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Dynamics of Ore Metals Enrichment - DOME
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
The Priority Programme DOME investigates the dynamics of ore metals enrichment in nature. Its aim is to develop knowledge-based predictive models of how metals enrichment takes place and where to look for new deposits that can provide the resources for present and future societal growth. Ore deposits are defined and exploited at the mine scale, but they can only be understood as the result of a process chain in large and complex geological systems operating over longtime scales. The enrichment of metals in nature involves coupled processes of mineral dissolution, transport of metals in multicomponent solutions, and precipitation of ore minerals due to changes in pressure-temperature-compositional conditions. Biotic processes may play key roles in near-surface environments. Therefore, the DOME programme solicits research proposals that take an integrative approach to solve outstanding problems of ore formation.
Proposals should contribute to one or both of the following key areas:
(A) Field studies of natural ore-forming systems and exemplary deposits. The choice of deposit type and study area is open and should be based on the potential for research excellence, for major advancement in understanding ore-forming processes, and for synergies with other projects in the DOME programme, past or present. Research on mid- to low-temperature deposits in sedimentary basins is particularly welcome and applicants should consider that access to active marine systems may be provided through the site of the German Exploration License in the Indian Ocean (INDEX).
(B) Laboratory and/or numerical simulation studies to constrain material properties, behaviours, and process parameters that control metals enrichment in systems addressed in (A). Aspects to consider include mineral solubility and metal speciation in complex high- and low-temperature fluids, the effects of phase transitions, fluid properties, dynamics of fluid flow and fluid-rock interaction, equilibrium vs. kinetic conditions, and the role of organic matter and micro-organisms in metals enrichment. We encourage numerical studies that aim at bridging the gap in scale between laboratory experiments and geologically relevant time and length scales. Collaborations between experimental and field-based projects are particularly welcome.
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