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Earth Sciences at the University of Fribourg

Bern-Fribourg Master in Earth Sciences

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Details of Master Thesis Topic (Module D):
Tracking the source and mineralization mechanism of Mo-deposits with in-situ Mo isotope measurements of molybdenite using Femtosecond-Laser Mass-Spectrometry

Master Thesis title: Tracking the source and mineralization mechanism of Mo-deposits with in-situ Mo isotope measurements of molybdenite using Femtosecond-Laser Mass-Spectrometry
Description:Mo isotopic compositions of molybdenite crystals (MoS2) from Mo-(Cu)-porphyry deposits are strongly variable. Processes such as (i) fractional crystallization in the host body, (ii) separation of a hydrothermal fluid from a melt and (iii) changing physical and chemical conditions during the mineralization event are likely to cause significant Mo isotope fractionation. Rigorous interpretation of the Mo isotope data is currently hampered by the difficulty to disentangle small scale isotopic fractionation on the crystal size (imparted from MoS2 crystallization) and large scale fractionation on the ore body size (different mineralization events or Mo source signature). To overcome this problematic, large amount of Mo isotope data at high spatial resolution is required, a matter that is difficult to achieve with the conventionally used solution MC-ICP-MS technique. Here, we will explore the applicability of in-situ Mo isotope analysis of molybdenite via Femtosecond-Laser Mass-Spectrometry, a method that allows for fast, precise and accurate data acquisition at high spatial resolution. This data will significantly improve our understanding of Mo isotope fractionation mechanisms in hydrothermal systems and will also help to better constrain the conditions under which molybdenite deposits evolve over time.

Femtosecond-Laser Mass-Spectrometry on molybdenite from well characterized samples of the Colorado mineral belt will be conducted by the Master student at the Leibniz Universit├Ąt Hannover in collaboration with Prof. Stefan Weyer. The work will also include petrographic characterization of samples, mineral separation and preparation of sample mounts. This project benefits as well from collaboration with Dr. Sean Gaynor (University of Geneva).
Advisors:Prof. Nicolas Greber
Specialities:EM, ERG, GEOL
University: BE

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