Dr. Stephen Piercey


University Research Professor

Contact Information

Room: ER5025
Phone: 709-864-2477
Fax: 709 864-2589
Email: spiercey @ mun.ca

Research Interests

I am a field geologist whose research involves using field relationships obtained through mapping, stratigraphy, and logging of drill core to provide the framework upon which to undertake more detailed petrography and analytical work. I extensively use lithogeochemistry, radiogenic isotopes (Nd-Hf-Sr-Pb), stable isotopes (C-H-O-S), geochronology (U-Pb, Ar-Ar, Re-Os), and microanalytical methods to solve various geological problems. My specific research interests include:

  1. Lithostratigraphy, Volcanology, and Sedimentary Evolution of Mineral Deposits: Volcanic, sedimentary, and hydrothermal alteration facies analysis of mineral deposits to delineate the setting, style, alteration distribution, and basin analysis, with particular emphasis on volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS), volcanic-hosed uranium, iron ore, orogenic gold, and sediment-hosted base metal deposits.
  2. Hydrothermal  Alteration Systems: Geology, facies, mineralogy, lithogeochemistry,  stable and radiogenic isotopes, chemical fluxes, and applications to exploration.  Utilization of field-portable methods (e.g., TerraSpec, Portable XRF) to obtain “real time” alteration data in the field.
  3. Exploration  Geochemistry: Lithogeochemistry, mineralogy, and isotopic methods to understand the petrology of ore-associated and ore-barren magmatism to understand the relationship between magmatism and tectonics in ore deposit genesis and localization (e.g., VMS, orogenic Au, volcanic-hosted U); hydrothermal alteration geochemistry; lithogeochemical survey design and interpretation; analytical geochemistry, quality control and quality assurance protocols and data monitoring in exploration geochemistry.
  4. Ore  Mineralogy and Geometallurgy: Silicate and sulfide mineralogy, mineral compositions, mineral liberation, and utilization for understanding the P-T-Eh-pH-fO2 conditions of ore formation and alteration.  Application of scanning electron microscopy, electron microprobe, and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry to understanding ore mineralogy and mineral deposit genesis.
  5. Shales and Hydrothermal Sediments: Geology, mineralogy, bulk rock and isotopic compositions.  Utilization as vectors to hydrothermal mineralization, and for understanding paleoceanography and oceanic oxidation state and its control on ore deposit genesis and localization.   
  6. Origin of Fluids and Metals in Ore Deposits: Application of isotopic and trace element methods to understand the sources of metals and fluids in ore systems.
  7. Crustal Growth, Tectonics, and Metallogeny of Ancient Orogens: Utilization of field, geochemical, and isotopic methods to understand the temporal, petrological, and metallogenic evolution of ancient orogens (e.g., Cordillera, Appalachians) and greenstone belts (e.g., Abitibi, Slave Province).
  8. Importance of Metals to the Green Economy: public outreach and general research on the source of metals, their role in technological development and addressing climate change, and Canada’s role in supplying metals and technical know-how to the world.