Hello! I'm Mica

A third-year doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania’s Earth and Environmental Science Department.

My research focuses on the application of geochemical techniques to study minerals and their formation environment throughout the Earth’s crust and mantle.

I am currently working on two very distinct projects. The first project focuses on the characterization of a manganese deposit in northeast Vietnam, intending to study its mineralogy, origins, and subsequent enrichment through the interaction with superficial fluids. This project is pursued under the guidance of Dr. Reto Gieré at the University of Pennsylvania.

In contrast, the second project focuses on the study of diamonds. Diamonds are fascinating minerals whose resistance to dissolution allows them to carry information in the form of inclusions about the Earth’s deep mantle and its formation environment. For this project, I am working with the Carnegie Institute of Science in Washington, DC, under the tutelage of Dr. Steven Shirey.

CV: Maria Micaela Ninni

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Education and Research.

I have a bachelor's degree in Geological Sciences from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Argentina, where I specialized in mineralogy and geochemistry and the ore deposition of metals in economically significant deposits. My senior thesis was on the intermediate-sulphidation, epithermal hydrothermal deposit associated with the Farallón Negro Volcanic Complex in Catamarca, Argentina. Alongside my advisors, Dra. Diana Mutti and Dra. Carolina Mendez, and as part of a nationwide metallogenic characterization of Argentina, we aimed to study a previously unexplored portion of the Aguas de Dionisio Mine District. This area is economically significant as it hosts one of the country's largest Cu-porphyry deposits, Bajo de La Alumbrera, and a series of polymetallic veins that have been exploited due to their gold content since the 1970s. The thesis focused on characterizing an unstudied portion of the Los Viscos Vein, one of the largest ones in the mining district. Geological, geochemical and structural studies were performed to determine the sector's economic viability and future exploitation value. The results were published and presented at the Argentinian Economic Geological Congress in 2020.

As part of my doctoral pursuit, I moved to the United States, where I am currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. I originally started working at the Ice Physics Laboratory under the guidance of Dr. David Goldsby, where I focused on ice deformation mechanisms under very high-stress conditions. However, after a year and a half of working in this more material science area, I decided to return to my first geological love - geochemistry and minerals - and I became a part of Dr. Reto Gieré's laboratory by working on a manganese deposit in Cao Bằng province, NE Vietnam. The Tốc Tát deposit accounts for 30% of the Mn prospective reserves of Vietnam, making it the most significant deposit in the country. The ore has been exploited since the late 1970s, but literature is scant, and its genetic relationship to other regional Mn- deposits is loosely constrained. The project will focus on the complete identification of mineral species and metallogenic characterization of the ore.

The second project revolves around the characterization of diamond and their inclusions. The research will focus on the study of ferropericlase, the most common type of inclusion in superdeep diamonds. Ferropericlase presents some interesting geochemical characteristics that can provide crucial information about the interplay between fluids and lithologies in the deep Earth. This research is being conducted in association with the Earth and Planetary Laboratory of the Carnegie Institute of Science in Washington, DC, under the guidance of Dr. Steven Shirey.


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Cover Picture - Alex Strekeisen, 2021

Power by Notion

Last Update - October 2022

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