Research CommentariesGeochemistry

Origins of Hydrothermal Ores

Science  27 Mar 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5359, pp. 2064-2065
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5359.2064

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The formation of industrially important ore deposits has been studied for over a century, but much remains to be learned about the detailed chemical and physical processes involved. In their research commentary, Barnes and Rose discuss results reported in the same issue by Audétat et al. in which a laser was used to drill into fluid inclusions in rock; the fluid was then analyzed with a mass spectrometer. The method yields unique experimental data that can be used to evaluate current models of ore deposit formation.