Project Overview

Genesis of Adirondack graphite deposits

Faculty Sponsor

William Peck (




In the early 20th century graphite was mined near the village Ticonderoga in the eastern Adirondack Mountains– the pencil company it built still bears the Ticonderoga name.  Graphite is still an important industrial mineral: its high melting point allows it to be used in high-temperature metal and chemical production processes, and is also used in batteries, brake-linings, and lubricants.
The Adirondacks are made up of a package of Proterozoic rocks that were metamorphosed during a continental collision, and so the origin of the graphite-bearing rocks there has been obscured by overprinting effects, and is controversial.  This project will use major element and isotope geochemistry to help understand the origin of the graphite in different parts of the Adirondack mining district, and tie them to modern ore deposit models.  Samples from a 1917 survey of graphite deposits (on loan the NY State Museum) will be supplemented by samples collected in the field, if practicable.

Student Qualifications

Students should have completed Geol 201 (Mineralogy + Geochemistry). Geol 301 and/or 411 would be helpful, but are not required.  The Geology Department encourages students interested in summer research to meet with potential faculty supervisors before submitting an application.

Number of Student Researchers

2 students

Project Length

8 weeks

Applications open on 01/03/2021 and close on 03/22/2021

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (