Geochemist, PI, USGS emeritus
W. C. Pat Shanks is Emeritus Research Geochemist at the U.S. Geological Survey, Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. He uses fluid geochemical analyses, geochemical reaction modeling, stable isotope studies, and mineralogical/chemical studies to understand the evolution of hydrothermal solutions, hydrothermal alteration of host rocks, and deposition of mineral deposits. Shanks spent 30 years studying seafloor hydrothermal systems, and since 1996 he has worked in Yellowstone Lake on the geochemistry of sublacustrine hot springs, vent craters, hydrothermal explosion craters, silica-rich mineral deposits, and hydrothermal alteration of lake sediments. Currently, Shanks is focused on hydrothermal alteration processes throughout Yellowstone National Park, the role of water and ice in rhyolitic volcanic eruption processes, and hydrothermal deposits and alteration in Yellowstone Lake sediments.