MagmaChem Research Institute
We live on the Earth’s surface, a thin crust between the unimaginable blackness of space and the incomprehensible pressures and temperatures of the Earth’s interior. Robert Hazen, executive director of the Deep Carbon Observatory and working with over 1000 international scientists, recently concluded that we don't have many answers to the most basic questions about even the single element carbon, much less the Earth. In his book Symphony in C, Hazen writes:
“The paradox of science is that the more we know, the more we realize is unknown… what we know about… [the Earth] is dwarfed by our ignorance… how can we hope to bridge such yawning chasms in our understanding?... large-scale, cross-disciplinary research ventures are rare. Scientific discovery rests on asking questions about the natural world, but it also depends on finding resources in a climate of limited time and money [academia and industry], at a time when disciplinary specialization often trumps integration. Who will champion a different kind of research support, that is integrative and not constrained by old presuppositions?”
MagmaChem Exploration, Inc. (MagmaChem) has championed research that is integrative and data-driven rather than forged to fit a predetermined model and has discovered the answers to the questions Hazen asks in his book. MagmaChem has developed new technologies, integrated these with existing technologies and used them to synthesize in a cross-discipline way, its immense world-wide geochemical and geological data base. This work has revealed high-resolution compositions, 3-D structures, and dynamic processes of the Earth’s interior (Figure 1 and 2).
Figure 1: MagmaChem’s Dynamic Layered Earth Model provides a structural, compositional and process-constrained reference frame for connecting deep Earth processes with shallow Earth processes. The model is based on a rotating core convection experiment (Sumita and Olson, 1999), the seismic tomography structure of the mantle (Grand, et.al., 1997), MagmaChem’s Layered Asthenospheric and Lithospheric Mantle Model (Swan et.al., 2010), and MagmaChem’s Cracks of the World Map based on world-wide BHP magnetic/gravity maps (Keith et.al., 2003).
An ‘Image’ of the Earth:
The result of MagmaChem’s work is an ‘image’ of the Earth analogous to an MRI image of the human body, which revolutionized medical science’s ability to diagnose and treat disease. What the MRI did for our understanding of the human body, MagmaChem in a geologic sense has done for the Earth. High resolution images of the Earth’s interior have revealed details that have helped us better understand the Earth’s composition and processes. Expansion of our view of the Earth beyond its surface in this way will result in transformational applications to human health and climate, and possibly to our understanding of the origin of life. And we will be better equipped to manage the Earth’s resources, address environmental challenges, and ultimately enhance our quality of life.
Addressing Environmental Challenges:
For example, MagmaChem’s identification and mapping of 7000 mineral systems as geologic units in the Western US has far-reaching implications for understanding their contribution to natural pollution and the chemistry of ground and surface water. Correlating this knowledge with human health statistics will identify both beneficial and harmful trace elements in water. Additionally, most of these mineral systems have open mine workings and dumps which MagmaChem has classified geochemically, enabling their environmental impact to be properly mitigated and the prediction of their economic value to be made. MagmaChem has also been in discussions with three government agencies regarding MagmaChem’s approach to appraising the mineral and strategic metal endowment of the US. More than 1.2 million chemical analyses of petroleum systems, supracrustal rocks and basement rocks world-wide, generated by MagmaChem, have revealed two distinct 40-element hydrocarbon chemical profiles that petroleum systems bring to the environment, both through natural processes and human extraction.
The recognition of a chemically distinct and physically immiscible seven-layered upper mantle (Figure 2), and the development of the Magma-Metal Series Chemical Classification of Igneous Rocks and Mineral Deposits have dramatically reduced risk in resource exploration. MagmaChem has been funded at $25 million over the past 4 decades by more than 100 mineral and petroleum companies, the US Geological Survey, state surveys, and the New York State Energy Development Authority. These funds were invested by MagmaChem in the development of risk-lowering exploration technologies and the compilation of a world-wide geological database, which includes more than 12,000 metal systems.
Mineral Deposit Targeting by MagmaChem:
During this time Mineral Industry clients spent more than $600 million in today’s dollars testing by drilling to the point of discovery, gold-copper-silver mineral deposit targets designed by MagmaChem. This resulted in 20 discoveries on 3 continents of insitu (in the ground) gold-copper-silver valued at $102 billion in today’s metal prices. Thus every $1 invested in exploring these targets resulted in metal discoveries worth $167. Reduction of risk by applying MagmaChem technology to exploration gave a 167% return of investment for insitu discovery. This extraordinary return is the direct result of geochemically and mineralogically screening the mineral systems so only those with high-discovery probabilities were explored. The drill targets were rigorously defined by detailed geologic mapping, kinematic analysis, pluton vectoring and geochemical vectoring of the mineral system’s metal dispersion pattern to locate the mineral system drill targets. MagmaChem’s track record is a strong economic proof of concept for this approach.
MagmaChem Research Institute:
The MagmaChem team and its associates (who have supported MagmaChem through the years) are comprised of Earth scientists with extensive experience in the mineral and petroleum industries, academia and governmental agencies. The MagmaChem team founded the MagmaChem Research Institute nonprofit 501(c) corporation (MCRI) in 2007. The institute’s current goal is to transfer to industry, academia, government, and society, MagmaChem’s intellectual property with on-site short courses and training when appropriate. The intellectual property includes proprietary technologies, software, geologic and geochemical data bases, maps, technical reports, books, and an extensive one-of-a-kind geologic physical and digital library.
Stanley B. Keith M.S.—Founder/President
Troy Tittlemier M.S.— Chief Executive Officer
Jan C. Rasmussen Ph.D.—Chief Publication Officer
Monte M. Swan M.S.—Founder/Chief Marketing Officer
John-Mark Staude Ph.D.—Founder/Director
Lori Carroll B.S.—Corporate Secretary/Treasurer
Daniel P. Laux B.S.—Database/GIS Manager
Volker Spieth, Ph.D.—New Projects Manager
The Transition from MagmaChem to MCRI:
Bridge funding is needed to support the first few months as MCRI focuses on its current goal (Table 1). The team’s strategy during this time is to produce short courses, lead field trips, and publish papers, and write books that present the core data and technologies of MagmaChem initially for the Oil & Gas and Mineral industries. The team will also begin digitizing MagmaChem’s extensive databases. Formatting them in this way will enable the data bases to be easily imported into current software and taught through the increasingly popular podcasts and webinars---"the new TV media". MCRI will release these online through its www.magmachemri.org website and social media platforms which have viewers in 20 different countries.
MCRI’s online strategy is four-fold:
1. Podcasts: MCRI is networking and building a community by utilizing the power of online podcasts to deliver big-picture ideas and innovative concepts that will inspire its audience to follow its story and lead them to MCRI’s website. Here they can find more detailed content, news, publications, stories, event schedules and much more. MCRI has partnered with the Permian Basin Experience (PBE) Podcast Group to broadcast live shows to their international audience of 200,000 members in 20 countries and at oil and gas industry conventions. Full access will be limited to paid membership on patreon.com. and although selected free access will also be available. MCRI will answer any questions regarding the podcast, its income and its financial plans.
Webinars: Webinars will be offered through the magmachemri.org website. Customers, donors and investors will receive a $100 tax deductible donation per webinar per individual. The webinars include: detailed courses explaining how to read data for more accurate Earth science understandings and predictions. The webinars will be recorded and made available through donations. MCRI’s goal is to create at least 1 per/quarter that has over 100 topics staging and ready to record.
3. Seminars: MCRI seminars will be live events in major cities across America with the purpose to inspired and equip the current and future generations of geoscientists and engineers The MCRI team will get together with its community to delve deep into the science that is behind MagmaChem’s technologies, databases and methodology.
4. Short-Courses: Hands-on short courses will be offered that will take students through an in-depth classroom presentation on site at the MagmaChem Research Institute Center in Sonoita, Arizona or on-line. MCRI will also offer short courses to the environmental, climate, geothermal, mineral and economic geoscience industries and communities.
MagmaChem Research Institute (MCRI)