Foord Pegmatite Symposium in Golden, Colorado

Jul 29, 2016 No Comments by 1280 views

The 2nd Eugene E. Foord Pegmatite Symposium took place between 15th-19th July 2016 at the Colorado School of Mines, located in Golden, Colorado, USA. The meeting was dedicated to Dr. Eugene E. Foord (1946-1998), an American mineralogist who made valuable contributions to pegmatite studies, including involvement in the description of over 30 new mineral species. Organised by the Geology Museum (Colorado School of Mines), the Friends of the CSM Geology Museum, the Friends of Mineralogy Colorado Chapter and the Denver Region Exploration Geologists’ Society, the symposium welcomed participants from many U.S. states, Canada, Spain, Norway, Ireland and Czech Republic to discuss the latest developments in pegmatite research and mining.

The Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado.

The Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado.

The symposium started with a reception at the Geology Museum, with an open visit to their impressive collection of mineral specimens, fossils and rock samples. Oral and poster presentations, including keynote talks by Michael A. Wise, David London and William B. Simmons, were held over the following two days. Studies about pegmatites from various localities, local to Colorado and elsewhere in the world, were presented with a focus on mineralogy, geochemistry, experimental petrology and petrogenesis. The last two days were dedicated to various field trips to remarkable pegmatite occurrences in the region.

Poster presentation: Renata Barros (left) with Mona-Liza Sirbescu and George Morgan.

Poster presentation: Renata Barros (left) with Mona-Liza Sirbescu and George Morgan.

As a student reaching the end of my PhD, it was important to have the chance to participate in an international meeting focussed on my research area and to meet many people with common interests and varied backgrounds. I presented a poster on geochemical and age constraints of lithium-rich pegmatites in southeast Ireland, which allowed me to discuss my findings with many experts and get valuable feedback about my research. The presentations by other authors were also important to compare the occurrences in Ireland with other pegmatites around the world and get familiarised with the latest research methods being used to study them. Many results and ideas presented were particularly interesting to me, for example: field diffusion as a controlling factor of pegmatite crystallisation (George Morgan and others); tectonic settings of lithium-rich pegmatites worldwide (Dwight Bradley and Andrew McCauley); experimental observations of pegmatite crystal nucleation and growth (Mona-Liza Sirbescu and others), and evidences for an anatectic origin of lithium-rich pegmatites in Maine (Willian Simmons and Alexander Falster). Also, visiting pegmatite outcrops in the field trips to Crystal Mountain was a significant step forward in my understanding of the 3D configuration of pegmatite bodies and how textures and zones evolve within them, as these rocks rarely outcrop in Ireland and my research is therefore mainly focused on drill cores.

Pegmatite bodies in the southern part of Crystal Mountain, Colorado.

Pegmatite bodies in the southern part of Crystal Mountain, Colorado.

My overall experience was extremely positive and I would like to thank the European Association of Geochemistry for supporting me and enabling my participation in the Foord Pegmatite Symposium through the EAG Early Career Science Ambassador program. Besides being my first time in the USA, attending this meeting allowed me to increase my knowledge of pegmatites and expand my network of pegmatite experts, which will be of great importance in my scientific career and has both inspired and motivated me in this final part of my PhD studies.

About the author:

Renata Barros

Renata Barros

Renata Barros is originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and currently a PhD student in the School of Earth Sciences, University College Dublin, Ireland. Her research project is on the petrogenesis of rare-element (lithium-rich) pegmatites spatially associated with the Leinster Granite in southeast Ireland, with supervision from Dr. Julian F. Menuge (UCD) and Mr. John Harrop (International Lithium Corp.).

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About the author

Invited contributions to the EAG blog. See biography of the author of this post just above...
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