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Metamorphic Methane and Gold Mineralization in the Otago Schist

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.

Details

Academic background
Sciences
Host campus
Dunedin
Qualification
Master’s
Department
Geology
Supervisors
Dr Mike Palin, Associate Professor Greg Holk (California State University)

Overview

Metamorphism of sedimentary rocks involves the release of water-rich, carbon- and sulfur-bearing fluids. Such fluids play essential roles in the long-term carbon cycle, deformation of the crust, and formation of gold deposits. This project will examine the stable isotopes of hydrogen and carbon – the two most abundant volatile elements in metamorphic fluids – in the Otago Schist across metamorphic grade.

Metamorphic Methane

Preliminary results confirm that systematic hydrogen isotope shifts are observed with increasing extent of volatile loss and metamorphic grade. These findings suggest release of methane rather than water at low grades. They also predict carbon and hydrogen isotope alteration halos around pathways of metamorphic fluid escape from higher grades  – possibly including structures that host gold mineralization.

Recommended preparation includes the Otago Geology courses GEOLx62 and GEOLx74.

Contact

Mike Palin
Email   michael.palin@otago.ac.nz