Venue: London, United Kingdom and Antofagasta, Chile
Travel report by David Mole
Thanks to Geoconferences (WA) Inc. and the JH Lord Travel Grant I was able to attend two conferences in September 2011:
- The first was the Fermor Meeting, held at the Geological Society of London in the UK, which was focused on ‘Ore deposits in an evolving Earth’. Here I presented a paper on ‘Komatiite volcanism: Lithospheric controls on the Earth’s hottest melts and implications for associated Ni-Cu-PGE deposits’.
- The second was the SGA2011 (Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits) meeting in Antofagasta, Chile, with a large program covering ore deposits at multiple scales. I presented a paper on ‘Lithospheric Controls on Mineral Systems’ in the ‘Large Scale Controls on Ore Genesis’ session.
My work is specifically looking at how evolving lithospheric architecture controls the localisation of komatiites and their associated Ni-Cu-PGE deposits. Western Australia provides the perfect natural laboratory for this research as the Yilgarn Craton contains mineralised komatiites at ~2.9 Ga and ~2.7 Ga. Using granites and felsic volcanics proximal to these areas it is possible to constrain the isotopic character of the lithosphere through time, and as a result understand whether the history and architecture of the lithosphere is important in the location and character of volcanism, and if it is, the reasons behind that control.
These conferences provided ideal platforms to present my work and get constructive criticism on my progress and interpretations. The first conference in London was more academic in nature, and the title ‘ore deposits in an evolving Earth’ couldn’t have been more appropriate for my study. Attendees at this conference looked at my work from an analytical and Earth evolution standpoint. In a healthy contrast, The SGA conference in Chile was heavily ore deposit and industry focused. As a result attendees looked at my work from an ore deposit/economic geology stand point. As a result the combination of these two conferences allowed my work to be accessed, displayed and criticised in two different scientific environments, which can only be of benefit to the quality of my thesis.
Attending these conferences was hugely beneficial as I was able to interact and share my research findings with leading geo-scientists in the fields of Earth evolution and economic geology. I received invaluable feedback and was able to gain knowledge and draw analogies from a number of other studies with similar scope, scale and ideologies as my own.
In summary, these conferences were both a resounding success and personally rewarding to both myself and my research. Again I would like to thank Geoconferences for the JH Lord travel grant and helping promote my research findings on Western Australian geology throughout the world.