THINKING STRAIGHT TO OREBODIES

 

1. HOW DO WE ARGUE IN GEOLOGY?
- What is the structure of geological argument?
· What argument options do we have?
· What logical errors do we commonly (repeatedly) commit?
· Training ourselves to identify the critical assumptions which change the course of ore deposit arguments
CASE STUDIES: Ore deposit papers, "good and bad", from Economic Geology
Local examples: zircon dating, isotope "dating", identifying exhalites
{Section 1 based on Laing 1996 Inaugural Lecture, JCU Chapter Society of Economic Geologists}

2. SEPARATING DATA FROM INTERPRETATION
· What are data (it's not what you might think: data at line "x" in an argument were interpretation in line "w" eg. "volcanics")
CASE STUDIES: Productive separation between data and interpretation
Poor (to fatal) " " " " "

3. THE TERMS WE USE
· The terms we use drive our thinking
· Do they drive out thinking?
· Operational versus ultimate terms: using terms which force us to ask the right questions eg. "hydrothermite" vs exhalite/inhalite
CASE STUDIES: Terms we should avoid
Terms we endemically use wrongly=unproductively
{Section 3 based on Laing Workshop Night "Toss a Term Around"}

4. THE LOGIC OF SCALE-DEPENDENT CONCLUSIONS
· The dangerous errors we can make, especially in ore deposit studies
· Making the right jumps between scales: where assumptions come into it
· Using the power of bonsai samples to short-circuit ore deposit understanding, esp. in day-to-day operations: transforming your workplace into a research site
CASE STUDY: Mount Isa Pb/Zn: getting the genetic constraints right by understanding scale

5. USING MODELS
· How does our profession use models, particularly in exploration?
· Do we use them wisely? Do we control them? Do they control us?
· Is there a time at which we should not use models? Internal vs external modelling
CASE STUDIES: Tracing the history and useage of classical models: VMS, porphyry Cu

6. MAPPING
· The logical structure of mapping: 2 different types, one productive, one unproductive
· The logical structure of maps: a hierarchy of different types
· The data of mapping: 2 different types, one less useful than the other
· The learning curves of mapping: which do you want to be on?
· How to optimise mapping; a whole new ballgame
EXERCISES: Hypothesising at outcrop; Maps without legends; Lithostrat vs lith mapping; Choosing mapping methods; Mapping design

7. THE LOGIC OF ORE SYSTEMS
· What is an ore system? What is an ore deposit? What is the systems approach to ore?
· Orebody "look-alikes" - more than meets the eye!
· What is an exploration program? A new way of perceiving what we do all the time

8. WHERE DOES OUR EGO FIT IN?
· Where is our ego valuable?
· Where is ego counterproductive, and what valuable thing arises when we remove it?

9. INSIGHTFUL CASE STUDIES
The syngenetic versus epigenetic debate
{Section 9 based on unpublished Manuscript "Syngenetic versus Epigenetic Arguments"}