My general research activities focus on understanding the physicochemical principles that determine mineral stability in the interior of the Earth. This goal is achieved through characterizing, by experimentation and the theory of mineral physics, equilibrium and the kinetics of mineral-melt-fluid systems in the Earth's crust. My research program is grounded in the use of diamond anvil cell assemblies, cold-seal and one-atmosphere furnaces to collect data relevant to pressing geologic questions. Subsequent thermodynamic models provide a means of applying experimental data to ancient and present geologic processes. The core of the research program is outlined below, but experimental studies are conducted in numerous other areas relating to Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry.
I generally work on metal solubility and speciation in minerals, melts and magmatic volatile phases with applications to porphyry, epithermal, MVT and layered intrusion type depositions. Some of my current projects include:
Frank, M.R., Fraley, K., Kerwin, S., and Vaccaro, D.M. (2019) Feldspar-brine alteration at high-temperatures. Lithos, 324-325, 141-151.
Kerrigan, R.J., Candela, P.A., Piccoli, P.M., Frank, M.R., and Wylie, A. (2017) An evaluation of the system olivine + quartz + water ± HCl: Controls on the growth of fibrous talc at mid-crustal conditions. Canadian Mineralogist, 55, 101-113.
Frank, M.R., Scott, H.P., Aarestad, E. and Prakapenka, V.B. (2016) Potassium Chloride-Bearing Ice VII and Ice Planet Dynamics. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 174, 156-166. 10.1016/j.gca.2015.11.027.
Fraley, K.J. and Frank, M.R. (2014) Gold Solubilities in Bornite, Intermediate Solid Solution and Pyrrhotite at 500 to 700 °C and 100 MPa. Economic Geology. 109, 407-418.
Scott, H.P., Doczy, V.M., Frank , M.R., Hasan, M., Lin, J.-F. and Yang, J. (2013) Direct Observations of Magnesite Formation from MgO and CO2 at the Pressures and Temperatures Earth’s Mantle. American Mineralogist. 98, 1211-1218.
Frank, M.R., Aarestad, E., Scott, H.P. and Prakapenka, V.B. (2012) A comparison of ice VII formed in the H2O, NaCl-H2O and Ch2OH-H2O systems: Implications for H2O-rich planets. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interior, 215, 12-20.
Frank, M.R. and Vaccaro, D.M. (2012) An Experimental Study of High Temperature Potassic Alteration: Implications for Magmatic-Hydrothermal Systems. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 83, 195-204. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2011.12.007.
Frank, M.R., Simon, A.C., Pettke, T., Candela, P.A., and Piccoli, P.M. (2011) Gold and copper partitioning in magmatic-hydrothermal systems at 800 °C and 100 MPa. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 75, 2470-2482. DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2011.02.012.
Professor and Chair
Experimental Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Petrology, Economic Geology and Planetary Geology
Davis Hall 312A