Banded iron formations to iron ore: An integrated genesis model

Desmond Lascelles

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Progress in scientific careers is dependent on publication of new research in peer-reviewed journals that is typically reviewed by established authorities in the subject. New research that confirms models proposed by those authorities receive ready acceptance, consequently the diligent search for minor traces in support of the established model and typically completely avoids the totality of evidence that calls the model into question. Furthermore the economics of research means that funding is commonly specifically targeted, e.g. to programs investigating popular hypotheses and it is not surprising that published results typically confirm the research objectives with no funds left over to investigate alternatives.
From the first attempts to understand the origin of the giant iron ore deposits, numerous false assumptions have been used as the basis of genesis models that have become standard and unquestioned with later research generally seeking to find evidence supporting the existing models and ignoring contrary evidence. Models were constructed based on extremely rare features and their absence in the global abundance of iron formations was not considered important since there was no understanding of the major sedimentary structures, i.e. laminations and banding. Inconsistencies within the hypothetical models are either ignored or excused by proposing special circumstances but no one considers that the models might be wrong or have only limited application. It is a rare author or strong supporter of an established model who can accept research that contradicts it; especially if that research points out fairly obvious false assumptions or errors of widely known scientific processes.
Many hypotheses regarding earth history have been postulated from the difference between Phanerozoic and Precambrian iron-formations. In particular, the probable development of an oxygenated atmosphere has been deduced from the evolution of iron-formations The subject has provided a fertile field for research and models of Earth history, but without a clear knowledge of the sedimentation, diagenesis and metamorphism of BIF, such models are speculative or even irrelevant. Since these models on the genesis and distribution of BIF were used as proxies to answer questions regarding the composition of the early oceans and atmosphere, weathering and transport conditions on the early land surface, volcanism and continental development in the Archean, and as they affect exploration for the largest volume and most basic of industrial metals, they have an importance beyond academic sedimentary and stratigraphic interest.
Many previous models relied on assumptions that do not withstand close examination. The aim of this book, therefore, is to present a model for the origin of BIF and the derived high-grade iron ore deposits with global application that, although still largely conjectural and therefore subject to correction and change as new information becomes available, is nevertheless free of illogical assumptions and does not conflict with either field observations or basic chemistry and physics.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherNova Science Publishers
ISBN (Electronic)1536109711
ISBN (Print)9781536109719
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Banded iron formations to iron ore: An integrated genesis model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this