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Richard Fifarek

Richard Fifarek , Lecturer


Professor Emeritus


  • B.S. 1974, University of Washington
  • M.S. 1982, Oregon State University
  • Ph.D. 1985, Oregon State University

Research Interests:

Economic Geology, Isotope Geochemistry, Fluid Inclusion Geochemistry

Richard Fifarek conducts research in Economic Geology with a particular focus on the origin of hydrothermal deposits related to igneous activity in both continental and oceanic settings.  He combines field studies, laboratory analysis, and geochemical modeling in the investigation of specific ore-forming processes and deposits. 

Past and on-going research with examples includes the evolution of ore fluids in volcanogenic massive sulfide systems (Red Ledge, ID), modeling fluid-rock isotopic exchange, origin of bonanza-grade gold-silver occurrences in epithermal deposits (Republic, WA), role of oxidizing fluids in gold remobilization (Round Mtn., NV), influence of hydrodynamics on sulfate-sulfide S-isotopic exchange (Pierina, Peru), use of δ-δ diagrams to interpret sulfate-sulfide isotopic data, evolution of magmatic fluids from the porphyry Cu-Au to the epithermal Au-Ag environment (Summitville, CO), origin of amagmatic epithermal Au-Ag deposits (Florida Canyon, NV), and relation of alkaline ultramafic rocks to F-REE mineralization (Hicks Dome and Fluorspar District, IL).  These studies routinely have involved extensive collaboration with former students and colleagues in government, academia and the mining industry.  Funding has been provided by state and federal government agencies and mining companies.

Selected Publications:

Fifarek, R.H., Samal, A.R., Miggins, D.P., 2011, Genetic implications of mineralization and alteration ages at the Florida Canyon epithermal Au-Ag deposit, Nevada. Geological Society of Nevada Symposium, Great Basin Evolution and Metallogeny 2010.

Breit, G.N., Hunt, A.G., Wolf, R.E., Koenig, A.E., Fifarek, R.H., and Coolbaugh, M.F., 2011, Are modern geothermal waters in northwest Nevada forming epithermal gold deposits? Geological Society of Nevada Symposium, Great Basin Evolution and Metallogeny 2010.

Samal, A.R., Sengupta, R.R., and Fifarek, R.H., 2011, Modeling spatial anisotropy of gold assay data using GIS-based contour maps and variogram analysis: implications for structural control of mineralization. Journal of Earth System Science.

Samal, A.R., Mohanty, M.K., and Fifarek, R.H., 2008, Backward elimination procedure for a predictive model of gold concentration. Journal of Geochemical Exploration, v. 97, p. 69-82.

Samal, A.R., Fifarek, R.H., and Sengupta, R.R., 2007, Geostatistical investigation of elemental enrichment in hydrothermal mineral deposits. In O. Leuangthong and C.V. Deutsch (Eds.), Geostatistics Banff 2004, Quantitative Geology and Geostatistics (v. 14, pp. 491-500). Springer.

Fifarek, R.H., and Rye, R.O., 2005, Stable isotope geochemistry of the Pierina high sulfidation Au-Ag deposit, Peru: Influence of hydrodynamics on SO4-H2S sulfur isotopic exchange in magmatic steam and steam-heated environments. Chemical Geology, v. 215, p. 253-279.

Samal, A.R., Fifarek, R.H. , and Sengupta, R.R., 2005, Trace element spatial patterns and their relationship to gold concentrations in an epithermal gold deposit. Proceedings of IAMG’05: GIS and Spatial Analysis. 1: 458-463.

Vice, M.A., Fifarek, R.H., and Utgaard, J.E., 2000, Diagenesis of the Mississippian Mission Canyon Formation, northern Bighorn Basin region, south-central Montana and northern Wyoming. Montana Geological Society 50th Anniversary Symposium, p. 83-96.

Fifarek, R.H., Devlin, B.D., and Tschauder, Jr., R.J., 1996, Au-Ag mineralization at the Golden Promise deposit, Republic district, Washington: Relation to graben development and hot spring processes, in Coyner, A.R., and Fahey, P.L., eds., Geology and Ore Deposits of the American Cordillera. Geological Society of Nevada Symposium Proceedings, p. 1063-1088.

Fifarek, R.H., Juhas, A.P., and Field, C.W., 1994, Geology, alteration and mineralization of the Red Ledge volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit, Idaho. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1439, Ch. 7, p. 113-150.

Fifarek, R.H., and Gerike, G.N., 1991, Oxidation of hydrothermal sulfides at Round Mountain, Nevada: Origin and relation to gold mineralization, in, Geology and Ore Deposits of the Great Basin: Geol. Soc. Nevada and U.S. Geol. Surv. Symposium Proceedings, p. 1111-1121.

Field, C.W., and Fifarek, R.H., 1985, Light stable isotope systematics in the epithermal environment in Berger, B.R., and Bethke, P.M., eds., Geology and Geochemistry of Epithermal Systems, Reviews in Economic Geology, v. 2, p. 99-128.

Richard Fifarek

Phone: 618-453-3351