Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search



Dr. Sean Mc Clenaghan
Assistant Professor, Geology

Biography

In 2013, Dr. Sean Harrison McClenaghan, BSc., MSc., PhD., PGeo was appointed to the Assistant Professor position in Economic Geology in the Department of Geology, Trinity College Dublin. Sean has been an active researcher in mineral deposits geology for 15 years, with a wide range of professional experience in governments, academia and the exploration industry. He is an expert on the trace-element geochemistry of hydrothermal systems, in particular Pb-Zn massive sulfide deposits. Focussed research has taken advantage of the most up to date, state of the art analytical techniques available (e.g., Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry, Laser-Ablation ICP-MS) with the goal of dissecting ore-forming systems. Classic research streams have focussed on the form and distribution of Au in volcanic and shale-hosted massive sulfides as well as dissecting high temperature feeder zones in the search for useful trace-element vectors. Some of his more recent work has focussed on the trace-element systematics of hydrothermal apatite in large Zn-Pb deposits. Through the course of this research, Sean elucidated controls on Rare Earth Element (REE) transport and deposition, revealing anomalous signatures in phosphate minerals. Practical industry-directed studies have focussed on the analysis of ores, concentrates and waste tailings with the goal of optimizing production. Much of the research output detailed here has focussed on the application of advanced geochemical techniques to the exploration (vectoring) for Pb-Zn deposits and development of ore resources. In the coming years, focus will be directed towards applying this advanced research expertise on Irish ore systems with the goal of fostering knowledge, exploration and development of Ireland's mineral wealth.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Dehnavi A.S, McFarlane C.R.M, Lentz D.R, McClenaghan S.H, Walker J.A, Chlorite-white Mica Pairs†composition as a micro-chemical guide to fingerprint massive sulfide deposits of the Bathurst Mining Camp, Canada, Minerals, 9, (2), 2019 Journal Article, 2019 URL DOI TARA - Full Text

Remi Coltat, Yannick Branquet, Pierre Gautier, Hector Campos Rodriguez, Marc Poujol, Ewan Pelleter, Sean McClenaghan, Gianreto Manatschal, Philippe Boulvais, Unravelling the root zone of ultramafic‐hosted black smokers‐like hydrothermalism from an Alpine analog, Terra Nova, 31, (6), 2019, p549-568 Journal Article, 2019

Kamber, B.S., McClenaghan, S.H., Drakou, F., Taking apart a highly zoned Pb-Zn-Ag-Cu-Au orebody using mineralogy and mineral chemistry: implications for mineral processing, Konferens i Mineralteknik, 2018, 2018, pp1-11 Conference Paper, 2018

Turner, O., Hollis, S., Guven, J., McClenaghan, S.H., Establishing a geochemical baseline for the Lower Carboniferous stratigraphy of the Rathdowney Trend, Irish Zn-Pb orefield, Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 196, 2018, p259-269 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

Turner, O., McClenaghan, S.H., Trace-element variation in pyrites within the Derryville ore body, Lisheen mine, Ireland, Biennial Meeting of the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits, Quebec, Canada, 23 August 2017, 2017, pp689 - 692 Conference Paper, 2017

Riegler, T., McClenaghan, S.H., Potassic and phyllic alteration in the Rathdowney trend: new perspectives from petrography on ore genesis for the Irish base metal ore field, Ore Geology Reviews, 88, 2017, p140 - 155 Journal Article, 2017

Riegler, T. and McClenaghan, S.H., Authigenic potassic silicates in the Rathdowney Trend, southwest Ireland: New perspectives for ore genesis from petrography of gangue phases in Irish-type carbonate-hosted Zn-Pb deposits, Ore Geology Reviews, 88, 2017, p140-155 Journal Article, 2017 DOI

Dehnavi, A.S., McFarlane, C.R.M., Lentz, D.R., McClenaghan, S.H., Application of in situ LA-ICP-MS systematics for quantitative volatile trace-element measurement in sulfide minerals: Case study of massive sulfide deposits of the Bathurst Mining Camp, Canada, , Mineral Resources: Discovery and Utilization, Proceedings of the 14th Quadrennial International Association on the Genesis of Ore Deposits Symposium, Kunming, China, August 19-22, 2014 , 1, International Association on the Genesis of Ore Deposits, 2014, pp3 Conference Paper, 2014

Pilote, J.-L., Barr, S.M., Wilson, R.A., McClenaghan, S.H., Kamo, S., McNicoll, V.J., and Bevier, M.L., Precise age and petrology of Silurian-Devonian plutons in the Benjamin River - Charlo area, northern New Brunswick, Atlantic Geology, 48, 2012, p97 - 123 Journal Article, 2012

McClenaghan, S.H., Walker, J.A., and Lentz, D.R., Trace-element contents of base-metal concentrates from the Caribou Mine, Bathurst Mining Camp, New Brunswick: Implications for the recovery of indium from mill products. , Department of Natural Resources; Minerals, Policy and Planning Division, 2010, 1, 27 Report, 2010

McClenaghan, S.H., Lentz, D.R., and Diegor, W.G., Rare earth element variations in volcanogenic massive sulfides, Bathurst Mining Camp, New Brunswick: evidence from laser ablation ICP-MS analyses of phosphate accessory phases, Association of Applied Geochemists, 24th International Applied Geochemistry Symposium, Fredericton, 2009, edited by D.R. Lentz, K.G. Thorne, and K.-L. Beal , 1, 2009, pp181 - 184 Conference Paper, 2009

McClenaghan, S.H., Lentz, D.R., and Powe, E.M., Distribution of Cu-rich massive sulfides at the Brunswick No. 12 deposit, Bathurst Mining Camp, New Brunswick. , 24th International Applied Geochemistry Symposium, Fredericton, 2009, edited by D.R. Lentz, K.G. Thorne, and K.-L. Beal , 1, Association of Applied Geochemists, 2009, pp507 - 510 Conference Paper, 2009

McClenaghan, S.H., Lentz, D.R., Martin, J., and Diegor, W.G., , Gold in the Brunswick No. 12 volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit, Bathurst Mining Camp, Canada: evidence from bulk ore analysis and laser ablation ICP-MS data on sulfide phases, Mineralium Deposita, 44, 2009, p523 - 557 Journal Article, 2009

McClenaghan, S.H., Lentz, D.R., and Walker, J.A., Back-arc basin constraints and the role of extension in the formation of Ordovician volcanogenic massive sulfides, Bathurst Mining Camp, Canada, Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits, 8th Biennial SGA meeting, Beijing, 2006, Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits, 2006 Conference Paper, 2006

Walker, J.A., Lentz, D.R., and McClenaghan, S.H., The Orvan Brook massive sulfide deposit, Bathurst Mining Camp, New Brunswick, Exploration and Mining Geology, 15, 2006, p155 - 176 Journal Article, 2006

McClenaghan, S.H., Lentz, D.R., and Beaumont-Smith, C.J., The gold-rich Louvicourt volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit, New Brunswick: A Kuroko analogue in the Bathurst Mining Camp., Exploration and Mining Geology, 15, 2006, p127 - 154 Journal Article, 2006

MacLellan, K.L., Lentz, D.R., and McClenaghan, S.H., The Brunswick No. 6 massive sulfide Cu zone, Bathurst Mining Camp, New Brunswick, Canada: Petrology, Geochemistry, and Genesis., Exploration and Mining Geology, 15, 2006, p53 - 76 Journal Article, 2006

McClenaghan, S.H., Lentz, D.R., and Fyffe, L.R., Chemostratigraphy of volcanic rocks hosting massive sulphide clasts within the Meductic Group, southwestern New Brunswick, Exploration and mining Geology, 15, 2006, p241 - 261 Journal Article, 2006

McClenaghan, S.H., Lentz, D.R., and Cabri, L., Form of gold in massive sulfides: Textural evidence for the syngenetic deposition of gold in pyrite and arsenopyrite, Bathurst Mining Camp, New Brunswick, Canadian Mineralogist, 42, 2004, p851 - 871 Journal Article, 2004

Gold in massive sulfide deposits, Bathurst Mining Camp, New Brunswick: Distribution and genesis in, editor(s)Goodfellow, W.D., and McCutcheon, S.R. , Massive sulfide deposits in the Bathurst Mining Camp, New Brunswick and Northern Maine, Littleton, Colorado, The Economic Geology Publishing Company, 2003, pp303 - 326, [McClenaghan, S.H., Goodfellow, W.D., and Lentz, D.R.] Book Chapter, 2003

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

McClenaghan, S.H., Thorne, K.G., Rogers, N., Granite-related mineralization and alteration in the Acadian Plutonic Belt: Implications for Sn-W-Mo-Cu exploration in central New Brunswick., Field Guidebook B1, Fredericton, Geological Association of Canada/Mineralogical Association of Canada, May, 2014, 85 Report, 2014

McClenaghan, S.H., 'Geology of the Charlo River area (NTS 21 O/16g), Restigouche County, New Brunswick.', Plate 2012-2, New Brunswick, Department of Natural Resources; Minerals, Policy and Planning Division, 2012, - Map, GIS map, 2012

McClenaghan, S.H., 'Geology of the Benjamin River area (NTS 21 O/16h), Restigouche County, New Brunswick', Plate 2012-1, New Brunswick, Department of Natural Resources; Minerals, Policy and Planning Division, 2012, - Map, GIS map, 2012

McClenaghan, S.H., and Al, T., Environmental geochemistry, reclamation, and remediation techniques as applied in the Bathurst Mining Camp, New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Association of Applied Geochemists, 2009, 1, 126 Report, 2009

Zagorevski, A., Rogers, N., van Staal, C.R., McClenaghan, S.H., and Haslam, R., Tectonostratigraphic relationships in the Buchans area: A composite of Ordovician and Silurian Terranes, Report 07-1, St. John's, Newfoundland, Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Natural Resources, Geological Survey, 2007, 103, 116 Report, 2007

Research Expertise

Description

My research focuses on dissecting ore deposit systems through the application of bulk geochemical and advanced micro-analytical techniques. Much of this research has centred on the petrology of volcanic and shale-hosted exhalative massive sulphide (Zn-Pb-Cu-Ag-Au) deposits in the Appalachians and Precambrian Canadian Shield of North America. I continue to actively research hydrothermal exhalative systems in addition to other mineral deposit types such as the carbonate hosted Zn-Pb deposits of the Irish Midlands, Devonian granite-hosted Sn-W-Mo deposits and a wide range of epigenetic Au, Ag, and base-metal systems.

Projects

  • Title
    • Novel geochemical methods for mineral exploration in Irish peatlands
  • Summary
    • The terrain in which geologists explore is becoming more mature. With most of the near surface (easy-to-find) deposits discovered, exploration geologists are now focussing their attention towards "blind deposits" buried beneath peatland, thick glacial overburden and barren cover rock. Refinement of existing exploration techniques and development of new analytical methods are required to advance exploration the next level. Conventional soil geochemical surveys in Ireland have employed Aqua Regia and Multi-Acid extraction/digestion techniques in their analytical methodology. These methods have been highly successful in delineating mineralisation in the British and Irish Isles; however, in peatland settings, conventional geochemistry is known to produce spurious results. This research is developing criteria for geochemical exploration in Irish peatlands making use of techniques such as Ionic Leach, Enzyme Leach, and biogeochemistry as well as state of the art instrumentation. These novel methods, which have not been widely used in Ireland, are increasingly being employed globally to detect blind deposits and have great potential for success in the peatlands of Ireland.
  • Funding Agency
    • Irish Research Council
  • Date From
    • 2014
  • Date To
    • 2016
  • Title
    • Fingerprinting isotopic signatures for metal enrichment in European trees: developing vectors for mineral exploration
  • Summary
    • The Project establishes baseline levels of metal uptake in a variety of European tree species and lesser vegetation in regions known to exhibit anomalous soil-metal signatures. Geochemical signatures are characterized further through the use of stable metal isotopes (Zn, Pb, Cu, Fe), establishing a dendrochronological record of metal absorption and distinguishing the metal footprint of Pb-Zn mineralization from any extraneous anthropogenic effects.
  • Funding Agency
    • European Union - Marie Curie Framework
  • Date From
    • 2014
  • Date To
    • 2017
  • Title
    • Characterising dispersed metal plumes in surficial soils and sediments in the Irish Midlands: Using isotope fingerprints to develop vectors in mineral exploration
  • Summary
    • The project defines and characterises the dispersion of metal, trace-element and stable isotopic (Zn, Pb, Cu, Fe) signatures in soil and glacial tills overlying the Ballinalack Pb-Zn deposit. Three-dimensional modelling of the metal plume features a chemical profile reconstructing the full isotopic pathway from metal deposit to soil. Characterizing the metal and isotopic haloes surrounding carbonate-hosted Pb-Zn deposits and within their overlying sediments has wide applications for the Irish Midlands and glacial terranes, worldwide.
  • Funding Agency
    • European Union - Marie Curie Framework
  • Date From
    • 2014
  • Date To
    • 2017

Recognition

Representations

Editor Gangue Newsletter, Mineral Deposits Division, Geological Association of Canada 2012-2014

Peer Reviewer of papers for Mineralium Deposita, Ore Geology Reviews, Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis 2010-2014

Test Bank Contributor for Pearson Publishing 2013-2014

Awards and Honours

William Harvey Gross 2014

Barlow Memorial Medal 2008

Magee Third Century Postgraduate Merit Award 2005

W.J. Wright Graduate Fellowship 2003

John F.H. Teed, Q.C. Memorial Prize in Science 1993

Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists Undergraduate Award 1993

Memberships

Canadian Institute of Mining Metallurgy and Petroleum 2008 – 2014

Geological Association of Canada, Mineral Deposits Division 2006 – 2014

Society of Economic Geologists 2003 – 2014

Atlantic Geological Society 2004 – 2014

Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits 2003 – 2014

Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada 2008 – 2014