Three-dimensional morphology of magmatic sulfides sheds light on ore formation and sulfide melt migration
Stephen Barnes et al., CSIRO Exploration and Mining, P.O. Box 1130, Bentley 6102, Western Australia, Australia. Pages 655-658.
Due to high demand for nickel from China and a prolonged period of high prices, the nickel mining industry is currently experiencing a major boom. Previously sub-economic, low-grade nickel deposits, such as those found at Mount Keith and Black Swan in Western Australia, are now being mined profitably. The nickel ores take the form of dispersed aggregates of nickel-iron sulfide minerals, which originally formed as immiscible liquid droplets within spectacularly hot, fluid magmas called komatiites. Barnes et al. have applied the technique of X-ray computed tomography (CAT or CT scanning), common in medical applications, to investigate the size and shape of these sulphide liquid droplets, and they have come to unexpected conclusions about the origins of the ore deposits. The application of a new generation of high-resolution CT instruments to rock textures is a promising development in the earth sciences.
Anomalous cold in the Pangaean tropics
Gerilyn Soreghan et al., University of Oklahoma, Geology and G
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Geological Society of America