Masters Theses

Keywords and Phrases

Economic Geology; Exploration; Geochemistry


"Developing reliable geochemical indicators to guide the search for ore deposits is a long-standing goal. This particularly applies to tropical regions that are often heavily vegetated which hampers boots-on-the ground exploration efforts. Here we present the preliminary results of a study that investigates the usefulness of lake sediment chemistry in the exploration for nickel laterite ore deposits in tropical regions using Lake Izabal, Guatemala, as a case study. Lake Izabal’s catchment area contains Ni laterite deposits along its northern shore, whereas no Ni-laterite discoveries have been made in the south except for a Ni mine in the southern region that is outside the catchment area. Although Ni theoretically is the preferred element to search for Ni laterite deposits, Ni is enriched in many rocks unrelated to Ni mineralization and easily mobilized during alteration and weathering. Therefore, Ni signatures may represent a wide range of geological and anthropogenic processes and may not necessarily reflect the presence of Ni laterite deposits. Consequently, this study also focuses on other elements often associated with nickel laterite ore, such as the platinum-group elements (PGE: Os, Ir, Ru, Rh, Pt, Pd), FeO, MgO, Mn, Co, Zn, Cu, Au, and Ni. The goal of this study is to test the hypothesis that the chemistry of lake sediments can be used as a corroborative proxy for the presence and/or absence of Ni laterite deposits in the catchment area of lakes in tropical regions. The identification of these areas that are most likely and/or unlikely to contain undiscovered deposits, provides an important first step toward understanding the ore potential of yet unexplored parts of the catchment area of Lake Izabal, and, by extension, tropical lake systems worldwide"--Abstract, p. iii


Locmelis, Marek

Committee Member(s)

Obrist-Farner, Jonathan
Borrok, David M.
Eckert, Andreas


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Geology


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Summer 2022


viii, 70 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes_bibliographical_references_(pages 67-69)


© 2022 Gabriela Yvonne Ramirez, All Rights Reserved

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 12280

Included in

Geology Commons