Mitchell Bennett is a Geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, CO. He assists with melt and fluid inclusion petrography and analysis in the Denver Inclusion Analysis Laboratory. At present he aids in the study of ore-forming hydrothermal fluids encountered in the Yellow Pine Au-Sb-W deposit in Idaho and in IOA-IOCG deposits in SE Missouri.
Mitchell runs and maintains the USGS Experimental Petrology Lab's cold-seal pressure vessels used in high temperature melt and fluid inclusion experiments.
Prior to joining the USGS, Mitchell worked as an intern at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) within the Technology Systems and Sustainability Analysis Group in Golden, CO, where he provided research support during development of NREL’s Open Energy Information (OpenEI) website. As a part of this work he prepared case study reports on active and producing geothermal resource areas and worked with a team of geologists and developers to construct a comprehensive database of geothermal exploration efforts used to define different geothermal prospects throughout the United States.
During his M.Sc. research he used fluid inclusion and cathodoluminescence petrography to study multi-stage vein quartz from a range of different porphyry deposit classes, including those at Far Southeast in the Philippines, Butte in Montana, Bingham Canyon in Utah, and in the Maricunga Belt in Chile. He examined how these characteristics relate to vein-scale processes associated with ore mineral deposition and emplacement depth within the larger context of the parent hydrothermal systems. Based on these investigations he developed new laboratory preparation and analytical procedures that utilize simple petrographic techniques to identify transported porphyry quartz grains in fluvial sands, to be implemented in conjunction with routine geochemical surveys as a new exploration technique for porphyry deposits. His areas of expertise include: fluid inclusion petrography and microthermometry, cathodoluminescence petrography, melt inclusion analysis, ore deposits, and geothermal systems.