We are all partners in a
The essential questions have no
Questions unite people.
Answers divide them.
My research integrates extensive field mapping
data and petrographic work with thermodynamic modeling to evaluate
metasomatic chemical reaction paths. My current research projects
Other recent research projects with
undergraduate students include:
of the the Grasberg and
Ertsberg porphyry Cu-Au
- origins of the giant rare earth
element deposit at Bayan Obo (Inner
- sulfur isotope fractionation in
the carbonate replacement Cu-Au deposits of Superior, Arizona.
of one of the oldest, best-preserved porphyry
copper-molybdenum deposits in the world (Karas
porphyry/epithermal mineralization on Mount
- origins of the molybdenite
deposits in the Qinling Mountains (Henan
- geological factors affecting groundwater
flow and cave formation near a local
limestone quarry, and
- origins of the belt of magnetite
deposits in eastern
and New Jersey.
undergraduate student accompanied me to the southern Namibian desert
to study a 1.8 billion year old copper deposit. This
deposit is extraordinary in that the deposit is unusually old
and beautifully preserved! We spent three weeks at the
field site, plus several days in Windhoek where I gave a
presentation to the University of Namibia geology program. The Teck
geologists on the project were very smart and energized
and geochemical/isotope work on this project is ongoing
in the Kutztown University
economic geology / petrology lab with two students presenting
their work at the international Geological Society of America
meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia in October 2014.
On the Alaska project, three KU
undergraduate students worked with me in the Yukon-Tanana uplands in the Alaskan
doing geologic mapping with follow-up microscope work on an
ancient volcanic/geothermal site that, sadly, failed to deposit
much gold. The site is therefore an opportunity to see why
some gold-forming systems fail to form ore bodies.
The project is a collaboration with a private company called Full Metal Minerals, Inc.
We also developed
a quantitative method for analyzing drill core to determine if
the well was drilled in a direction such that it approached
zinc mineralization. Microscopic study of samples taken
is ongoing in the Kutztown
University economic geology / petrology lab.
We will try to
present the results of this project at the Mineral Exploration Roundup
meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada) in
In the Qinling
Mountains of Henan province, we are studying the origins
of a belt of magmatic-hydrothermal molybdenum deposits. This
work is in collaboration with the China University of Geosciences
in Beijing. I brought two Kutztown University undergraduate
students to Henan
in China with me in the summer of 2008 to aid in this
work. The trip was a cornucopia of fascinating lessons in
Chinese culture and frustrating lessons in... well... other aspects of Chinese
we are looking at chemical variations in the limestone rocks that
host the ore bodies to see if there is evidence for influence by
carbonatite magmas (either as orthomagmatic lava flows and
intrusions, or due to hydrothermal activity related to carbonatite
intrusions at depth). This work is in collaboration with the
China University of Geosciences in Beijing. I brought three
Kutztown University undergraduate students to Inner
China with me in the summer of 2004 to aid in this work.
At Ertsberg in West
Papua, Indonesia, my field mapping (1999-2002) revealed the
system to be hosted by several igneous phases that alternate in
time with multiple structural and hydrothermal events. I am
currently refining that work through petrographic studies aimed at
constraining the fluid chemistry, temperature, and pressure.
In collaboration with Dr.
Spencer Titley and Stacie Gibbins (University of Arizona), I
am also studying the origins of the giant Grasberg porphyry copper
deposit in the same district. Although the Grasberg and
Ertsberg porphyry deposits occur within 2 km of one another and
apparently formed within 100,000 years of one another in relation
to similar igneous rocks, metasomatism around the Grasberg center
is much more intense and widespread. The ultimate goal of
this project is to draw a comparison of physiochemical conditions
between these two contrasting systems to identify some of the
factors that affect how porphyry hydrothermal systems evolve.
I am also investigating, in
collaboration with the Berks Products Corporation and Dr. Sarah Tindall
along with a crew of Kutztown University undergraduate student
researchers, the geological controls on groundwater
flow and cave formation in
Pennsylvania. We are comparing hydrologic data such as
changes in groundwater table and groundwater chemistry
(temperature, pH, etc.) in a field of monitoring wells with rock
types and fracture patterns mapped in the adjacent quarry.
Our goal is to determine the relative importance of different
types of fractures, the abundance of fractures, and the
chemistry of the limestone rocks in affecting cave formation and
groundwater flow in the area.
The focus of the magnetite
(iron) deposits of the eastern U.S. research is to determine if the Proterozoic
deposits scattered throughout eastern Pennsylvania,
northern New Jersey, and southern New York are related to one
another and, if they are, learn what causes the subtle
variations in their geology. These old magnetite
deposits may be similar in origin to the much younger iron
deposits that occur in contact aureoles of plutons intruding the
Triassic/Jurassic rift basins nearby, which Rose et al. (1985)
proposed to be the result of hydrothermal activity related
to regional fluid flow of non-magmatic (basinal? evaporative?)
brines. The widespread scale of the many small magnetite
Proterozoic deposits, their relationship to hydrothermally
altered wall rocks, and the spatially systematic variation in
this alteration and the host rock types suggests the Proterozoic
deposits are related to the same general geologic event and that
different deposits formed at different depths. This work
is in collaboration with Dr. Robert C. Smith II (Pennsylvania
Geological Survey) and Richard Volkert (New Jersey Geological
My Ph.D. research combined field mapping with
detailed petrographic studies, investigations of the
carbon-oxygen isotope systematics in carbonate rocks, and
irreversible thermodynamic reaction path modeling to document
metasomatic reactions in carbonate rocks by fluids given off
during the late stages of the crystallization of felsic magmas
(i.e. porphyry copper deposits). These aqueous solutions are
analogous to those recorded in active geothermal systems in
volcanic arcs of the circumpacific (e.g. Pinatubo Philippines
and White Island New Zealand). The exposures in the mine
at Superior Arizona provided remarkable access to the
hydrothermal system there, allowing detailed study of 1) the
geology of carbonate-hosted massive sulfide replacement ores, 2)
factors affecting the relative sulfur, metal, and chlorine
budgets metalliferous solutions upon reaction with wall rocks,
and 3) the evaluation of stable isotopic tracers in determining
fluid flow paths in carbonate rocks.
Most recent publications
(names in italics indicate student co-authors)
Gates, A.E., Dalton, R.F., and Smith, R.C., II, 2010,
Geochemistry and origin of Neoproterozoic ironstone deposits
in the New Jersey Highlands and implications for the eastern
Laurentian rifted margin in the north-central Appalachians,
USA: in Tollo,
R.P., Bartholomew , M.J., Hibbard, J.P., and Karabinos, P.M.,
eds., From Rodinia to
Pangea: The Lithotectonic Record of the Appalachian Region:
Geological Society of America Memoir 206, p. 283306.
- Friehauf, K.C., 2008, Iron-sulfur
redox and its effect on sulfur-isotope fractionation in
carbonate-hosted Cu-Au replacement ores, Superior, Arizona, in Spencer, J.E., and Titley, S.R., eds., Ores and orogenesis: Circum-Pacific
tectonics, geologic evolution, and ore deposits: Arizona
Geological Society Digest 22, p. 583-590. (Tucson, AZ,
September 24-30, 2007)
Ryan, Ruiz, Joaquin, Titley, Spencer R., Gibbins, Stacie L.,
and Friehauf, Kurt C., 2005, A detailed Re-Os isotope
study of ores and sediments from Ertsberg District:
Evidence linking porphyry copper mineralization to periphery
skarn mineralization and the importance of the surrounding
continental crust as a source for metals: Ore
Geology Reviews, v. 26, no. 3-4, p. 207-226.
Kurt, Gibbins, Stacie, and Titley, Spencer, 2005,
Porphyry-Style Mineralization in the Ertsberg Diorite, Gunung
Bijih (Ertsberg/Grasberg) District, West Papua, Indonesia: in Porter, T.M., ed., Super Porphyry
Copper & Gold Deposits - A Global Perspective, PGC
Publishing, Adelaide, Australia, v. 2, p. 357-366. (another great volume -
definitely worth checking out!) .
- Doyle, Liam F., and
Friehauf, Kurt, 2017, Detecting
hydrothermal alteration of coarse-grained igneous rock in
drill core with portable XRF: A case study in the Ertsberg
Porphyry District, Indonesia [abs.]: Geological Society of
America Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA (2225 October 2017).
- Haag, Beau J., and
Friehauf, Kurt, 2017, Pyrite-induced
redox precipitation of uranium in a dolomite breccia, Epler
Fm., Allentown, PA [abs.]: Geological Society of America
Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA (2225 October 2017).
- Ilsemann, Lara, Sulthaus, Danielle
Shannon, and Friehauf, Kurt, 2017, Comparison
of carbonate vein/dike with east ore body carbonate, Bayan Obo
REE Mining District, Inner Mongolia, China [abs.]:
Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA
(2225 October 2017).
- Maguire, Sara E., and
Friehauf, Kurt, 2017, Reaction
path modeling of sulfur isotope fractionation during
progressive pyrite replacement of hematite, Superior C-Bed
Cu-Au Ore Body, Arizona [abs.]: Geological Society of
America Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA (2225 October 2017).
- Malenda, Margariete, Friehauf, Kurt,
and Mathur, Ryan, 2014, Re-Os
isotopic dating of the Mesoproterozoic Haib porphyry copper
deposit, southern Namibia [abs.]: Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in
Vancouver, British Columbia (1922 October 2014).
- Racosky, Alexandra and Friehauf, Kurt,
alteration in the Precambrian Haib porphyry copper district,
Namibia Hydrogen isotope constraints on fluid origins
[abs.]: Geological Society of
AmericaAnnual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia
(1922 October 2014).
Marlena; Mason, Kelsey; Friehauf, Kurt,
Zonation of Gold Mineralogy in the Grasberg Porphyry Cu-Au
Deposit, Indonesia [abs.]: Geological Society of
America, Denver, Colorado (2730 October, 2013).
Kelsey; Rock, Marlena; Friehauf, Kurt,
Study of District-Scale Geochemical Trends in the Bayan Obo
REE District, Inner Mongolia [abs.]: Geological Society
of America, Denver, Colorado (2730 October, 2013).
- Betts, T., Heness, E.A., Semian, Z.M.,
Malenda, M.G., Simpson,
E.L., and Friehauf,
K., 2013, A
unique occurrence of adipocere on the lacustrine shoreline,
Salton Sea California [abs.]: Geological Society of
America National Meeting, Denver, Colorado (2730 October,
- Xiao, Ping; Friehauf, Kurt;
Wang, Wei; Yang, Guoliang; and Yun, Long, 2013, Donggou Porphyry Mo deposit in East
Qinling Mo Belt, China Highly Enriched in Fluorine? [abs]:
European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2013, April 7-12,
2013, Vienna, Austria.
Daniel; Schlosser, Kenneth; Tkach, Melania; Friehauf, Kurt;
and McLeod, Rob, 2012, Collaborative
exploration of the Mount Fairplay porphyry target - training
undergraduate students while searching for ore [abs]: AME BC Mineral Exploration
Roundup Conference, January 23-26, 2012 - Vancouver, British
Ping, Friehauf, Kurt,
Wang, Yanbin, and Wang, Cuizhi, 2010, The
implication of similarities and systematic variations among
the monometallic high-fluorine porphyry deposits in the East
Qinling Molybdenum Belt, China [abs]: Geological Society
of America, Denver, Colorado (31 October 3 November 2010).