Global Lithospheric Domains: a Multidimensional Framework to Enhance Mineral Exploration Targeting

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution


Our view of the Earth is changing dramatically with the rapid development of planetary- and lithosphere-scale seismic tomography at increasingly higher resolution. We now have access to geochemical (including isotopic) data for a large proportion of the elements in the periodic table, at very low levels in bulk rocks and in tiny volumes of individual minerals (by laser sampling). These recent advances, along with unparalleled imaging of microstructures, access to enormous databanks for tectonic syntheses, and robust geodynamic modelling using realistic geological constraints, make this an exciting time for new concepts in Earth (and crustal) evolution and processes, and new concepts to drive global exploration targeting at the lithospheric scale. Delineation of trans-lithospheric structures and discontinuities and deep lithosphere domains with fundamentally different composition, architecture and evolution is providing a new framework for exploration. This enhances understanding and prediction of the location of ore deposits formed by deep lithospheric processes including magmatic and fluid flow (and associated thermal transfer), deep crustal reworking and partial melting. Relevant resources include Ni-PGE, Cu, Au and diamonds; these methods also reveal important parameters about basin formation that are potentially important for oil and gas occurrence.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSmart Science For Exploration And Mining, Vol 1 And 2
EditorsPatrick J. Williams
Place of PublicationTownsville
PublisherJames Cook University
Number of pages3
ISBN (Print)9780980558685
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event10th Biennial SGA Meeting of the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits - Townsville, Australia
Duration: 17 Aug 200920 Aug 2009


Conference10th Biennial SGA Meeting of the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits


  • Lithosphere structure
  • craton roots
  • crust evolution
  • Ni & PGE deposits
  • exploration targeting

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