James Saunders

Office: Room 105 
Petrie Hall 
Tel: (334) 844-4884 

Geochemistry of metals in shallow crustal fluids, including groundwater, sedimentary brines, geothermal systems, and volcanic epithermal systems.

Jim Saunders teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in aqueous and environmental geochemistry, general geochemistry, and economic geology.

Dr. Saunders' research involves the hydrothermal geochemistry of gold in volcanic settings and geology of epithermal deposits; gold deposits, aqueous and environmental geochemistry, environmental geology, and anaerobic bioremediation; geomicrobiology, geochemistry of metals and radionuclides in groundwater. Consequently, an integrated approach of rock petrography, isotopic and trace-element geochemical analyses, and numerical computer models are used to investigate these systems. Results have shed new light on the genesis of hydrothermal mineral deposits and the origin of naturally occurring trace metals in groundwater systems.

Dr. Saunders' current research interests lie in the interaction of geochemistry and geomicrobiology of natural arsenic contamination of groundwater in Bangladesh (National Science Foundation); Sequestration of arsenic by iron sulfides formed by sulfate-reducing bacteria (Southern Company Services and Electrical Power Research Institute); Bacterial metabolism as an ore-forming process in sediment-host Zn-Pb-Ag ores from Ireland (Petroleum Research Fund of American Chemical Society), and origin of volcanic-hosted, bonanza gold deposits in northern Nevada/SW Idaho (U.S. Geological Survey, National Science Foundation). 

Along with Drs. Lee and Uddin, he is currently working on geologic/biogeochemical causes of natural arsenic contamination in groundwater in young sedimentary aquifers in the USA and Bangladesh. This research is supported by the National Science Foundation. Dr. Saunders is also looking at bacterial involvement in certain sediment-hosted ore deposits, such as the Carboniferous carbonate-hosted Zn-Pb-Ag-Ba deposits of Ireland (supported by PRF-ACS).

Dr. Saunders has been an associate editor of Elsevier's Ore Geology Reviews since 1996.

Also is a part of International Association of Geochemists; Society of Economic Geology; Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA) International Association for the Genesis of Ore Deposits(IAGOD); The Geochemical Society; Sigma Xi (the Scientific Research Society).

Saunders, J.A., and Lee, M.-K., Thiosulfate model of gold nugget formation: Evidence form the southern Appalachian Piedmont: Journal of Geochemical Exploration, in review.

Saunders, J.A., Steltenpohl, M.G., and Cook, R.B., 2013, Recent gold exploration and general geology of the Appalachian Piedmont of eastern Alabama: Society of Economic Geologists Newsletter, Nov., 2013, in press.

Lee, M.-K, Natter, M., Jeff Keevan, Guerra, K., Saunders, J., Uddin, A., Humayun, M., Wang, Y., and Keimowitz, A., 2013, Assessing effects of climate change on Biogeochemical cycling of trace metals in Alluvial and Coastal Watersheds: British Journal of Environment & Climate Change, v. 3, p.  44-66.

Saunders, J.A., Goldfarb, R., Hofstra, A.H., and Reed, M.H., 2013,  Geochemistry of hydrothermal gold deposits, in Scott, S.D., (ed.) Treatise of Geochemistry (Elsevier, invited chapter), in press.

Saunders, J.A., Kamenov, G.D., Mathur, R., Shimizu, T., and Brueseke, M.E., 2013, Transport and deposition of metallic nanoparticles and the origin of bonanza epithermal ores: Biennial SGA Proceedings, Uppsala, Sweden, August, 2013, in press.

Saunders, J.A., Aseto, C.O., and Hames, W.E., Epithermal gold-silver mineralization on War Eagle Mountain, Silver City district, Idaho: Economic Geology, in prep.

Saunders, J.A., and Brueseke, M.E., 2012, Volatility of Se and Te during subduction-related “distillation” and the geochemistry of epithermal ores of western USA: Economic Geology, v. 107,  p. 165-172.

Saunders, J.A. 2012, Textural evidence of episodic introduction of metallic nanoparticles into bonanza epithermal ores: Minerals, v. 2, p. 228-243,  doi:10.3390/min2030228.

Saunders, J.A., Kamenov, G.D., Hofstra, A.H., Unger, D.L., Creaser, R.A., and Barra, F., 2011, “Forensic” geochemical approaches to constrain the source of Au-Ag in low-sulfidation epithermal ores, in R. Steininger, and W. Pennell (eds.): Great Basin Evolution and Metallogeny, Geological Society of NV 2010 Symposium, May 14-22, 2010, p. 693-700.

Saunders, J.A., Peter Vikre, P., Unger, D.L., and Beasley, L., 2011, Colloidal and physical transport  textures exhibited by electrum and naumannite in bonanza epithermal veins from western USA, and their significance, in R. Steininger, and W. Pennell (eds.): Great Basin Evolution and Metallogeny, Geological Society of NV 2010 Symposium, May 14-22, 2010, p. 825-832.

Uddin, A., Shamsudduha, M., Saunders, J.A., Lee, M-K, and Ahmed, K.M., 2010, Mineralogical  and geochemical profiling of arsenic-contaminated aquifers in central Bangladesh: Applied Geochemistry, v. 26, p. 470-483.

Saunders, J.A., 2010, Geologic time and epithermal ore formation: Technical article (peer reviewed) for Society of Economic Geologist’s Newsletter, no. 82, July, 2010, p. 10-11.

Hames, W.E., Unger, D.L., Saunders, J.A., Kamenov, G.D., 2009, Metallogeny and magmatism in the Early Yellowstone hotspot: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 188, p. 214-22. 

Shamsudduha, Marzen, L.J., Uddin, A., Lee, M.-K., and Saunders, J.A., 2008, Spatial relationship  of groundwater arsenic distribution with regional topography and water-table fluctuations in the shallow aquifers in Bangladesh: Environ. Geology, v.57, p. 1521-1535.(DOI:10.1007/s00254-008-1429-3).

Saunders, J.A., Lee, M.-K., Shamsudduha, M., Chawdry, T., and Ahmed, K.M., 2008, Geochemistry  and mineralogy of arsenic under anaerobic conditions: Applied Geochemistry, v. 23, p. 3205-3214.

Saunders, J.A., Unger, D.L., Kamenov, G.D., Fayek, M., Hames, W.E., and Utterback, W.C., 2008, Genesis of Middle Miocene Yellowstone-hotspot-related bonanza epithermal Au-Ag deposits, Northern Great Basin Region, USA: Mineralium Deposita, v. 43, p. 715-734.

Shamsudduha, M., Uddin, A., Saunders, J.A., Lee M.-K., 2008, Quaternary stratigraphy, sediment characteristics and geochemistry of arsenic-contaminated alluvial aquifers in the Ganges-Brahmaputra floodplain in central Bangladesh: Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, v. 99, p. 112-136.

Kamenov, G.D., Saunders, J.A., and Hames W.E., Unger, D., 2007, Mafic magmas as sources for gold in middle-Miocene epithermal deposits of northern Great Basin, USA: Evidence from Pb isotopic compositions of native gold: Economic Geology, v. 102, p.1191-1195.

Lee, M., Griffin, J., Saunders, J., Wang, Y., and Jean, J. 2007, Reactive transport of trace elements and isotopes in the Eutaw coastal plain aquifer, Alabama: J. Geophys. Res., 112, G02026, doi:10.1029/2006JG000238.

Southam, G., Saunders, J.A., 2005, Geomicrobiology of metals and implications for ore deposits: Economic Geology 100th Anniverary Issue (in press).

Saunders, J.A, Lee, M.-K., and Mohammad, S., 2004, Geochemistry and geomicrobiology of arsenic in Holocene alluvial flood-plain aquifers, USA: Implications for universal causative mechanisms and possible bioremediation, in P. Bhattacharya and  J. Bundschuh (eds.) Natural Arsenic in Groundwater, Chapter 25, Taylor and Francis (in press).

Saunders, J.A, Lee, M.K., Mohammad, S., Uddin, A., Wilkin, R.T., Fayek, M., Geologic, biologic and hydrologic processes controlling arsenic mobility in Holocene alluvial aquifers: G-Cubed, (in review).

Lee, M.-K., Saunders, J.A., Mohammad, S., Wilkin, R.T., Harrington, J.,  and Lutes, C., 2004, Strategy for bioremediation of arsenic in groundwater: Book chapter, Remediation of Recalcitrant Contaminants, Battelle Press, Columbus, OH, (in press).

Saunders, J.A., Mohammad, S., Korte, N.E., Lee, M.-K., Fayek, M., Castle, D., and Barnett, M.O., 2004, Groundwater geochemistry, microbiology, and mineralogy of two arsenic-bearing Holocene alluvial aquifers from the USA: Special Publication of the American Chemical Society (in press).

Lee, M.-K., Saunders, J.A., Wilkin, R.T., and Shahnewaz, M., 2004, Geochemical modeling of arsenic speciation and mobilization: Implications for bioremediation:  Special Publication of the American Chemical Society (in press).

Saunders, J.A, Lee, M-K., Wolf. L.A., Geomicrobiology and geophysics of in situ bioremediation using sulfate-reducing bacteria:  Bioremediation Journal (in press). 

Lee, M.-K.,Saunders, J.A.,Uddin, A., 2003, Geochemical and hydrologic considerations on evolution of groundwaters in a portion of the Mississippi Embayment: Southeastern Geology, v. 42, p. 83-98.

Lee, M.-K. And Saunders, J.A., 2003, Effects of pH on metals precipitation and sorption: Field Bioremediation and geochemical modeling approaches: Vadose Zone Journal, v. 2, p. 177-185.

Last updated: 10/01/2013