Golden plumes: Substantial gold enrichment of oceanic crust during ridge-plume interaction

Posted By News On November 17, 2012 - 3:27pm
Golden plumes: Substantial gold enrichment of oceanic crust during ridge-plume interaction

This article shows that mantle plumes -- hot, upwelling portions of the Earth's mantle -- create large quantities of gold-rich crust when they are melted. These gold-rich rocks contain up to 13 times the amount of gold in normal crust.

This means that crust created from mantle plumes represent a rich source of gold and other metals which could be incorporated into mineral deposits. As such, mineral deposits created by sourcing metals from such rocks may be larger or occur more frequently than deposits formed from normal crust.

It follows that areas of the Earth's surface formed from the melting of mantle plumes might be highly prospective for gold deposits.

This is a wind scoop near Union Glacier camp in West Antarctica; photo by Lucas Zoet, taken during a seismic deployment as part of the POLENET project. See related paper, "Accelerated subglacial erosion in response to stick-slip motion," by Zoet et al.

(Photo Credit: Photo by Lucas Zoet)

A.P. Webber et al., School of Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton, National Oceanography Centre, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK. Posted online 19 October 2012; doi: 10.1130/G33301.1.

by Zoet et al.

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