About 75 percent of the world’s copper comes from porphyry copper deposits. That’s three-quarters of the copper in your phone, your laptop and other high-tech devices that use the metal in their circuits. New research at the University of Idaho and the University of Michigan unearths how porphyry copper deposits are distributed around the world.
Brian Yanites — an assistant professor in the UI Department of Geological Sciences — and Stephen Kesler — an emeritus professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Michigan — paired their areas of expertise to explore how the building of mountains and the climate in different regions of the world work together to determine the deposits’ sites. Their work was published in the online edition of Nature Geoscience on May 11.
Yanites is a geomorphologist, studying the Earth’s topography. Kesler is an economic geologist, studying the formation of deposits that can be mined for raw materials.