Natalie Cook, MSc student, University of British Columbia 


Natalie Cook graduated with a degree in Geology from the University of Bristol, UK in 2012 and has since lived and worked in Vancouver, BC. She has experience working in the Yukon and Northern BC for a junior exploration company and has assisted on a field mapping program conducted alongside the Yukon Geological Survey. After working for just over a year, Natalie decided to pursue graduate studies at the University of British Columbia and will be focused on a MSc thesis contributing to the Carbonate Alteration Footprints project. This project is being run by the Earth and Ocean Science Department’s Mineral Deposit Research Unit.

Project: The Aim of This MSc Study is to Characterize Carbonate Alteration Footprints for Carbonate-Hosted Zn-Ag-Pb Deposits Using C and O Isotopes with the Intent of Using this Isotopic Signature as an Exploration Tool

The project objectives are as follows:

1) determine the size and intensity of alteration surrounding different types of carbonate-hosted Zn-Ag-Pb deposits,

2) characterize and map fluid flow pathways and assess the intensity of fluid:rock interactions as vectoring tools,

3) assess stable isotope alteration from proximal intrusion-related through to distal carbonate-hosted ore systems and

4) determine the optimal sampling protocols and strategies to utilize stable isotopes as an exploration tool. In these carbonate-hosted mineral deposits, there are often narrow and poorly developed hydrothermal alteration footprints.

However, fluid:rock interactions can be recorded by C and O isotopes within the carbonate host rocks and veins with the intensity of invisible isotopic alteration increasing from peripheral regions into the centre of mineralization. This isotopic signature of the alteration footprint may extend beyond the limits of the ore body, visible alteration or even geochemical anomalies. In order to maximize the application of stable isotopes as an exploration tool, this project will utilize the new, rapid, field-portable Mineral Isotope Analyzer (MIA) instrument that the Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU) at UBC has developed.