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3D process modelling and data-driven analysis of ore-formation within the Middle and Lower Yangtze Metallogenic Belt (MLYMB)

Hefei, China

This project aims to examine the MLYMB through a complex systems approach, taking into account that there may be feedback loops and strong interconnections between parts (the nodes) of the MLYMB system at microscopic, local and regional scales. 

The project aims to test the hypothesis that so called small world networks are characteristic of highly mineralised systems implying long range spatial connections between deposits. The system is viewed as a regional set of nodes at which open flow chemical reactors operate to produce ore bodies of various grades. Various models will be analysed which optimise the ore grades at specific nodes in the system, microscopic and local as well as regional, and their implications for mineral exploration. The approach is one of non-equilibrium thermodynamics, encompassing nonlinear dynamics and non-parametric data-driven visualisation and analysis of big data sets.

We also use computational process modelling, that is, the coupled simulation of multi-physics and chemical fields, as a core tool in the quantitative study of ore-formation and mechanics of hydrothermal deposits. This focus will be on 3D numerical simulation of ore-formation, fluid evolution, and spatial distribution of mineralisation and alteration, with analysis of the coupled relationship between multi- physics and chemical fields in different type hydrothermal metallogenic systems, and development of 3D ore-formation models. We will perform 3D simulations based on regional tectonic models exploring the ore-controlling structures and tectonic stress fields. These aim to test the relationships between diagenetic and metallogenic processes and the regional Mesozoic tectonic evolution. Computational simulation methods will be used to analyse the temporal-spatial relationships between geodynamical evolution and metallogenesis.

This project will facilitate development of an innovative quantitative study on ore-formation of hydrothermal deposits, testing new methods and providing greater confidence in our understanding of the patterns of ore formation and mineral exploration in the Middle and Lower Yangtze River Metallogenic Belt.

We are searching for a postdoctoral researcher for this project, for a 1 to 2 year appointment, based at the Hefei University of Technology (HFUT), China. Also available are funds to support a Masters student from the University of Western Australia for one month field work in China associated with this project. There are two sources of funds for the postdoctoral researcher, HFUT itself, and the Postdoctoral International Exchange Program, funded by the Office of National Postdoctoral Administrative Committee. These are particularly high-paying, high status positions. 

Please contact the Project Coordinator - Professor Alison Ord for further information.