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Oct 11 / Dave Schumaker

Fluid Inclusions in Rock

Fluid inclusions in rock and ore material are tiny pockets of liquid or gas trapped within rock as it crystallizes. A talk scheduled on Sunday at the Geological Society of America conference in Salt Lake City will discuss the latest research on fluid inclusions and what can be expected from future research as well.

“Not much else was done until Ed Roedder applied inclusions to wide range of geological problems,” Bodnar said. Roedder showed that inclusions could be tapped to determine the pressure and temperature at the time of formation. Roedder’s definitive book, Fluid Inclusions (1984), described what fluid inclusions are and how they can be used. Now 86 and still active, Roedder was Bodnar’s mentor at the U.S. Geological Survey and continues to provide valuable advice and support today.

Fluid inclusions are a timely topic. They are used by the oil industry to predict where oil deposits have occurred and to track where oil has flowed through the subsurface in order to discover new fields. Chevron hired Fang Lin, one of Bodnar’s recent PhD students, to help with exploration because of her experience with fluid inclusions.

But fluid inclusions are really most valuable to exploration for metal deposits, such as copper, gold, and lead. Certain types of fluid inclusions are located with certain types of ore.

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