Metasomatism and ore deposits in the Earth’s crust: experimental and modeling methods

Goldschmidt Workshop, Boston 2018

August 11-12th

Organizers: Alexander P. Gysi (Colorado School of Mines), Daniel Harlov (GFZ Potsdam), Dmitrii A. Kulik (PSI, Switzerland), George D. Miron (PSI, Switzerland)

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Workshop description

This two-day NSF-sponsored workshop includes hands-on tutorials, lectures, and discussions about current numerical thermodynamic modeling methods, the databases required, and the experimental approaches used for studying metal transport associated with hydrothermal fluid-rock interaction in the crust coupled with examples from nature. The goal of this workshop is to link thermodynamic modeling and experimental approaches, and bring together a broad community interested in the interpretation of crustal metasomatism and ore-forming processes. Participants in the workshop will be provided with a memory stick, which contains the free software, thermodynamic databases, tutorials and relevant references covered. The workshop is intended for graduate students, researchers, and professionals whom want to learn how to apply the GEMS code package ( to geochemical modeling, as well as learn about how to use current experimental methods regarding fluid-rock equilibria at elevated P-T conditions. The GEMS code package is based on Gibbs energy minimization, and provides a user friendly framework for predicting mass transfer in complex non-ideal systems such as those associated with fluid-rock interaction and ore-forming processes.

The workshop will cover: 1) fundamentals of the GEM-Selektor code package and thermodynamic databases for simulating fluid-rock systems; 2) the GEMSFITS parameter optimization tool for optimizing thermodynamic properties against experimental data; 3) an overview of experimental advances in the study of the stability and mobility of metasomatically induced and altered REE mineral phases in crustal rocks (e.g. monazite, xenotime, apatite, allanite, and titanite); 4) field case studies of metasomatism and associated REE mineral deposits. The first day of the workshop will cover 1) and 2). Here participants will learn the tools necessary to simulate fluid-rock equilibria at high P-T conditions and how to retrieve the parameters for geochemical modeling. These tools include the GEMS code package, which is supported by a tutorial series for different ore-forming processes (e.g., Greisen tin deposits), and by the MINES thermodynamic database ( The second day of the workshop will cover 3) and 4). Here participants will be introduced to the experimental methods and field examples necessary for studying the solubility and speciation of REE in crustal fluids. Short discussion sessions will be included in order for the audience to find connections between the content of the workshop and their own particular interests in crustal fluid-rock interaction, including examples from both nature and experiments. More information about the workshop will be available on the web link above in due time.


Alexander Gysi (CSM)

Alexander is an Assistant Professor at Colorado School of Mines (USA). His research focuses on hydrothermal ore-forming processes and the mobility of metals in fluids by combining numerical modeling and experimental methods. He built a new crustal fluid-rock interaction laboratory at CSM to study the thermodynamic properties of REE-bearing minerals and trace element partitioning between fluid-minerals. He also recently joined the GEMS developer team and is the maintainer of the MINES thermodynamic database.

Daniel Harlov (GFZ Potsdam)

Daniel E Harlov is an experimental petrologist, mineralogist, thermochemical modeller, and field petrologist whose research is concerned with mineral characterization, mineral equilibria and fluid-rock interaction in the crust and lithospheric mantle. After brief stints as faculty at several American colleges and at Purdue University, he joined the GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Germany as a senior researcher where he has been up to the present time. His approach to research there has been twofold with a focus both on field studies and studies in the lab (experimental petrology). In pursuing this approach, the goal has been first natural observation backed up by experimental replication and then followed by thermodynamic verification. Research topics include the role of fluids in crustal metamorphic processes as a function of P-T-X, experiments involving mineral equilibria over a wide P-T range, mineral-fluid interaction, thermodynamic modelling, mineral synthesis and characterization, iron oxide-apatite-REE mineral ore deposits, and the role of fluids in igneous processes. He is currently an associate editor at American Mineralogist and Lithos, and has edited and co-edited numerous special journal issues as well as two books. These include ‘Metasomatism and the Chemical Transformation of Rock’ and ‘The Role of Halogens in Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Geochemical Processes’ (both published by SpringerNature). He is also a visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa, a visiting Chief Professor in the Faculty of Earth Resources at the Chinese University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China, and a Fellow of the American Mineralogical Society.

Dmitrii Kulik (Paul Scherrer Institute)

Dmitrii is a Senior Scientist at the Paul Scherrer Institute (Switzerland), where his research is focused in the area of geochemical modelling of aquatic systems, with emphasis on thermodynamics of solid solutions and sorption, mineral surface reactivity and kinetics in relation to reactive transport, as well as on more precise, robust and fast GEM numerical algorithms and user-friendly software. He is involved in various projects with applications to aqueous-solid solution and sorption systems of relevance for geological radioactive waste disposal, cement chemistry, and geothermal energy. As a leader of a collaborative GEMS TM open-source project, he is active in development and promotion of geochemical modelling codes based on Gibbs energy minimization (GEM, see (see,, as well as required thermodynamic data bases. He also serves as an associate editor of Applied Geochemistry.

George D. Miron (Paul Scherrer Institute)

Dan is a postdoctoral researcher at the Paul Scherrer Institute (Switzerland). His research is focused on geochemical modeling with emphasis on thermodynamic data and parameter optimization. He is involved in developing the next generation tools for thermodynamic database management and optimization, and looking at prediction methods, such as isocoulombic and isoelectric extrapolations, with applications in hydrothermal, cementitious, and waste disposal systems. He is currently the main developer of GEMSFITS parameter optimization tool, and actively participates in development and promotion of geochemical modeling codes belonging to GEMS TM and Reaktoro projects (see, ).


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