Alaska flagPotential porphyry/epithermal mineralization on Mount Fairplay, Interior Alaska

Kurt Friehauf - 2011

Alaska location map - modified from

Three Kutztown University undergraduate students - Melania Tkach, Dan Ruth, and Ken Schlosser - traveled with me to Alaska to do research on Alaskan mineral deposits. 
Our expedition had three stages:
  1. tourism in Kenai Fjords National Park,
  2. safety training in Anchorage, and
  3. geologic mapping and drill core logging in the eastern interior at Mount Fairplay.
In addition to the websites I've put together for this project, each of the three students have also created websites to describe their experiences.  If you'd like to see/read the student perspectives on the project, please visit their sites:

Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park tourismThe first week of our trip was spent hiking and boating in Kenai Fjords National Park.  Of course, our research had nothing to do with the Park, but we would have been negligent not to take advantage of visiting the Park since we were in the area.  The Park is a remarkable place to see both geology and wildlife. 

Click here to see photos of our experiences in Kenai Fjords National Park.


safety trainingPrior to our field work, we took a four day long wilderness safety course at Learn to Return Training Systems.  We learned and practiced evacuation from downed aircraft (planes and helicopters), bear awareness, and wilderness medicine.

Click here to see photos of our safety training experiences in Anchorage.

Mount Fairplay

Friehauf - Mount Fairplay, AlaskaThe meat of our project was an exploration of Mount Fairplay.  Mount Fairplay is one of the highest peaks in the area in the subdued topography of the Yukon-Tanana Terrane.  It is a place where there has been volcanic activity that may have associated mineralization.  Our project was to make a geologic map of the mountain and document any signs of mineralization present.

Click here to see photos of our Mount Fairplay project field work.

Click here for a basic description of the geology of porphyry molybdenum deposits. 

Logging drill core

Logging core in AlaskaWe also were granted access to study some drill core owned by Full Metal Minerals.  The question we wished to address here was whether or not the drill hole intercepted mineralized rocks.  We did so by devising a quantitative method of analyzing the drill core.

Click here for photos of our core logging experience. 

Camp life

Camp life in ChickenWe stayed at a camp near Chicken - an old placer mining town settled by gold miners in the late 1800's.  The total population is only about 10-20 year-round residents now, but they're a lively group.  In their spare time, students panned for a little gold in the nearby creek.

Click here for photos of camp life. 

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