undergraduate students - Lauren Storm and Anthony Moorehead - went with
me to Bĕijīng (北京 - big red star on map) and to Hénán
(河南) to study porphyry-related molybdenum deposits
(smaller red star) in the summer
2008. The trip was a wonderful cultural experience
in the difficulties of studying mineral deposit geology
In addition to the political/bureaucratic issues that sometimes impeded progress, cultural differences in our approaches to scientific research of geological problems added to the complexity of the expedition, making the trip a learning experience in many ways.
The Qinling Mountains (秦岭 - smaller red star on map) region of Hénán Province hosts the largest concentrations of molybdenum resources in all of Asia. The deposits are scattered over a broad area roughly 300 km in diameter. The goal of this study is to figure out how the molybdenum deposits in the Qinling Mountains formed. We hope to do this by a combination of geologic mapping in the field and chemical analysis in the lab. Understanding the factors that led to the formation of the molybdenum ores will allow for a comparison with the geological characteristics and help us assess the potential for the discovery of more resources in the region and elsewhere in the world.
Click here for a basic description of the geology of porphyry molybdenum deposits.
China University of Geosciences - Bĕijīng (CUG-B)The first three weeks of our trip were spent in Bĕijīng where I teach a short course about mineral deposits for graduate students at the China University of Geosciences - Bĕijīng (a very highly respected university for geological studies). There are many excellent students - most of whom study geology, but some of whom study other subjects. Click here to see photos of the campus and life at the China University of Geosciences - Bĕijīng (CUGB).
Tourism in/around BĕijīngWhile in Bĕijīng, we naturally took time off from work to tour the key sites in the area. Click here to see photos of some of our tourist excursions in/around Bĕijīng. We visited the classic Bĕijīng sites, including the Great Wall, Forbidden City, and Summer Palace, as well as less commonly visited places like the Paleontology Museum.
Lingshui Cun Historic VillageProfessor Huang Wen Hui - an excellent carbonate sedimentary geochemist - took us on a trip to visit Lingshui Cun historic village in Méntóugōu District (门头沟区) (map), roughly 45 miles (75 km) from Bĕijīng. This was a beautiful little village in the mountainous countryside.
Then we traveled by
Zhèngzhōu (郑州) in Hénán Province (map),
we picked up two jeeps with drivers
and headed westward into the Qinling Mountains. In addition to
looking at molybdenum deposits, we experienced Hénán
visited tourist excursions in the area. Click
here for photos of cultural and tourist experiences in
Doing the actual
scientific fieldwork in Hénán was very frustrating. There are
some very formidable
obstacles to doing research in ore deposits in China. None the
less, we were able to get some things done.