Skip to main content

Central Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center

Skip to main content
Generalized map of Lake Superior region showing major rock types of the Midcontinent rift and locations of known Ni-Cu mineralization in the region.
Generalized map of the western Lake Superior region showing the distribution of major rock types of the Midcontinent rift and locations of known Ni-Cu sulfide mineralization in Minnesota and Wisconsin. From USGS Information Handout Potential for New Nickel-Copper Sulfide Deposits in the Lake Superior Region.

We are conducting data acquisition and multidisciplinary research to image and characterize the Midcontinent rift and related mineral resources, to document mineral resource potential, and to evaluate mineral environmental impact of past and future mineral resource development in the region. The midcontinent rift is a 1.1 billion-year-old structural feature that is exposed in the Lake Superior region, but is covered by younger rocks as it extends to the south through Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. Rocks that formed in response to the rift, such as the Duluth layered igneous complex in northern Minnesota, contain significant known resources of copper, nickel, and platinum group metals.

Current Projects