Celestine Mercer


Celeste Mercer is a Research Geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, CO. She spearheads the melt inclusion analysis capabilities in the Denver Inclusion Analysis Laboratory (http://minerals.cr.usgs.gov/dial/). She is currently investigating pre-eruptive magmatic conditions of porphyry-Mo systems in the Rocky Mountains and igneous rocks that are spatially and temporally related to Carlin-type Au systems in the Great Basin. She is also interested in applying melt inclusions and experimental petrology techniques to learn more about how metals partition from magmas into ore-forming fluids that generate Au-Te and REE deposits throughout the western United States. Before coming to the USGS, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, TX, where she studied the petrogenesis of the Moon by examining lunar returned samples including a newly found lunar meteorite. Celeste was a Visiting Professor at Colorado College from 2009-2010 where she taught Introductory Geology, Planetary Geology, Petrology, and "Bubbling Magmas, Hotsprings, and Colorado's Premier Ore Deposits". During her Ph.D. she used petrologic and geochemical methods to investigate the magmatic-hydrothermal transition at the porphyry-Cu-Mo deposit in Butte, Montana, and the crustal "plumbing system" of a stratovolcano in the Cascades. Her areas of expertise include: igneous and metasomatic petrology, experimental petrology, ore deposits, geochemistry, and volcanology.


Ph.D., Geological Sciences, University of Oregon, 2009

B.A., Physics, Oberlin College, 2002 

Recent Students

Tyler Schlieder, National Association of Geoscience Teachers-USGS Intern, 2014

Cora Gains, Denver Mayor's Program Intern, 2014

Sammie Jacob, Lunar & Planetary Institutue Intern, 2011

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Mercer C.N. (2015) Germanium—Giving Microelectronics an Efficiency Boost. U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2015-3011, 2 p. [Link]

Mercer C.N. (2015) Indium—Bringing Liquid-Crystal Displays into Focus. U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2015-3012, 2 p. [Link]

Mercer C.N., Hofstra A.H., Todorov T., Roberge J., Burgisser A., Adams D., and Cosca M. (2015) Pre-Eruptive Conditions of the Hideaway Park Topaz Rhyolite: Insights into Metal Source and Evolution of Magma Parental to the Henderson Porphyry Molybdenum Deposit, Colorado. Journal of Petrology, 108(7), 1691-1701. [Link]

Mercer C.N., Reed M.H., and Mercer C.M. (2015) Timescales of Porphyry Cu Deposit Formation: Insights from Ti Diffusion in Quartz. Economic Geology, 110(3), 587-602. [Link]

Roberge J., Guilbaud, M-N., Mercer C.N., and Reyes-Luna P. (2014) Insight on monogenetic eruption processes at Pelagatos volcano, Sierra Chichinautzin, Mexico: a combined melt inclusion and physical volcanology study. In: Zellmer G.F., Edmonds M., and Straub S.M. (eds), The Role of Volatiles in the Genesis, Evolution and Eruption of Arc Magmas,Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 410, 20 p. [Link]

Gross J., Treiman A.H., and Mercer C.N. (2014) Lunar feldspathic meteorites: constraints on the geology of the lunar highlands, and the origin of the lunar crust. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 388, 318-328. [Link]

Mercer C.N. and Reed M.H. (2013) Porphyry-Cu-Mo Stockwork Formation by Dynamic, Transient Hydrothermal Pulses: Mineralogic Insights From the Deposit at Butte, Montana. Economic Geology, 108, 1347-1377. [Link]

Mercer C.N., Treiman A.H., and Joy K.H. (2013) New lunar meteorite Northwest Africa 2996: A window into farside lithologies and petrogenesis. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 48(2), 289-315. [Link]

Hofstra A.H., Todorov T.I., Mercer C.N., Adams D.T., and Marsh E.E. (2013) Silicate melt inclusion evidence for extreme pre-eruptive enrichment and post-eruptive depletion of Lithium in silicic volcanic rocks of the western United States- Implications for the origin of Lithium-rich brines. Economic Geology, 108, 1691-1701. [Link]

Kring D.A., Abramov O., Galenas M.G., Joy K.H., Kramer G.Y., Mercer C.N., Nahm A.L., Niihara T., Ohman T., Rapp J.F., Shaner A.J., Simmons S., Weller M.B., and White O.L. (2011) Lunar Analogue Training at Meteor Crater, Arizona & the San Francisco Volcanic Field, Arizona, Lunar and Planetary Institute Contribution Series, 1618. [Link]

Mercer C.N. (2009) Mineralogical indicators of magmatic and hydrothermal processes in continental arc crust. Dissertation thesis, University of Oregon, 177p.

Mercer C.N. and Johnston A.D. (2008) Experimental Studies of the P-T-H2O Near-Liquidus Phase Relations of Basaltic Andesite From North Sister Volcano, High Oregon Cascades: Constraints on Lower-Crustal Mineral Assemblages. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 155(5), 571-592. [Link]

Castro J.M. and Mercer C.N. (2004) Microlite textures and volatile contents of obsidian from the Inyo volcanic chain, California. Geophysical Research Letters, 31(L18605): doi: 10.1029/2004GL02489.[Link]