Professor, Keck Chair in Geology
University of Toronto
Department of Earth Sciences
22 Russell St., Toronto
Ontario, Canada M5S 3B1
Fax.: 416 978 3938
Ed Spooner’s research group, which includes a Laboratory Manager (Dr. Colin Bray) who has specialised in ion and gas chromatography analysis methods, is concentrating on the following specific research areas at the present time:
Characteristics, exploration controls and genetic aspects of hydrothermal ore systems, particularly Precambrian Au systems
A key active joint project (M.Sc.) with Dr. Don Davis, R.O.M. is on the U-Pb geochronology of the Lower Proterozoic Omai intrusion-related Au-quartz vein system, Guyana, S. America (sampled in June, 1995). Other joint U-Pb geochronology projects, for example in northern Brazil, are in the planning stages. Recent research has focused on field, structural, geochronological, igneous petrological and fluid inclusion research relevant to Archean Au-quartz vein systems (e.g. Burrows et al., 1993, Econ. Geol. 88, 1643-1663; Abraham et al., Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 1994, 31, 1365-1383) , and on different types of mineralization in Precambrian greenstone belts in general (e.g. Economic Geology Special Issue #6, 1993). Ed Spooner is very open to new projects (e.g. Au-quartz vein mineralization in E. Egypt; Dr. Nadia Sharara, University of Assiut, Visiting Scientist).
Integrated cation-anion/volatile analysis of trapped fluids
Fluid inclusions are keys to understanding fluid related processes in geology. Ed Spooner’s research group has recently developed a methodology for integrated analysis of inclusion fluids (~5g total mineral samples) using gas and ion chromatography (e.g. Channer and Spooner, 1994, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 58, 1101-1118); ~30 different parameters can be determined. Research opportunities are very open, and are generating new data for understanding the behaviour of geological fluids (e.g. H20-C02 phase separation in granitic pegmatite fluids; Thomas and Spooner, 1992, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 56, 49-65). A major new research project consists of testing the techniques developed by integrated cation-anion/volatile analysis of sea floor hydrothermal fluids trapped in sea floor and VMS hydrothermal vent and stockwork minerals, and sea waters trapped in evaporative gypsum (post-doc. from Freiberg, Germany funded by the German Academic Exchange Service).
Archean ocean and upper crustal fluids
The principal objective of Ed Spooner’s current NSERC research programme is to determine as much as possible about, particularly, the chemistry (e.g. salinity variation; halide chemistry; redox variation; C02 contents), temperature and layering of Archean ocean systems as the environment in which life originated and evolved (e.g. “Similarities between environmental requirements for the deepest known branches of the universal phylogenetic tree and early Archean (~3.0-3.5 Ga) whole ocean conditions”; Spooner, 1992, G.S.A. abstract). This research will build on work carried out in the ~3.4 Ga Barberton greenstone belt, S. Africa in which modified sea water fluid inclusions were found in and below a sea floor Fe-oxide deposit (de Ronde et al., 1994, Geol. Soc. Amer. Bull., 106, 86-104). Analysed fluid inclusion Br- /Cl- ratios are chondritic, whereas I- /Cl- ratios are already displaced towards modern sea water values reflecting incorporation in an early organic reservoir (Channer et al., 1993, G.S.A. Abstract). Projects will also include fluid inclusion research on volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits such as Kidd Creek, Ontario (co-operative with the G.S.C.).
Ed Spooner has supervised/co-supervised 19 completed M.Sc. and Ph.D. thesis research projects involving 17 people, many of whom have made significant research contributions (e.g. Jeremy Richards; recipient of the S.E.G. Lindgren Award for 1995 in New Orleans).