Earth MRI - Pennsylvanian paleosols

Status Start Date End Date Locations
completed Jul 1, 2020 Jun 30, 2022 All Counties
Director: Maria Mastalerz
Other Researchers: Philip Ames, Agnieszka Drobniak, Matthew Johnson, Jennifer Lanman, Patrick McLaughlin Drew Andrews (KGS), Jared Freidburg (ISGS), Jessica Moore (WVGS)
Funding: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) - Central Minerals and Environmental Resources Science Center
Issue: Previous studies in the Appalachian Basin have suggest that paleosols might be a viable source of REE and lithium, and the ease of exctracting these elements from these clay-rich sediments make them an attactive target in a search for new REE sources. There are numerous relatively thick paleosols in Indiana, but so far very limited REE data are available.
Objective: The objectives are to establish understanding of the variations of REE and other trace lelements in paleosols and identifiy those zones that could be considered a potential resource.
Approach: We will work collaboratively with other state geological surveys to sample paleosol horizons that will let us to establish regional variations within and between Pennsylvanian sedimentary basins, with a special emphasis on the Illinois Basin and the Appalachian Basin. After samples are collected and documented they will be sent to KGS for pXRF analysis, and later to USGS for REE and trace element analysis
Products: In collaboration with other states, a report to USGS summarizing analyses and interpretation will be produced
Benefits: The project will provide us with new data on geology and geochemistry of paleosols