Short Course and
Field Investigations of
Precambrian Volcanic Rocks,
Hydrothermal Alteration, and
Associated Mineral Deposits

May 11 – 17, 2008

University of Minnesota Duluth

Duluth, Minnesota


Wabigoon PillowsPillowed basalt in the Wabigoon Subprovince

Participant Limit: 22

Registration Fees: $1550 - Professionals
$1000- Graduate Students (limit 3)

Tuition (optional): $225 for 2.5 college credits

Registration Deadline: April 14, 2008


Registration Begins

February 1, 2008

Download pdf's of:

Information Circular

Registration Form

Workshop Information:

About the Workshop
Workshop Instructors
Short Course
Field Trip (Travel to Canada)
Workshop Schedule
Registration and Fees
College Credits and Tuition
Notice of Acceptance and Cancellation Policy
Graduate Student Registration
About Duluth
Air and Ground Transportation to Duluth
Hotel Accommodations
More Information

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About the Workshop
The workshop is designed for professional geologists and graduate students working with and/or interested in hydrothermally altered and/or metamorphosed Precambrian volcanic rocks associated with subaerial and submarine volcanic-associated mineralization.  Emphasis will be placed on the physical volcanology of mafic and felsic volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks and their hydrothermal alteration, mineralization, and metamorphism.

The workshop will lead off with a three-day short course involving lectures and labs conducted in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Minnesota Duluth on May 12-14.  A three-day field trip to the Sturgeon Lake area of northwestern Ontario and the Western Vermilion district of northern Minnesota concludes the workshop on May 15-17.

Workshop Instructors
Listed below are bios of the scheduled list of instructors for the short course.

  • Ron Morton - Professor,  Dept. of Geological Sciences, University of Minnesota Duluth
    Research Interests: Physical volcanology, volcanogenic massive sulfide VMS mineralization, and hydrothermal alteration of greenstone belts in northwestern Ontario and northern Minnesota.
  • George Hudak - Associate Professor, Dept. of Geology, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
    Research Interests:
    Field-based volcanic facies and hydrothermal alteration mineral facies mapping associated with Neoarchean VMS and epithermal gold deposits; variations in mineral chemistry across ancient submarine hydrothermal alteration zones; geochemistry of Precambrian volcanic rocks and associated hydrothermal alteration zones, and mineralization.

  • Jim Franklin - Consulting Geologist; Adjunct Professor of Economic Geology, Queens University and Laurentian University; formerly with the Canadian Geological Survey (1975-1993).
    Research Interests: economic geology of volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits, orogenic and porphyry-style
    gold in Precambrian terrains, and magmatic nickel-copper sulfide deposits
  • Paul Spry - Professor, Dept. of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Iowa State University
    Research Interests:
    economic geology, mineralogy and petrology, and the geochemistry of metallic and non-metallic deposits.  Current research focuses on the petrological, mineralogical, structural, geochronological, stable isotope and fluid inclusion characteristics of epithermal and mesothermal gold deposits, as well as the effects of metamorphism on massive sulfide deposits.
  • Michelle DeWolfe PhD. Candidate, Dept. of Earth Sciences, Laurentian University
    Research Interests:
    Volcanology and igneous petrology and their application towards exploration for hydrothermal ore deposits. PhD research involves volcanic and alteration facies mapping associated with Precambrian VMS deposits.

Short Course  
(Monday, May 12 – Wednesday, May 14)

Three days of instruction involve lectures and laboratory sessions on the topics listed below.  Study materials will include lecture notes, hand specimens, thin sections, and chemical analyses of a variety of altered and metamorphosed volcanic, volcaniclastic, and epiclastic rocks associated with volcanic-associated mineralization. Numerous classic submarine mineralized regions will be discussed during the course and showcased in the labs.  These include:
            Noranda, Quebec                       Timmins, Ontario                       Winston Lake, Ontario
            Sturgeon Lake, Ontario               Snow Lake, Manitoba                 Kuroko, Japan
            Flin Flon, Manitoba                      Wawa, Ontario                           Vermilion District, Minnesota

Participants will receive a short course volume that will include lecture and lab notes and pertinent background information and articles.

Day 1: Physical Volcanology

Lectures: Components of submarine volcanic centers and recognition of synvolcanic structures; Synvolcanic intrusions and structures; Submarine mafic lavas; Submarine felsic lavas
Lab: Synvolcanic intrusions, submarine mafic lavas, submarine felsic lavas

Day 2: Hydromagmatic Processes

Lectures: Submarine volcaniclastic rocks; Hydromagmatic processes; Mafic hydromagmatic volcanism; Submarine felsic pyroclastic volcanism; Volcaniclastic sediments and peperites
Lab: Mafic volcaniclastic rocks, felsic volcaniclastic rocks, peperites

Day 3: Alteration, Mineralization and Metamorphism

Lectures: Hydrothermal alteration of mafic and felsic rocks; Mineralization in the submarine environment; Innovations in exploration for VMS deposits; Metamorphism of alteration mineral assemblages
Lab: Alteration and metamorphism of mafic and felsic rocks; VMS mineral deposits

Field Trip
(Thursday, May 15 – Saturday, May 17)

A three-day long field trip will investigate the well-preserved, hydrothermally altered and metamorphosed volcanic rocks within the Wabigoon and Wawa Greenstone Belts of the Superior Province.  Participants will receive a guidebook for the field trip.
In the Sturgeon Lake area of northwestern Ontario, one of the world’s best preserved mineralized Neoarchean caldera complexes will be investigated.  Features that will be investigated include caldera-collapse associated meso- and megabreccia deposits, voluminous subaqueously deposited felsic tuffs and lapilli tuffs, well preserved mafic-intermediate pillow lavas, pillow breccias, hyaloclastite and peperites, submarine lava domes and dome-associated breccia deposits, and replacement-style volcanogenic massive sulfide mineralization. Additionally, various alteration mineral assemblages and their spatial relationships to synvolcanic fault zones will be observed and evaluated.

Field Trip area

In the Vermilion District of northeastern Minnesota, a Neoarchean, mafic-intermediate, lava flow-dominated submarine volcanic sequence will be studied.  Geological studies suggest that this succession is representive of a submarine succession deposited in increasingly deeper water during the transition from an arc to back-arc environment.  As such, field evidence for evaluating ancient water depth interpretations (flow facies, volcaniclastic strata, alteration and mineralization styles) will be discussed.  Field trip stops will evaluate exceptionally well-preserved pillow lavas, sheet flows, peperites base-metal enriched exhalites and Algoma-type iron formations. Additionally, regionally extensive semi-conformable (quartz-epidote) and localized disconformable (chlorite-sericite) alteration zones will be visited.

Travel to Canada
To avoid any complication at the U.S.-Canadian border, all participants are required to carry a valid passport during the field trip.  According to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiatives (WHTI) regulations from the US Homeland Security Department, US-Canadian border crossings by land after January 31, 2008 will require US and Canadian citizens to present a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, along with proof of citizenship, such as a passport, birth certificate, or naturalization certificate.     

Workshop Schedule
Sunday, May 11 - Participants arrive in Duluth; check in to hotels
     18:00-21:00     Welcoming reception (vans will ferry participants to and from reception location)

Monday, May 12 – Short course: Day 1 – Physical Volcanology
         7:45-8:00     Participants transported by van from hotels to UMD
       8:00-12:00     Lecture (w/ coffee break)
     12:00-13:00     Lunch break (UMD dining center)
     13:15-17:00     Lecture and Lab (w/ coffee break)
              17:30      Participants transported by vans back to hotels

Tuesday, May 13 – Short course: Day 2 – Hydromagmatic Processes
         7:45-8:00      Participants transported by van from hotels to UMD
       8:00-12:00      Lecture and Lab (w/ coffee break)
     12:00-13:00      Lunch break (UMD dining center)
     13:15-17:00      Lecture and Lab (w/ coffee break)
              17:30       Participants transported by vans to banquet location
            ~21:30       Participants transported by vans back to hotels

Wednesday, May 14 – Short course: Day 3 – Alteration, Mineralization, and Metamorphism
         7:45-8:00      Participants transported by van from hotels to UMD
       8:00-12:00      Lecture (w/ coffee break)
     12:00-13:00      Lunch break (UMD dining center)
     13:15-17:00      Lecture and Lab (w/ coffee break)
              17:30      Participants transported by vans back to hotels

Thursday, May 15 – Field Trip: Day 1 – Drive to Sturgeon Lake
       6:45 - 7:00      Participants collected from hotels by van, taken to bus loading area
       7:00-16:00      Drive to Sturgeon Lake; breakfast & lunch provided: a few roadside stops enroute
     16:00-17:00      Check into Northwood Motel
     17:00-19:00      Dinner* at Northwoods Restaurant
     19:00-21:00      Overview lecture on Sturgeon Lake geology

Friday, May 16 – Field Trip: Day 2 –Sturgeon Lake Area Field Trip
         7:00-7:45      Breakfast* at Northwoods Restaurant
       9:00-16:00      Sturgeon Lake field trip
     16:00-18:00      Drive to Dryden
     18:00-19:00      Dinner* in Dryden
     19:00-23:00      Drive to Lake Vermilion, check in at Fortune Bay Casino

Saturday, May 17 – Field Trip: Day 3 – Vermilion District Field Trip
         7:00-8:00      Breakfast* at Fortune Bay
         8:00-9:00      Overview lecture on Vermilion District geology
       9:00-17:30      Vermilion District field trip
     18:00-19:30      Banquet dinner at Fortune Bay casino
     19:30-22:00      Drive to Duluth; return participants to hotels; end of workshop
Sunday, May 18 – Participants return home

* at participants’ expense

Registration and Fees
Registration for this hands-on workshop is limited to 22 participants with preference given to PRC members*.  Three slots at a discounted rate will be reserved for students enrolled in MS or PhD programs (see requirements below). All other participants will be accepted to the workshop on a first come – first serve basis contingent upon receipt of the registration form and full payment of the workshop fee.

Total Workshop Fee: $1550 ($1000 for students, limit 3)
Registrations will be accepted starting: Feb 1, 2008
Registration deadline: April 14, 2008.
Final Notice of Acceptance: April 15, 2008
Cancellation Deadline: April 29, 2008

* Click here to learn about the benefits of a PRC membership.

The workshop fee includes:

  • Copy of short course volume and field trip guidebook
  • Certificate of Attendance indicating contact hours (40)
  • Van transport between Downtown Duluth/Canal Park hotels and UMD
  • Welcoming reception Sunday evening (5/11)
  • Banquet dinner Tuesday evening (5/13)
  • Lunches and morning coffee breaks during short course (5/12-5/14)
  • Two nights lodging during the field trip (5/15 & 5/16)
  • Field trip transportation (by mini-coach bus)
  • Lunches and refreshments during field trip (5/15 – 5/17)
  • Banquet dinner Saturday evening (5/17)

Participants will be responsible for all other meals not indicated above, as well as their hotel accommodations in Duluth and transportation to and from Duluth.

College Credits and Tuition
All registrants will receive a certificate of participation at the completion of the workshop that indicates involvement in 40 contact hours of instruction. Registrants also have the option of receiving 2.5 undergraduate credits from the University of Minnesota Duluth for participating in this workshop and submitting brief reports. 
Course Name:
GEOL 5095, Sec. 241 - Special Topics: Precambrian Volcanic Rocks, Hydrothermal Alteration, and Associated Mineral Deposits
Instructor of Record:
Prof. Ron Morton, UMD Department of Geological Sciences
Tuition Fee:
$225 ($85/credit for tuition; $5/credit for UMD Information Technology Systems and Services fee)
To receive full credit for the course, participants must:

  1. Participate in all aspects of the short course and field trip
  2. Submit a 2- to 3-page reflection paper on each of the three short course sessions
  3. Complete an evaluation of various alteration mineral assemblages and their spatial relationships to synvolcanic fault zones
  4. Complete a course evaluation form

Requirements 2-4 must be submitted to the instructor by June 30, 2008 to receive Spring 08 credit.

Notice of Acceptance and Cancellation Policy
Upon receipt of a completed registration form and full payment, a preliminary notice of acceptance will be sent.  If the workshop fills before the registration deadline, you can request to be put on a waiting list and your check held.  Because a limited number of PRC members have priority for the course at any time before the registration deadline, it is possible (but unlikely) to be bumped from the workshop by a PRC member, especially for late registrants.  Notices of acceptance to the workshop will begin to be sent on April 15.

A full course refund is given if notice of cancellation is received by April 29.  Our program obligations make it necessary to assess a charge equal to one-half of the course fee for later cancellations.  No course refund is possible after the course begins on May 11.

Graduate Student Registration
Up to three graduate students enrolled in accredited M.S. or Ph.D. programs in Canadian or US colleges during the 2007-2008 academic year may attend the workshop at a discounted registration rate of $1000.  Student registrations must be accompanied by:

  • a letter by the student briefly describing how the workshop pertains to their thesis research and their career goals.
  • a letter of recommendation from their thesis advisor commenting on the qualifications of the student and the usefulness of this workshop to the student’s thesis research.

Student registrations do not initially require payment of fees.   If more than 3 students register, the three most qualified students will be chosen and notified by April 15.  Upon notification of acceptance into the workshop, students will be expected to pay the registration fee (and tuition costs, if requested) by April 29.

About Duluth
Duluth, the world’s largest freshwater inland port, is located at the western tip of Lake Superior, midway between the Twin Cities of Minneapolis / St. Paul and the Canadian border.  Nestled in the hills overlooking the largest of the Great Lakes, the city offers breathtaking scenery and serves as the gateway to abundant recreational opportunities.

Persons desiring additional information about Duluth can call the Duluth Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1-800-4-DULUTH (438-5884) or visit their website ( For additional information about Minnesota, call the Minnesota Office of Tourism at 888-TOURISM (868-7476) or visit their website at

Air and Ground Transportation to Duluth
Daily flights into Duluth International Airport ( are provided by Northwest Airlines with up eight flights daily arriving from Minneapolis-St. Paul and two from Detroit.  Transportation from the airport to area hotels and motels is available by taxi at reasonable rates and some hotels provide shuttle service (check with your hotel).  Rental cars may also be obtained at the airport from Alamo, Avis, Budget, Hertz, and National.

Hotel Accommodations
Participants are expected to reserve and pay for their own hotel accommodations for the time (5 nights) you will be in Duluth - Sunday night (5/11) thru Thursday morning (5/15) and Saturday night (5/17).   For ease of collecting and transporting people to and from UMD by van, we request that you book accommodations in one of the Downtown/Canal Park area hotels listed below, at least for the first four nights.  The locations of these hotels are shown on the map below.  Rates listed in the table below are "UMD rates" quoted by the various hotels; they are not guaranteed and are subject to change.  The location of your accommodations for Saturday night are flexible since most people will be finding their own way out of town on Sunday.   If you are flying out of Duluth on Sunday, you might want to stay at one of several motels near the airport or inquire whether your hotel has airport shuttle service. 

Downtown Duluth/Canal Park (see map) Single "UMD Rate" (Sun-Thurs)
Canal Park Lodge  




Hampton Inn  



$89/$109 (Cityview/Lakeview)

Inn on Lake Superior  




The Suites at Waterfront Plaza Hotel  




Comfort Suites  



$89/$109 (Cityview/Lakeview)
Radisson Hotel  



Holiday Inn  



Miller Hill Mall/Airport Area     Estimated Weekend Rates

Country Inn & Suites










Days Inn





Fairfield Inn





Downtown Duluth hotels

For More Information

Questions about registration or accommodations?
                                                            Contact Jim Miller – 218/720-4355,

Questions about the short course, field trips, or college credits?
                                                            Contact Ron Morton – 218/726-7218,
                                                                or George Hudak – 920-424-4463,

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