Marine Regions releases version 11 of the Maritime Boundaries
It’s out! Marine Regions newest version of the Maritime Boundaries is now ready for download. Version 11 includes United Nations standard country codes and is updated with new treaties. This GIS data includes territorial limits and Exclusive Economic Boundaries. Essential data if you have an offshore interest.
The United Nations Standard Codes (or M49 codes) and ISO country codes per territory and sovereign have been included in the attribute tables of the Exclusive Economic Zones, the 12 & 24 Nautical Miles zones, the Internal and the Archipelagic Waters.
Now Maritime Boundaries are centered in the Pacific Ocean. These new 0 to 360° products make your life easier when you need to work in regions where the longitude is near 180°.
Fertility Indicators of Magmatic and Hydrothermal Systems
8:30am – 1:00pm, Monday 27th of May 2019 Australian Resources Research Centre (ARRC) 26 Dick Perry Avenue, Kensington, WA 6151
Discovery of new deposits is costly and challenging, particularly when exploration is now moving under cover and being more predictive can be the immediate key to discovery. Chemical fingerprinting and fertility assessment of rocks and minerals related to potential exploration targets at different scales have gained a lot of momentum in the last decade. In this workshop leading geoscientists from industry, government and academia share the latest advances in fertility indicators of magmatic and hydrothermal systems, which have the potential to lead to Tier 1 discovery in the future..
08:00 – 08:30 Registrations
08:30 – 08:40 Introduction
08:40 – 09:20 Steve Rowins (CET) An apatite for exploration: the use of detrital minerals and soil geochemistry in the search for buried mineralisation
09:20 – 10:00 Yongjun Lu (GSWA) Zircon fingerprinting of magmatic-hydrothermal systems in Archean Craton and Phanerozoic terranes
10:00 – 10:40 Matt Loader (Natural History Museum, UK) Zircon and apatite as indicators of porphyry Cu deposit fertility
10:40 – 11:10 Morning Tea
11:10 – 11:50 Louise Schoneveld (CSIRO) Indicator minerals for magmatic Ni-Cu sulphide mineralisation
11:50 – 12:30 Paul Agnew (Rio Tinto) Porphyry Fertility – An industry perspective
The conference will address advances and breakthroughs in understanding the setting, genesis and characteristics of magmatic systems related to Sn-W-Critical Metal mineralisation, including Rare Metal Pegmatites. The program will feature presentations from world-class researchers in the field, including:
Rolf Romer (GFZ, Potsdam, Germany)
Jingwen Mao (Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing, China)
Shao-Yong Jiang (China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China)
Dr Phillip Blevin (Mineral Systems, Geological Survey of NSW, Maitland, Australia)
Zhaoshan Chang (Colorado School of Mines, Denver, USA)
David Cooke (CODES, Hobart, University of Tasmania)
Dr Peter Pollard (Pollard Geological Services, Brisbane, Australia)
Dr Yanbo Cheng (EGRU, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia)
See you at the event – should be well worth attending. If anyone is interested in a little pre-confernece rainforest hiking for 2-3 days before the event – message me.
A recent paper in Science authored Ilya Bobrovskiy, Janet Hope and colleagues from ANU, the Russian Academy and European institutions has remarkably (and convincingly) discovered molecules of fat in Dickinsonia, a marine genus of the Ediacaran biota.
This has confirmed that the 558 million year old Dickinsonia is the earliest animal in the geological record and maybe a presursor to – you!
The strange creature called Dickinsonia, which grew up to 1.4 metres in length and was oval shaped with rib-like segments running along its body, was part of the Ediacara Biota that lived on Earth 20 million years prior to the ‘Cambrian explosion’ of modern animal life. The Ediacara biota are a diverse assemblage of macroscopic body forms that appear in the sedimentary rock record between 570 million and 541 million years ago. First recognized in Namibia and Australia, these remarkable organisms have since been found in Russia, China, Canada, Great Britain, and other regions. Although they immediately preceded the rapid appearance and diversification of animals in the Cambrian (541 million to 485 million years ago), their position within the tree of life has long been a puzzle. Some Ediacaran fossils appear segmented, but most lack obvious characters such as appendages, a mouth, or a gut that might link them to animal clades.
Prior to this study Dikinsonia affinities were unknown and while its mode of growth is consistent with a bilaterian affinity some thought that it belong to to the fungi, or even an “extinct kingdom”
Bobrovskiy et al. conducted an analysis using lipid biomarkers obtained from Dickinsonia fossils and found that the fossils contained almost exclusively cholesteroids, a marker found only in animals. Thus, Dickinsoniawere basal animals. This supports the idea that the Ediacaran biota may have been a precursor to the explosion of animal forms later observed in the Cambrian, about 500 million years ago.
Obtaining evidence of cholesteroids first involved finding exceptionally well preserved fossils. The Dikinsonia fossils used in this study came from a narrow strata in the remote White Sea are of Russia.
Lead senior researcher Associate Professor Jochen Brocks said the ‘Cambrian explosion’ was when complex animals and other macroscopic organisms—such as molluscs, worms, arthropods and sponges—began to dominate the fossil record.
“The fossil fat molecules that we’ve found prove that animals were large and abundant 558 million years ago, millions of years earlier than previously thought,” said Associate Professor Jochen Brocks from the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences.
“Scientists have been fighting for more than 75 years over what Dickinsonia and other bizarre fossils of the Edicaran Biota were: giant single-celled amoeba, lichen, failed experiments of evolution or the earliest animals on Earth. The fossil fat now confirms Dickinsonia as the oldest known animal fossil, solving a decades-old mystery that has been the Holy Grail of palaeontology.”
The enigmatic Ediacara biota (571 million to 541 million years ago) represents the first macroscopic complex organisms in the geological record and may hold the key to our understanding of the origin of animals. Ediacaran macrofossils are as “strange as life on another planet” and have evaded taxonomic classification, with interpretations ranging from marine animals or giant single-celled protists to terrestrial lichens. Here, we show that lipid biomarkers extracted from organically preserved Ediacaran macrofossils unambiguously clarify their phylogeny. Dickinsonia and its relatives solely produced cholesteroids, a hallmark of animals. Our results make these iconic members of the Ediacara biota the oldest confirmed macroscopic animals in the rock record, indicating that the appearance of the Ediacara biota was indeed a prelude to the Cambrian explosion of animal life.
Just received the above titled book from Elsevier for review. I had the great pleasure of spending some time in the field in Myanmar with Andrew Mitchell in 2017 and this important contribution by him is a remarkable testament to his life’s work. He has enormous knowledge of the geology and mineral deposits of Myanmar and that is obvious in this text.
I will be undertaking a chapter-by-chapter review of the text over the coming 6 weeks or so and posting here. A quick review: The text is well written, beautifully presented and the numerous maps provide new geological insights. As a largely personal contribution this is an unusual work and will be important to minerals industry professionals and researchers and importantly, geoscience educators in Myanmar.
Geological Belts, Plate Boundaries and Mineral Deposits in Myanmar arms readers with a comprehensive overview of the geography, geology, mineral potential and tectonic plate activity of Myanmar. The book focuses on the nature and history of the structural belts and terranes of Myanmar, with particular emphasis on the mineral deposits and their relationship to stratigraphy and structure. The country has a long history of plate tectonic activity, and the most recent plate movements relate to the northward movement of the India plate as it collides with Asia. Both of these are responsible for the earthquakes which frequently occur, making the country a geologically dynamic region. Additionally, Myanmar is rich in mineral and petroleum potential and the site of some of Southeast Asia’s largest faults. However, many geoscientists are only recently becoming familiar with Myanmar due to previous political issues. Some of these barriers have been removed and there is emerging international interest in the geology and mineral deposits of Myanmar. This book collates this essential information in one complete resource. Geological Belts, Plate Boundaries and Mineral Deposits in Myanmar is an essential reference for economic geologists, mineralogists, petroleum geologists, and seismologists, as well as geoscience instructors and students taking related coursework.
Remarkably the ESA Swarm satellite constellation data has yielded evidence of a very weak but not unsurprising magnetic field generated by the movement of planetary scale oceanic currents. The signal strength is however exceedingly weak and being 20,000 times less than the lithospheric signature took four years of data to elucidate.
When salty ocean water flows through Earth’s magnetic field, an electric current is generated, and this, in turn, induces a magnetic signal. However, the field generated by tides is tiny and extremely difficult to measure – but Swarm has done just this in remarkable detail. (see the above video).
Nils Olsen, from the Technical University of Denmark, said, “We have used Swarm to measure the magnetic signals of tides from the ocean surface to the seabed, which gives us a truly global picture of how the ocean flows at all depths – and this is new.
“Since oceans absorb heat from the air, tracking how this heat is being distributed and stored, particularly at depth, is important for understanding our changing climate.
“In addition, because this tidal magnetic signal also induces a weak magnetic response deep under the seabed, these results will be used to learn more about the electrical properties of Earth’s lithosphere and upper mantle.”
ESA has just released the most detail magnetic data on the lithosphere from its Swarm three satellite constellation. Launched on 22 November 2013, Swarm is the fourth in a series of pioneering Earth Explorer research missions, following on from GOCE, SMOS and CryoSat. Is also ESA’s first constellation of satellites to advance our understanding of how Earth works.
This is the most detailed map ever of the tiny magnetic signals generated by Earth’s lithosphere. The map, a video of which is seen here. The data is being used to understand more about Earth’s geological history, is thanks to four years’ of measurements from ESA’s trio of Swarm satellites, historical data from the German CHAMP satellite and observations from ships and aircraft.
Erwan Thebault from the University of Nantes in France said, “This is the highest resolution model of the lithospheric magnetic field ever produced. “With a scale of 250 km, we can see structures in the crust like never before. And, we have gained even finer detail in some parts of the crust, such as beneath Australia, where measurements from aircraft have mapped at resolution of 50 km.
“This combined use of satellite and near-surface measurements gives us a new understanding of the crust beneath our feet, and will be of enormous value to science.”
Most of Earth’s magnetic field is generated deep within the outer core by an ocean of superheated, swirling liquid iron, but there are also much weaker sources of magnetism. The Swarm constellation has been used to yield some discoveries about these more elusive signals, such as that from Earth’s lithosphere. A small fraction of the magnetic field comes from magnetised rocks in the upper lithosphere, which includes Earth’s rigid crust and upper mantle. This lithospheric magnetic field is very weak and therefore difficult to detect from space. As new oceanic crust is created through volcanic activity, iron-rich minerals in the upwelling magma are oriented to magnetic north at the time and solidified as the magma cools. Since magnetic poles flip back and forth over time, the solidified magma due to mantle upwelling at mid-oceanic ridges forms magnetic ‘stripes’ on the seafloor which provide a record of Earth’s magnetic history. These magnetic imprints on the ocean floor can be used as a sort of time machine, allowing past field changes to be reconstructed and showing the movement of tectonic plates from hundreds of million years ago until the present day.
This paper in the latest edition of Economic Geology by Ágnes Takács, Ferenc Molnár, Judit Turi, Aberra Mogessie, John C. Menzies examines the evolution of the outcropping epithermal mineralisation at Recsk in Hungary. The epithermal deposit sits close to the apex of a large intrusive body which does not outcrop but was defined by systematic diamond drilling to 1,200 metres over a 35km2 area. While the outcropping HS epithermal mineralisation was sporadically mined, the unexposed porphyry and related skarns and replacement bodies was not exploited. The deeper mineralisation has been evaluated with 156,000 metres of drilling from surface and 90,000 metres of diamond drilling from underground development on two levels accessible via two 1200 metre deep, 8 metre internal diameter concrete lined shafts. There is considerable potential for the discovery of both additional mineralised bodies (this paper suggests an as yet undiscovered intrusive to the north of the known body) and extensive skarn mineralisation around the periphery of the intrusion.
Largely uneroded porphyry-skarn-epithermal metallogenic system of Paleogene age in a subduction-related magmatic hydrothermal environment within the Alpine-Carpathian region
Paleogene diorite intrusions and Mesozoic carbonate and silicic shale host rocks contain Cu(-Mo-Au)-porphyry, Cu-Zn(-Fe) skarn, and metasomatic Pb-Zn (carbonate replacement) mineralization from ~400- to at least 1,200-m depth below the surface.
Three stages of ore formation
Stage 1: Ore deposition in the porphyry-epithermal transition zone (pyrite, chalcopyrite, tennantite-tetrahedrite, galena, sphalerite; 260°–230°C; logfs2~–11 to –9; logfTe2~ –19 to –14)
Stage 2: High- and very high sulfidation state mineralization from tellurium-saturated fluids (e.g., enargite, luzonite, pyrite, native gold, calaverite, hessite, aikinite-bismuthinite; 240°–170°C; logfS2~–7 to –11; logfTe2~–14.8 to –10.5)
Stage 3: Late-stage mineralization from tellurium-oversaturated, locally oxidized fluids of an intermediate-sulfidation state (e.g., tennantite-goldfieldite, pyrite, hessite, petzite, native tellurium, kawa-zulite; logfs2~–11 to –15.5; logfTe2 ≥ –10.5)
The Recsk ore complex is an example of a largely uneroded porphyry-skarn-epithermal metallogenic system in a subduction-related magmatic hydrothermal environment within the Alpine-Carpathian region. Paleogene diorite intrusions and Mesozoic carbonate and silicic shale host rocks contain Cu(-Mo-Au)-porphyry, Cu-Zn(-Fe) skarn, and metasomatic Pb-Zn (carbonate replacement) mineralization from ~400- to at least 1,200-m depth below the surface. The Mesozoic sedimentary rocks are unconformably overlain by a stratovolcanic sequence of andesitic to dacitic composition that hosts epithermal Cu-Au-Ag and Au-Ag-Pb-Zn mineralization. This study focuses on the shallow high-sulfidation epithermal Cu-Au-Ag mineralization exposed and exploited on Lahóca Hill. The ore mineralogy combined with the microthermometry of quartz- and enargite-hosted fluid inclusions suggest three stages of the ore formation: (1) early-stage ore deposition in the porphyry-epithermal transition zone (pyrite, chalcopyrite, tennantite-tetrahedrite, galena, sphalerite; 260°–230°C; logfs2~–11 to –9; logfTe2~ –19 to –14); (2) high- and very high sulfidation state mineralization from tellurium-saturated fluids (e.g., enargite, luzonite, pyrite, native gold, calaverite, hessite, aikinite-bismuthinite; 240°–170°C; logfS2~–7 to –11; logfTe2~–14.8 to –10.5); and (3) late-stage mineralization from tellurium-oversaturated, locally oxidized fluids of an intermediate-sulfidation state (e.g., tennantite-goldfieldite, pyrite, hessite, petzite, native tellurium, kawa-zulite; logfs2~–11 to –15.5; logfTe2 ≥ –10.5). The observed differences in ore mineral assemblages and trace element compositions of sulfides reflect the temporal and spatial evolution of the ore-forming hydrothermal system. Results of fluid inclusion microthermometry performed by conventional and infrared-light microscopy and Raman spectroscopic studies support a model with lateral flow of shallow hydrothermal fluids. The spatial distribution of paleotemperature data within the high-sulfidation portion of the ore deposit suggests that the fluid flow system is offset from the closest apex of the related mineralized porphyry stock. This could be due to structural complexity related to syn- to postmineralization tectonism and/or due to the presence of an undiscovered intrusion to the north of the known mineralized stock.
Here is a brief paper, by Ralica Sabeva Vassilka Mladenova and Aberra Mogessie on the gold deposits around the small western Bulgarian town of Breznik. I acquired this project for Euromax Resources Limited back in 2003 and we explored this until my departure in 2010. A rather nice intermediate sulphidation gold deposit which has now had the necessary fluid inclusion and sulphur isotope work conducted by Bulgarian and Austrian researchers.
Our intention while I was CEO was to devleop this deposit using adits and an internal winze. .
Situated in the Late Cretaceous 80-100km wide Apuseni-Banat-Timok-Srednogorie (ABTS) magmatic and metallogenic belt;
The deposit is hosted by altered trachybasalt to andesitic trachybasalt volcanic and volcanoclastic rocks;
2.4 Mt at 5.91 g/t Au and of 26.78 g/t Ag, the probable reserves and resources are 13.1 tonnes of gold and 59.5 tonnes of silver;
Strike of 400-1000 metres and widths of cms up to 15 metres;
Temperature of formation ~238 to 273°C, salinity of 3.7-6.6% and δ34S average of 1.350/00 suggestive of a magmatic sulphur source;
Fluid evolution from a low sulphidation through later intermediate (precious metals) stage.
The Milin Kamak gold-silver deposit is located in Western Srednogorie zone, 50 km west of Sofia, Bulgaria. This zone belongs to the Late Cretaceous Apuseni-Banat-Timok-Srednogorie magmatic and metallogenic belt. The deposit is hosted by altered trachybasalt to andesitic trachybasalt volcanic and volcanoclastic rocks with Upper Cretaceous age, which are considered to be products of the Breznik paleovolcano. Milin Kamak is the first gold-silver intermediate sulfidation type epithermal deposit recognized in Srednogorie zone in Bulgaria. It consists of eight ore zones with lengths ranging from 400 to 1000 m, widths from several cm to 3–4 m, rarely to 10–15 m, an average of 80–90 m depth (a maximum of 200 m) and dip steeply to the south. The average content of gold is 5.04 g/t and silver – 13.01 g/t. The styles of alteration are propylitic, sericite, argillic, and advanced argillic. Ore mineralization consists of three stages. Quartz-pyrite stage I is dominated by quartz, euhedral to subhedral pyrite, trace pyrrhotite and hematite in the upper levels of the deposit. Quartz-polymetallic stage II is represented by major anhedral pyrite, galena, Fe-poor sphalerite; minor chalcopyrite, tennantite, bournonite, tellurides and electrum; and trace pyrrhotite, arsenopyrite, marcasite. Gangue minerals are quartz and carbonates. The carbonate-gold stage III is defined by deposition of carbonate minerals and barite with native gold and stibnite.
Fluid inclusions in quartz are liquid H2O-rich with homogenization temperature (Th) ranging from 238 to 345 °C as the majority of the measurements are in the range 238–273 °C. Ice-melting temperatures (Tm) range from −2.2 to −4.1 °C, salinity – from 3.7 to 6.6 wt.% NaCl equiv. These measurements imply an epithermal environment and low- to moderate salinity of the ore-forming fluids.
δ34S values of pyrite range from −0.49 to +2.44‰. The average calculated δ34S values are 1.35‰. The total range of δ34S values for pyrite are close to zero suggesting a magmatic source for the sulfur.
Breznik a Centre of Local Culture & Spectacular Kukeri Festival
Breznik is a delightful small town in western Bulgaria and well worth a visit.
In the middle of winter across the Balkans, Kukeri festivals allow for mid-winter celebrations.
Kukeri are elaborately costumed Bulgarian men (and some wonen) who perform traditional rituals intended to scare away evil spirits. Closely related traditions are found throughout the Balkans and Greece (including Romania and the Pontus). The costumes cover most of the body and include decorated wooden masks of animals (sometimes double-faced) and large bells attached to the belt. Around New Year and before Lent, the kukeri walk and dance through villages to scare away evil spirits with their costumes and the sound of their bells. They are also believed to provide a good harvest, health, and happiness to the village during the year. The custom is generally thought to be related to the Thracian Dionysos cult in the wider area of Thracia. (after Wikipedia)
Italicized text from: The Australian, August 24, 2017
Australian research suggests climate modellers have underestimated a natural “thermostat” that helps alleviate the rise in temperatures: immense quantities of reflective compounds, emitted by marine microbes, that act like a handbrake on global warming.
The study, published by the American Meteorological Society, suggests an overlooked source of these so-called aerosols — algae living in ice — could jam the handbrake on even harder. Lead author Albert Gabric said with the Arctic expected to see ice-free summers within a decade, far more of the aerosols would be emitted.
We examine the relationship between sea ice dynamics, phytoplankton biomass and emissions of marine biogenic aerosols in both Arctic and Southern Oceans.
Accurate estimation of the climate sensitivity requires a better understanding of the nexus between polar marine ecosystem responses to warming, changes in sea ice extent and emissions of marine biogenic aerosol (MBA). Sea ice brine channels contain very high concentrations of MBA precursors that once ventilated have the potential to alter cloud microphysical properties, such as cloud droplet number, and the regional radiative energy balance. In contrast to temperate latitudes, where the pelagic phytoplankton are major sources of MBAs, the seasonal sea ice dynamic plays a key role in determining MBA concentration in both the Arctic and Antarctic. We review the current knowledge of MBA sources and the link between ice melt and emissions of aerosol precursors in the polar oceans. We illustrate the processes by examining decadal scale time series in various satellite-derived parameters such as aerosol optical depth (AOD), sea ice extent and phytoplankton biomass in the sea ice zones of both hemispheres. The sharpest gradients in aerosol indicators occur during the spring period of ice melt. In sea ice covered waters, the peak in AOD occurs well before the annual maximum in biomass in both hemispheres. The results provide strong evidence that suggests seasonal changes in sea ice and ocean biology are key drivers of the polar aerosol cycle. The positive trend in annual mean Antarctic sea ice extent is now almost one-third of the magnitude of the annual mean decrease in Arctic sea ice, suggesting the potential for different patterns of aerosol emissions in the future.
“Whether that can slow the rate of warming of the Arctic is the trillion-dollar question,” said Dr Gabric, a marine biogeochemist with Griffith University in Brisbane. Climate scientists have long known that aerosols help mitigate global warming by bouncing sunrays back into space, and by altering clouds to make them more reflective. Experts believe half of the potential warming from greenhouse gases may be offset in this way. Much research has focused on aerosols produced artificially, through the burning of fossil fuels and vegetation. Scientists worry that if China switched to renewable sources of energy overnight, it could trigger a massive surge in warming. Aerosols are also produced naturally by volcanoes — such as the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in The Philippines, which is credited with cutting global temperatures by about 0.5C for two years — and by marine ecosystems. Algae known as “phytoplankton” are a major contributor, with increasingly massive blooms of these marine creatures emerging in the warming Arctic waters. The new study analysed terabytes of satellite data to track atmospheric aerosol concentrations. For the first time, it identified sea ice as a “very strong source” of the airborne particles. Dr Gabric said “ice algae” had evolved to tolerate the subzero temperatures of sea ice and the water that formed it. They used a compound called dimethyl sulfide as an “antifreeze” to survive the chill. “When the sea ice melts during spring, these algae don’t need that protection any more. They expel these compounds, which are degassed to the atmosphere and converted into sulfate aerosols very similar to what you get from burning sulphur-containing coal. “This happens every year as the sea ice melts. The difference in recent decades is that the ice is melting a lot earlier. We now think that within 10 years there won’t be any ice in the Arctic during summer.” He said the process had “absolutely not” been factored into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change models of global warming. “The whole aerosol question and its relationship to warming is the biggest uncertainty to projecting what’s going to happen this century. “This is a new area of research, primarily because people can’t get up there and measure it very easily. You need an icebreaker and a big gun to shoot any polar bears that might want to eat you,” he said.