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Open-File Report 82-0795

Characteristics of Mineral Deposit Occurrences

Compiled by Ralph L. Erickson

This publication is a compilation of the characteristics of 47 mineral deposit occurrences. It describes the geologic, geochemical, and geophysical characteristics of different types of mineral deposits with a focus on the criteria for recognition of favorable geologic terranes and "ore guides" within those terranes. It was originally intended as a guidebook to aid U.S. Geological Survey scientists in mineral resource assessments and was our first attempt to organize the descriptive geologic characteristics of mineral deposits into preliminary "models." A later publication, "Mineral Deposit Models" (USGS Bulletin 1693, D. Cox and D. Singer, editors, 1986) continued this effort.

Originally published in 1982, this report is presented here in Portable Document Format. Adobe Acrobat Reader 3.0™ or higher is required to view it. If you already have Acrobat Reader installed on your computer, click here to access the text (28 MB).

The volume consists of 51 separate files and may be navigated using links (highlighted in red) within the table of contents.

For more information about this report contact William D. Heran at

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Acrobat Reader, free of charge or go to for free tools that allow visually impaired users to read PDF files.

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