James Mortensen

Professor Emeritus

EOS Main 219
(778) 384-1159

My research involves the application of radiogenic isotopes to address a wide variety of tectonic and metallogenic problems. My work is mainly field-based, and includes projects in Phanerozoic orogenic belts of the northern Cordillera in Yukon and Alaska as well as the southwest US, Mexico, South America, northeastern China and Australia. I am also involved in several projects studying Precambrian rocks in the Canadian Shield.

I presently have four main on-going research projects in the northern Cordillera. These are: 1) the tectonic evolution of the Yukon-Tanana Terrane in Yukon and eastern Alaska; 2) the petrogenesis and metallogeny of Cretaceous igneous rocks in the northern Cordillera; 3) Early Tertiary igneous and sedimentary rocks associated with initiation of offset on the Tintina Fault Zone; and 4) regional controls on precious metal-enriched VMS deposits in the Early and Middle Jurassic Hazelton Group in British Columbia. Much of this research is collaborative with colleagues from the Yukon Geological Survey, Geological Survey of Canada, U.S. Geological Survey, and the Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU) at UBC, as well as several other Canadian and U.S. universities. I have recently initiated a study focusing on composition and shape studies of placer and lode gold in the central and western Yukon and employing a combination of SEM, microprobe and laser ablation ICP-MS methods, with the goal of determining the ultimate source(s) of placer gold in this region. I am also currently beginning new research projects with Australian colleagues, studying the tectonics and metallogeny of parts of northern Queensland and western Tasmania.

Ph.D. (University of California - Santa Barbara)