map of the state of Iowa showing Earth MRI sample locations

In October 2019, the IGS participated in a workshop hosted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) aimed at bringing state geological surveys together in an effort to identify all the potential geologic deposits of critical minerals ( across the nation.

It turns out that several potential deposits cross state borders! So the IGS partnered with more than a dozen other state surveys on two projects to assess the geochemistry of selected Pennsylvanian and Devonian bedrock formations.  During the summer of 2020, geologists with the IGS collected more than 100 samples from outcrops, quarries, and rock core samples scattered across the state.

The samples were sent to the USGS for geochemical analysis.  The Pennsylvanian samples will be assessed for rare earth elements (, aluminum, and lithium.  The Devonian samples will be assessed for rare earth elements only.  Results of the analyses will be released to the public and will help identify areas where further research is needed to characterize the critical mineral potential.

For further information on the projects see: