MAL19-GD | Augustus Love Medal Lecture by Taras Gerya and GD Division Outstanding ECS Award Lecture by Anne Glerum
Augustus Love Medal Lecture by Taras Gerya and GD Division Outstanding ECS Award Lecture by Anne Glerum
Convener: Jeroen van Hunen
| Tue, 16 Apr, 19:00–20:00 (CEST)
Room K1
Tue, 19:00

Orals: Tue, 16 Apr | Room K1

Chairperson: Jeroen van Hunen
GD Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award
On-site presentation
Anne C. Glerum, Sascha Brune, Joseph M. Magnall, Philipp Weis, and Sarah A. Gleeson

The growing global demand for metal resources requires new high-grade ore deposit discoveries. Known large sediment-hosted clastic-dominated base metal deposits predominantly occur in failed continental rifts and the passive margins of successful rifts. Understanding the large-scale geodynamic controls on rift-related mineralizing processes occurring on much smaller spatial and temporal scales can thus help identify new areas for exploration.

We numerically model 2D rift systems from inception to break-up with the geodynamic code ASPECT (Kronbichler et al., 2012; Heister et al., 2017) coupled to the landscape evolution model FastScape (Braun and Willett, 2013; Neuharth et al., 2022). With ~300-m resolution simulations, we investigate how rift type and the efficiency of sedimentary processes affect the formation of potential metal source and host rock domains, identified by their lithology and temperature. We subsequently analyse the optimal alignment of these domains where metals are respectively leached and deposited  with faulting events providing potential fluid pathways between them (e.g., Rodríguez et al., 2021). For favourable co-occurrences of source, pathway and host, we identify the tectonic conditions that predict the largest clastic-dominated lead-zinc deposits.

We show that the largest potential for metal endowment is expected in narrow asymmetric rifts at a distance of several tens of kilometres to the shore (Glerum et al., 2023). Characterized by rift migration, these rifts generate a wide and a narrow conjugate margin. On the narrow margin, the long-lived border fault accommodates a thick submarine package of sediments, including deep permeable continental sediments and shallower layers of organic-rich sediments. Elevated temperatures from continued thinning could lead to fluids leaching metals from the permeable sediments. Both the border fault and later synthetic faults can provide fluid pathways from the source to the shallow host rock in potential short-lived mineralisation events. In wide rifts with rift migration, these favourable configurations occur less frequently and less potential source rock is produced, limiting potential metal endowment. In simulations of narrow symmetric rifts, the potential for ore formation is low. Based on these insights, exploration programs should prioritize identifying exhumed ancient narrow margins formed in asymmetric rift systems.


Braun and Willett 2013. Geomorphology 180–181. 10.1016/j.geomorph.2012.10.008.

Glerum et al. preprint. EGUsphere 1-40. 10.5194/egusphere-2023-2518.

Heister et al. 2017. Geophys. J. Int. 210 (2): 833–51. 10.1093/gji/ggx195.

Kronbichler et al. 2012. Geophys. J. Int. 191: 12–29. 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2012.05609.x.

Neuharth et al. 2022. Tectonics 41 (3): e2021TC007166. 10.1029/2021TC007166.

Rodríguez et al. 2021. Gcubed 22: 10.1029/2020GC009453.

How to cite: Glerum, A. C., Brune, S., Magnall, J. M., Weis, P., and Gleeson, S. A.: Geodynamic controls on sediment-hosted lead-zinc deposits in continental rifts, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-5404,, 2024.

Augustus Love Medal Lecture
On-site presentation
Taras Gerya

Geodynamics is an actively expanding young quantitative science, which defined its mission very generally as introducing of physical-mathematical methods into traditionally observations-focused Earth and planetary sciences in order to understand and quantify origin and evolution of Earth and other planets. As such, this young science is not limited by any specific object or subject and widens its scope through time. This is a very natural process (‘instinctive evolution’) since human scales of direct observation are extremely limited in both time and space and since rapid progress of quantitative physical-mathematical and computational methods offers every day new and exceptional possibilities to explore sophisticated physical-mathematical models for understanding intrinsically complex natural processes. As the result of this ‘instinctive evolution’, new frontiers in geodynamics are (and always were) defined by its expansion toward other fields. Initially, Geodynamics mainly expanded towards Structural Geology and Tectonics. Currently, new Geodynamics expansion tendencies are clearly visible toward: Seismology, Geomorphology, Geochemistry, Petrology, Climatology, Planetology/Astronomy and Biology/Astrobiology. In this lecture, I will give some recent examples of this impressive expansion and outline future expectations and challenges.

How to cite: Gerya, T.: New Frontiers in Geodynamics, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-8300,, 2024.


  • Anne Glerum, GFZ Potsdam, Germany
  • Taras Gerya, ETH Zurich, Switzerland