Ore deposits and ophiolites: EAG ambassador Thomas Belgrano reports from SGA2017

Oct 09, 2017 No Comments by 2320 views

I am extremely grateful for the support of the European Association of Geochemistry (EAG) for contributing to my attendance at the 14th SGA Biennial Meeting in Québec city as an Early Career Science Ambassador.

Quebec City was a great host, where North American traditions collide with French ones in a surprisingly harmonious way. The beautiful, fully-walled ‘Vieux Québec’ is situated next to a fortified Citadelle in the centre of Québec City, and overlooks the St Lawrence River.

Thomas (left) receives the SGA2017 award for “Best Student Poster”.

The Biennial SGA meeting is one of the largest and most important conferences regarding ore deposit geoscience. The meeting is attended by a mixture of academics, minerals industry professionals, and instrument and service providers. This provided an unparalleled interfacing opportunity, where scientific ideas could be floated to many different sets of eyes and ears: experts, end users, stakeholders etc. For me as a first-time attendee, this turned out to be an excellent experience of high-T, low-P scientific metamorphism among many of the world’s leading ore deposit geoscientists.

Spinifex texture in Komatiite at Spinifex ridge, Abitibi Greenstone belt. (Photograph taken during the post-conference field trip).

My PhD work involves generating new, detailed maps of the Oman ophiolite volcanics as well as investigating fluid pathways and chemical exchanges during sub-seafloor hydrothermal alteration. I presented the poster “Magnetic mapping of VMS-prospective altered tholeiitic and boninitic series volcanics in the Oman ophiolite”, in which my co-authors and I detail our approach to generating a new, detailed map of the ophiolite volcanic units. We presented relationships between rock magnetic properties and geochemically quantified processes of magmatic fractionation and sub-seafloor hydrothermal alteration. This ‘ground-up’ approach to aeromagnetic map interpretation found particular interest within the geological survey and mineral exploration audiences, who were able to give me excellent feedback on possible processing pitfalls, and the potential applicability of the approach to similar volcanic terranes in other ophiolites and greenstone belts. My work was recognised at the meeting by being awarded the ‘Best Student Poster Award’, which was very encouraging.

Once again, thank you EAG for giving me the opportunity to attend the SGA as an Early Career Science Ambassador!

Thomas M. Belgrano


About the author:

Thomas Belgrano, a member and ambassador of the EAG,  is a PhD candidate supervised by Prof. Larryn Diamond in the Rock-Water Interaction Group at the Institute of Geological Sciences, University of Bern. Originally with a background in mineral exploration and structural geology, Thomas is now working on developing new volcanic maps, as well as remote sensing and geochemically quantifying hydrothermal alteration in the Oman ophiolite.


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