The Oak Hill deposit is a major wollastonite (CaSiO3) producer associated with anorthosite magmatism in the Adirondack Highlands, NY. Wollastonite from Oak Hill is used in applications as diverse as plastics, paints, construction materials, and metallurgical products. Wollastonite – clinopyroxene – garnet skarns in the Lewis area formed between anorthosite plutons and carbonate country rocks because of infiltration of heated meteoric water caused by anorthosite emplacement. This project examines the conditions of intrusion of the anorthosite and its hydrothermal effect on surrounding rocks. Students working on this project will visit the Oak Hill mine, describe and sample the exploration core drilled by the mining company, and outcrops in the mine, and will analyze samples back at Colgate. The aim of the project is to better understand the role of igneous versus surface fluids in formation of the ore deposit, the plumbing of fluid infiltration, and the conditions of contact metamorphism of the anorthosite.
Students should have completed Geol 201 (Mineralogy). Geol 320 (Techniques of Field Geology) is not required, but would be helpful. The Geology Department encourages students interested in summer research to meet with potential faculty supervisors before submitting an application.