“Geodynamics” is the study of the dynamic processes of the Earth’s crust and mantle, from deep convection that causes plate tectonics to seafloor spreading, mountain building, volcanism, faulting and earthquakes. Geophysical properties including magnetics, gravity, and seismicity are used to observe large-scale processes at the plate boundaries; and mineralogy and geochemistry are used to understand crustal composition and evolution. Because the Earth’s crust and mantle are heterogeneous, the distribution of energy and mineral resources are highly variable. Students in iMAGE-CREATE are using geodynamics to gain a better picture of the crust and mantle and thereby regional, as well as local, controls on resource distribution.
The characteristics of different energy and mineral resources (i.e., their size, grade, composition, and location) are directly linked to the architecture and make-up of the crust at different scales, from supercontinent cycles to more local phenomenon. This relationship is the definition of “metallogeny”, which divides the Earth into major metallogenic provinces and metallogenic epochs. Students in iMAGE-CREATE are advancing the study of global metallogeny through geodynamics.