Geology & Earth Science

Geology & Earth Science Experts

Celestine Mercer

The U.S. Geological Survey
United States Virgin Islands


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 ( 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.

Research Interest

mineral resources


  • 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.

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

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

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