, J.J., Stoffell, B., Wilkinson, C.C., Jeffries, T.E. & Appold, M.S. 2009. Anomalously metal-rich fluids form hydrothermal ore deposits. Science, 323, 764-767. http://doi.org/10.1126/science.116443.
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How to apply
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The closing date for applications is Friday 8 January 2021 2359 GMT . Interviews will be held between 8th and 19th February 2021. For more information about the NERC GW4+ DPT please visit https://nercgw4plus.ac.uk
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|Application deadline:||8th January 2021|
|Value:||£15,285 per annum for 2020-21|
|Duration of award:||per year|
|Contact: PGR Enquiriesemail@example.com|