January 12, 2017
||Dr. Frank Reith,
The University of Adelaide, School of Biological Sciences, Adelaide, Australia
||Seminarraum 2, Universität Stuttgart
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Gold has and still plays an important role in many societies across space, time and culture boundaries. While worldwide discovery rates are decreasing, fundamental knowledge of the biogeochemical cycling of gold and its transport behavior in the unsaturated zone is increasing, which may aid mineral exploration. Environmental mobility of gold leads to large fingerprints of underlying mineralisation in soils and sediments, which to date are little understood and underutilized for exploration. Only recently we have gained a direct understanding of the chemical complexes and nano-particles that are the vectors of gold transport in Earth surface environments. This knowledge is based on the measurement of gold speciation and distribution of Au nano-particles in natural solution and solid phases using hyphenated techniques, e.g., HPLC/SP-ICP-MS. Results were astounding in that some gold-complexes, predicted to not exist in Earth surface environments, were actually detected. This prompted a search of the underlying (bio)geochemical mechanisms of gold solubilisation/dispersion. To describe mechanisms of gold transport/(bio)precipitation and constrain links to the geological, geochemical and biological processes involved will be the topic of this presentation.