Past Research Project

T.S. Ercit © T.S. Ercit

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Backscattered-electron image of complexly zoned and twinned wodginite-lithiowodginite, Tanco pegmatite, Bernic Lake, Manitoba.

The Evolution of Geological Environments: Trace Elements, Accessory Minerals and Granitic Pegmatites. High pressures and temperatures turn solid rock into molten rock (magma). There is still a lot to be discovered about the nature of those intense environmental conditions, and of how the magmas evolve to form the floors of oceans, the roots of mountains and deposits of valuable metals and minerals. This work focuses on granites and granitic pegmatites, rocks that represent highly acidic magma chemistry. These rocks are an environmental record of melting at various depths within Earth's crust. During their evolution they sometimes form exotic and economic deposits of rare metals (e.g., tantalum, niobium, lithium, beryllium and rare-earth elements). Studies concentrating on the chemistry of these minerals allow us to trace the evolution of their hosts, and to develop tools and models to determine how these elements behave during the generation and evolution of acidic magmas.

Principal investigator: Scott Ercit.