THE ORIGIN OF ROCKS AND MINERAL DEPOSITS
Using current physical chemistry of small particle systems
Pages: 704 Pages with over 500 colour illustrations, diagrams and photos.
Recommended Retail Price: $240 (includes GST)
Published in December 2016
The scientific method seeks to explain natural phenomena using natural laws, verifiable and reproducible observations and measurements that validate logical conclusions.
Two outstandingly successful Australian research projects based on correct use of the scientific method have resulted in this interdisciplinary research that introduces significant new knowledge. The application of colloid science in this book has embraced the geological sciences in a coherent and compelling way.
In 1998 Professor T. W. Healy led a team of Particulate Fluids Processing Centre researchers at the University of Melbourne. They were successful in adapting an atomic force microscope to measure forces between colloidal particles due to their surface charge.
This substantiates the research of John Elliston’s team of exploration geologists and their advisors. From the 1960’s they have claimed that natural sediments are immense accumulations of high-energy particles containing colloids (particles 1 to 1,500 nanometers in size). When they are mobilised such as by earthquake shocks, these can achieve a more stable condition by aggregating to close-packed clusters. Heat is generated by chemical reactions when the particle clusters finally crystallise to metamorphic, porphyroidal or granitic rocks.
This fundamental research now resolves many long standing problems in the Earth sciences and the new understanding of the way that mineral deposits are formed has been shown to lead to much more efficient and cost effective mineral exploration. Application of these two innovative research achievements will certainly benefit economic development.
Carey, 1996, p.26 recognised this new knowledge, “years of intensive world-wide study of porphyroids, orbicules, and rapakivi granites demonstrated how these developed through colloidal processes”. This new geological theory “has the same importance to that subject as Darwin's to biology” (Ninham and Nostro, 2010, p. 72).
About the Author
John Elliston has been involved in the conduct and supervision of mineral exploration and research for over 45 years. After early experience as a chemist and consulting geologist he joined a progressive mining company in 1956 where studies led to developing an understanding of the nature and origin of the local mineral deposits. His work and application of the new concepts led to a series of exploration successes and the opening of these new mines resulted in dramatic growth of the company. He was appointed to the board of the parent company in 1969. As an Executive Director he was responsible for the activities of a number of technical subsidiaries including Geopeko Limited and he also became a director of several large mining and industrial companies. He directed the exploration and mine geological teams who went on to develop further significant Australian resources.
From the Foreword
"We think when our equilibrium is disturbed". This truism is attributed to the great Columbia University educator, Professor John Dewey.
John Elliston is a scientist who has never shirked the responsibility all scientists should have of challenging the established ideas, theories and paradigms in our various fields of scientific endeavour. This work is interdisciplinary, based as much on colloid science as on his careful geological observations and meticulous review of the literature in both disciplines. The principles of colloid and surface chemistry are impeccably well represented in the text of this book.
These principles applied to natural particle systems will no doubt disturb the equilibrium of many geologists. If in doing so, John Elliston is able to have scholars follow the structure of the thinking he has outlined in this book, he will have done them and our science a great service. By contrasting Elliston's views on the central issues in mineral and rock forming processes with those in accepted texts, serious scholars will need to re-evaluate their own explicit or perhaps implicit acceptance of the dogmas of traditional earth science.
There is nothing wrong with dogma! There is something quite wrong however, if we = are unwilling to let a fellow scholar challenge our earnestly held beliefs. We need to be secure in our own ability to learn and explore new ideas because in the final analysis the rocks will speak for themselves. Their unmistakable testimony is quite clear from the prolific illustrations in this book.
My introduction to the ideas John Elliston has laid out in this book came when he asked me to explain the then current understanding of how particles aggregated in aqueous, usually concentrated, colloidal dispersions. That role has been and continues to be a labour of love for me. I was able to see the results of all the theories of surface science displayed in the rocks around me. Rock textures and structures reflect colloidal stability, ion and molecule adsorption, and rheology. These are near and dear to my heart as a colloid and surface chemist.
The colloid science that John Elliston uses in this book is all standard textbook stuff. It has been presented in Australian, American, English, Japanese, and European Universities where I have had the privilege of teaching over the last 40 years. Colloid science is experiencing a rebirth; we are now 'nanotechnologists' immersed in a nanometric scale world. We are advised to explore the world of 'nanomachines', 'nanostructures' and the like. I give a lecture each year on "Muds, Slimes, Sludge, and other Uninteresting Materials". I am thinking of adding the prefix 'nano' to 'Materials'! It may achieve a promotion!
The truth is that the energy stored in surfaces, when specific surface area is large, is a formidable driving force. Electrostatic potential differences of a few millivolts, for example decaying over the length of say the diameters of three or four water molecules (about 10 Ångströms or one nanometre) yields a field strength of millions of volts per centimetre. This is the standard stuff of Colloid Science.
The author, John Elliston, built up and led one of the most innovative and successful exploration teams in the history of mineral exploration. It's success was substantially due to Elliston's insistence on attention to proper observation and recording of the evidence in the rocks, which led to the development of revolutionary new concepts of magma formation and mineralising processes.
We need scientists like John Elliston; we need books like this one. Colloid chemists will love it; I believe geologists will learn to love it. Those of us who are not geologists envy you. Your world of mineral, rock and ore forming processes is so exciting. You have a great responsibility to expose the young minds in your care to these ideas. To tell them not to think about new ideas is to condemn your science to oblivion.
-- Thomas W. Healy, AO, FRACI, FAA, FTSE, Emeritus Professor of Physical Chemistry
Summary of Contents
Chapter 1 SURFACE CHEMISTRY APPLIED TO BASIN SEDIMENTS LEADS TO MAJOR ADVANCES IN EARTH SCIENCE
Chapter 2 THE ORIGIN OF ORE METAL SULPHIDES IN NATURAL ENVIRONMENTS
Chapter 3 THE MASSIVE FLOW AND SLIDING OF SUBMARINE SEDIMENTS
Chapter 4 THE CRITICALLY IMPORTANT DISCOVERY OF ACCRETIONS
Chapter 5 THE DISCOVERY OF SOURCE ROCKS AND THE ORIGIN OF OREBODIES
Chapter 6 DISCOVERING SEDIMENT MOBILITY THAT FORMED THE PORPHYROIDS
Chapter 7 UNMISTAKABLE EVIDENCE OF A SEDIMENTARY ORIGIN FOR THE TENNANT CREEK PORPHYROIDS
Chapter 8 THE PRINCIPLE OF ACCRETION FORMATION IN MOBILISED FINE-GRAINED SEDIMENTS
Chapter 9 SHEARED WET SEDIMENTS FORM PARTIAL GRANITES
Chapter 10 THE HISTORY OF MOLTEN GRANITE THEORY AND SOME OF ITS PROBLEMS
Chapter 11 CONGEALED GRANITES THAT HAVE NOT REMAINED SOLID
Chapter 12 GRANITE BEHAVIOUR IS INCONSISTENT WITH MELTS
Chapter 13 MORE EVIDENCE THAT GRANITES WERE NEVER MOLTEN
Chapter 14 IMPOSSIBILITY OF CRYSTALLISING RAPAKIVI GRANITES BY MELT COOLING
Chapter 15 ORBICULES FORM ONLY IN DIFFUSIVE PARTICLE SYSTEMS
Chapter 16 THE STEAMY HEAT OF GRANITE CRYSTALLISATION
Chapter 17 NEW PRINCIPLES REVEAL HOW OREBODIES ARE FORMED