EES Virtual Seminar: Ore-forming processes at deep-sea hydrothermal vents: A new mining frontier?

Dr. Melissa Anderson, University of Toronto

Increasing demand for base and precious metal resources, coupled with declining discovery rates, is now encouraging the search for alternatives, including mining on the seafloor. Metal-rich deep-sea hydrothermal vents have been discovered in more than 500 locations; however, the fundamental geodynamic controls on ore formation are poorly constrained. A key question in subduction-related arc and back-arc environments is: “How do tectonic factors, such as ridge collisions and pre-existing structures, influence magmatism and massive sulfide formation?”New global datasets, including satellite altimetry and its derivatives, as well as novel remote-predictive geological mapping interpreted from multibeam bathymetry, provide the opportunity to address this question at a regional scale. In addition, seafloor sampling and drilling allows for an integrated petrological, geochemical, and isotopic approach to better understand ore-forming processes. This work has important implications for finding inactive vent sites that cannot be detected by traditional surveys, and for understanding the diversity of massive sulfide deposits in the geologic record.



Online via Zoom
(Please contact the department at for the Zoom link.)


For mor information, contact:
Tashi Drage