"50 Shades of Red": the Rare Earth Mineralisation of the Fen Complex - Norway
  • Room 018, Rolle Building, Plymouth University

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The School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences organises a regular series of research seminars throughout the academic year to which everyone is welcome to attend. Speakers - both external and internal to the University - will talk on topics related to all aspects of Earth Sciences.

Today's speaker is Christian Marien from Plymouth University.

Most people in our society have never heard of elements like Neodymium, Ytterbium or Lanthanum, despite them being used constantly in our everyday life. These elements all belong to the Rare Earth Elements (REE) and are a set of 17, crucial for a variety of high-technology applications such as wind turbines, catalysts, hybrid vehicles, smartphones, lasers and computers. The secure supply of REE as a strategic resource is important for the further development of high-tech industries in Europe and around the world. One potential European source for REE is the carbonatite-peralkaline Fen Complex in Norway.

The aim of this PhD project is to investigate the formation of the REE-rich rock Rødbergite (‘red rock’ – a red, fine-grained hematite-rich carbonate rock) as an alteration product of igneous carbonatite and to better understand the implications for the REE content. 

This presentation shows how the combined geochemical, mineralogical and textural analysis of a key geological transect in the Fen Complex helps unravel the complex formation of Rødbergite, in order to address the central research question: how did the ‘REE ore’ form?

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