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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That backflooding is 1. temporarily rising water level in a cave caused by downstream passage being too small to pass an abnormally high discharge. the excavation and reexcavation of some caves is ascribed to the enlargement of a passage at or near the water table by gravity flow alternating with periods of calcite precipitation [10]. 2. flooding due to backup of excess flow behind a constriction in a major conduit. water that is ponded in tributary passages and proto-caves upstream of the constriction may contribute to the enlargement of maze caves [9].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Karst environment, Culver D.C.
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Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for hydrothermal fluids (Keyword) returned 21 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 21
Identification of the origin of oreforming solutions by the use of stable isotopes, 1977, Sheppard S. M. F. ,
SynopsisThe four major different types of water -- magmatic, metamorphic, sea water and/or connate, and meteoric water -- have characteristic hydrogen (D/H) and oxygen (18O/16O) isotope ratios. Applied to the analysis of isotopic data on hydrothermal minerals, fluid inclusions and waters from active geothermal systems, these ratios indicate that waters of several origins are involved with ore deposition in the volcanic and epizonal intrusive environment. Water of a single origin dominates main-stage mineralization in some deposits: magmatic -- Casapalca, Peru (Ag-Pb-Zn-Cu); meteoric -- Butte, Montana (Cu-Zn-Mn), epithermal deposits, e.g. Goldfield, Tonopah, Nevada (Ag-Au), Pachuca, Mexico (Ag-Au), San Juan Mountains District, Colorado (Ag-Au-Pb-Zn); sea water -- Troodos, Cyprus (Fe-Cu), Kuroko, Japan (Fe-Cu-Pb-Zn). Solutions of more than one origin are important in certain deposits (magmatic and meteoric -- porphyry copper and molybdenum deposits) and are present in many. In the porphyry Cu-Mo deposits the initial major ore transportation and alteration processes (K-feldspar-biotite alteration) are magmatic-hydrothermal events that occur at 750-500{degrees}C. These fluids are typically highly saline Na-K-Ca-Cl-rich brines (more than 15 wt % equivalent NaCl). The convecting meteoric-hydrothermal system that develops in the surrounding country rocks with relatively low integrated water/rock ratios (less than 0.5 atom % oxygen) subsequently collapses in on a waning magmatic-hydrothermal system at about 350-200{degrees}C. These fluids generally have moderate to low salinities (less than 15 wt % equivalent NaCl). Differences among these deposits are probably in part related to variations in the relative importance of the meteoric-hydrothermal versus the magmatic-hydrothermal events. The sulphur comes from the intrusion and possibly also from the country rocks. Deposits in which meteoric or sea water is the dominant constituent of the hydrothermal fluids come from epizonal intrusive and sub-oceanic environments where the volcanic country rocks are fractured or well jointed and highly permeable. Integrated water/rock ratios are typically high, with minimum values of 0.5 or higher (atom % oxygen) -- the magmatic water contribution is often drowned out'. Salinities are low to very low (less than 10 wt % equivalent NaCl), and temperatures are usually in the range 350-150{degrees}C. The intrusion supplies the energy to drive the large-scale convective circulation system. The sulphur comes from the intrusion, the country rocks and/or the sea water. Argillic alteration, which occurs to depths of several hundred metres, generated during supergene weathering in many of these deposits is isotopically distinguishable from hydrothermal clays

Stable isotopic composition of the hydrothermal fluids responsible for the Nanisivik Zn-Pb deposits, Northwest Territories, Canada, 1991, Ghazban F. , Schwarcz H. P. , Ford D. C.

DIAGENESIS AND MINERALIZATION PROCESSES IN DEVONIAN CARBONATE ROCKS OF THE SIDING-GUDAN LEAD-ZINC MINERAL SUBDISTRICT, GUANGXI, SOUTHWEST CHINA, 1991, Schneider W. , Geng A. Q. , Liu X. Z. ,
The lead-zinc ore deposits of the Siding-Gudan mineral subdistrict Guangxi are part of the large Nanling district of South China, and hosted in Devonian carbonate rocks. The ore bodies occur significantly along main faults and fault zones, and concentrate up to 300 meters above the Cambrian/Devonian unconformity. Connected with hydrothermal karst, size and volume of the ore bodies increase in proximity to this unconformity. Moving from the unaffected host rocks to the center of the ore bodies, four zones can be discriminated by the mineral assemblage (pyrite, sphalerite, galena) as well as by the degree of ordering, Ca/Mg, and Fe/Mn ratios of different dolomites. Homogenization temperatures range from 80-100-degrees-C (Presqu'ile dolomite) to 230-260-degrees-C (massive sphalerite). The sulfides reveal delta-S-34 = -20 to parts per thousand, and fluid inclusions display a salinity of 5-12 wt % equivalent NaCl. The diagenetic and hydrothermal history is similar to that of classic Mississippi Valley Type (MVT) sulfide mineral deposits as, for example, Pine Point in Canada. Mineralization and remobilization of the sulfides took place during a wide time span from late Paleozoic through Mesozoic. Both processes are considered as an interaction of saline basinal brines ascended from the adjoining dewatering trough, and magmatic-hydrothermal fluids of several magmatic-tectonic events

SEDIMENT-HOSTED GOLD MINERALIZATION IN THE RATATOTOK DISTRICT, NORTH SULAWESI, INDONESIA, 1994, Turner S. J. , Flindell P. A. , Hendri D. , Hardjana I. , Lauricella P. F. , Lindsay R. P. , Marpaung B. , White G. P. ,
The Ratatotok district in the Minahasa Regency of North Sulawesi, Indonesia is an area of significant gold mineralisation. Gold has been mined in the district since at least the 1850s, and intensively by the Dutch between 1900 and 1921 with a recorded production of 5,060 kg of gold. Newmont began exploring the district in 1986, and has delineated a major sediment-hosted replacement-style deposit at Mesel, and other smaller deposits in an 8 X 5 km area. A total drill-indicated resource of over 60 metric tonnes of gold ( 2 Moz) is reported for Mesel, and three of the smaller deposits. Approximately 80% of this resource is refractory. Silver grades are usually low (< 10 g/t). The Mesel deposit is similar to many Carlin-type deposits in carbonate hostrocks, alteration, geochemical signature and ore mineralogy, but is distinct in tectonic setting. The discovery of replacement-style mineralisation at Mesel, in an impure limestone within a Tertiary island arc environment, demonstrates that deposits with outward characteristics similar to Carlin-type mineralisation are not restricted to a continental setting. Carbonate sediments in the Ratatotok district were deposited in a Late Miocene restricted basin. Later compressional tectonics caused uplift that resulted in karst development in the limestone and erosion of the adjacent volcanic arc with deposition of a thick epiclastic unit. This was followed by intrusion of shallow level pre-mineral andesite into the sequence. Mineralisation at Mesel, and probably elsewhere in the district, is synchronous with the late-stage reactivation of strike-slip faults. Mineralising fluids at Mesel were focussed along steep structures sympathetic to these faults, and trapped below a relatively impermeable andesite cap rock. Hydrothermal fluids caused decalcification of the silty, more permeable carbonate units with the formation of secondary dolomite, deposition of fine arsenian pyrite, silica veinlets and gold. Volume loss due to decalcification and dolomite formation caused collapse brecciation which enhanced fluid flow and further mineralisation. This locally culminated in total decarbonation and deposition of massive silica. Late-stage stibnite occurs in structural zones within the ore deposit, whereas arsenic (as realgar and orpiment) and mercury (as cinnabar) are concentrated on the periphery. Elsewhere in the Ratatotok district, gold mineralisation is restricted to replacement-style mineralisation in permeable zones along limestone-andesite contacts, open-space-filling quartz-calcite veins and stockworks, and residual quartz-clay breccias. The residual breccias are developed in-situ, and are interpreted to form by dissolution of the wallrock limestone from around pre-existing mineralisation. This has resulted in widespread eluvial gold occurrences

DEBATE ABOUT IRONSTONE - HAS SOLUTE SUPPLY BEEN SURFICIAL WEATHERING, HYDROTHERMAL CONVECTION, OR EXHALATION OF DEEP FLUIDS, 1994, Kimberley M. M. ,
Ironstone is any chemical sedimentary rock with > 15% Fe. An iron formation is a stratigraphic unit which is composed largely of ironstone. The solutes which have precipitated to become ironstone have dissolved from the Earth's surface, from the upper crust, e.g. the basaltic layer of oceanic crust, or from deeper within the Earth. Genetic modellers generally choose between surficial weathering, e.g. soil formation, and hydrothermal fluids which have convected through the upper kilometre of oceanic crust. Most genetic modellers attribute cherty laminated iron formations to hydrothermal convection and noncherty oolitic iron formations to surficial weathering. However, both types of iron formations are attributable to the exhalation of fluids from a source region too deep for convection of seawater. Evidence for a deep source of ferriferous fluids comes from a comparison of ancient ironstone with modern ferriferous sediment in coastal Venezuela. A deep-source origin for ironstone has wide-ranging implications for the origins of other chemical sedimentary ores, e.g. phosphorite, manganostone, bedded magnesite, sedimentary uranium ore, various karst-filling ores, and even petroleum. Preliminary study of a modern oolitic iron deposit described herein suggests that the source of iron and silica to iron formations may have been even deeper than envisioned within most hydrothermal convection models

Formation of Willemite in Hydrothermal Environments, 2003, Brugger J, Mcphail Dc, Wallace M, Waters J,
Willemite (zinc silicate) is the main zinc mineral in some carbonate-hosted ore deposits (e.g., Franklin, New Jersey; Vazante, Brazil; Beltana, South Australia; Kabwe, Zambia). Recent interest in these unconventional zinc deposits has increased because of high zinc grades that exceed 40 wt percent, relatively low environmental impact of ore processing owing to the lack of acid-generating sulfides in the waste, and advances in ore processing technologies. In the past, most metallogenic studies proposed formation of willemite deposits by supergene or hypogene alteration of preexisting sulfide deposits. However, recent data on the Vazante, Beltana, and Kabwe deposits indicate willemite crystallization at temperatures in excess of 150{degrees}C, raising the possibility of primary precipitation from hydrothermal fluids. We use numerical geochemical modeling to examine the formation of willemite under hydrothermal conditions. Activity-activity diagrams reveal that, in the presence of dissolved sulfur and quartz, willemite instead of sphalerite will precipitate under oxidizing (e.g., hematite-stable, sulfate-predominant) and alkaline (pH higher than K feldspar-muscovite-quartz) conditions. Willemite also becomes more stable, relative to sphalerite, at high temperature, and willemite can coexist with magnetite at 300{degrees}C. The stabilities and solubilities of sphalerite, willemite, smithsonite, hydrozincite, and zincite were calculated for wide ranges of temperature (25{degrees}-300{degrees}C), chloride concentration, dissolved sulfur and carbon concentrations, pH, quartz saturation, and oxidation potential. Plots of the solubility of the different minerals as a function of two variables (e.g., temperature and redox state; pH and redox state) allow us to predict the effects of changing chemical conditions, which in turn permits an estimate of the efficiency of particular precipitation processes. Cooling is an effective process for precipitating sphalerite but not willemite, whereas pH increase (e.g., by acidic fluids reacting with carbonates) is effective for precipitating willemite but not sphalerite. Dynamic geochemical models that simulate physicochemical processes are used to understand the formation of the Beltana willemite deposit in the Adelaide geosyncline of South Australia. This small, high grade deposit (850,000 t at 36% Zn) is hosted in dolomite of the Cambrian Ajax Limestone, next to a tectonic contact with the diapiric, halite-bearing clastic sediments of the Callanna Group. The orebody is associated with hematite alteration and is characterized by the total absence of sulfides; willemite is the only zinc ore mineral, and the arsenate hedyphane (Ca2Pb3[AsO4]3Cl) is the main lead mineral. The model results show that willemite will precipitate in response to water-rock interaction and fluid mixing processes at temperatures above 120{degrees}C. The presence of arsenate in the hydrothermal fluid is likely to have been important at Beltana; in arsenate-absent models sulfate is reduced to sulfide by the precipitation of ferrous iron as hematite, resulting in the precipitation of sphalerite and galena. In contrast, in models including arsenate the reduction of sulfate to sulfide is inhibited and willemite is predicted to precipitate

Origin and Significance of Postore Dissolution Collapse Breccias Cemented with Calcite and Barite at the Meikle Gold Deposit, Northern Carlin Trend, Nevada, 2003, Emsbo P, Hofstra Ah,
The final event in a complicated hydrothermal history at the Meikle gold deposit was gold deficient but caused extensive postore dissolution of carbonate, collapse brecciation, and precipitation of calcite and barite crystals in the resulting cavities. Although previously interpreted to be part of the Carlin-type hydrothermal system, crosscutting relationships and U-Th-Pb geochronology constrain this hydrothermal event to late Pliocene time (ca. 2 Ma), nearly 36 Ma after ore formation. Mineralogic, fluid inclusion, and stable isotope data indicate that postore hydrothermal fluids were reduced, H2S-rich, unevolved meteoric waters ({delta}18O = -17{per thousand}) of low temperature (ca. 65{degrees}C). The{delta} 18O values of barite and calcite indicate that these minerals were in isotopic equilibrium, requiring that barite SO4 was derived from the oxidation of reduced sulfur; however, preexisting sulfides in breccia cavities were not oxidized. The{delta} 34S (15{per thousand}) values of barite are higher than those of local bulk sulfide and supergene alunite indicating that SO4 was not derived from supergene oxidation of local sulfide minerals. The 15 per mil {delta}34S value suggests that the H2S in the fluids may have been leached from sulfur-rich organic matter in the local carbonaceous sedimentary rocks. A reduced H2S-rich fluid is also supported by the bright cathodoluminescence of calcite which indicates that it is Mn rich and Fe poor. Calcite has a narrow range of {delta}13C values (0.3-1.8{per thousand}) that are indistinguishable from those of the host Bootstrap limestone, indicating that CO2 in the fluid was from dissolution of the local limestone. These data suggest that dissolution and brecciation of the Bootstrap limestone occurred where H2S-rich fluids encountered more oxidizing fluids and formed sulfuric acid (H2SO4). Intense fracturing in the mine area by previous structural and hydrothermal events probably provided conduits for the descent of oxidized surface water which mixed with the underlying H2S-rich waters to form the dissolving acid. The surface-derived fluid apparently contained sufficient oxygen to produce H2SO4 from H2S but not enough to alter pyrite to Fe oxide. Although H2S is an important gold-transporting ligand, the temperature was too low to transport a significant amount of gold. The presence of analogous calcite- and barite-lined cavities in other Carlin-type deposits suggests that the generation (and oxidation) of H2S-rich meteoric waters was a common phenomenon in north-central Nevada. Previous sulfur isotope studies have also shown that the Paleozoic sedimentary rocks were the principal source of H2S in Devonian sedimentary exhalative-type, Jurassic intrusion-related, Eocene Carlin-type, and Miocene low-sulfidation gold deposits in the region. The similar sulfur source in all of these systems suggests that basin brines, magmatic fluids, and meteoric waters all evolved to be H2S-rich ore fluids by circulation through Paleozoic sedimentary rocks. Thus, although not directly related to gold mineralization, the recent hydrologic history of the deposit provides important clues to earlier ore-forming processes that were responsible for gold mineralization

Geology and Geochemistry of the Reocin Zinc-Lead Deposit, Basque-Cantabrian Basin, Northern Spain, 2003, Velasco Francisco, Herrero Jose Miguel, Yusta Inaki, Alonso Jose Antonio, Seebold Ignacio, Leach David,
The Reocin Zn-Pb deposit, 30 km southwest of Santander, Spain, occurs within Lower Cretaceous dolomitized Urgonian limestones on the southern flank of the Santillana syncline. The Reocin deposit is one of the largest known strata-bound, carbonate-hosted, zinc-lead deposits in Europe. The total metal endowment of the deposit, including past production and remaining reserves, is 62 Mt of ore grading 8.7 percent Zn and 1.0 percent Pb. The epigenetic mineralization consists of sphalerite and galena, with lesser marcasite and trace pyrite with dolomite as gangue. Microprobe analyses of different generations of dolomite revealed nonstoichiometric compositions with various amounts of iron (up to 14 mol % of FeCO3). Replacement of host dolomite, open-space filling of fractures, and cementation of breccias derived from dissolution collapse are the principal types of ore occurrence. Detailed cross-section mapping indicates a stratigraphic and structural control on the deposit. A stratiform morphology is present in the western part of the orebody (Capa Sur), whereas mineralization in the eastern part is highly discordant but strata bound (Barrendera). Stratigraphic studies demonstrate that synsedimentary tectonic activity, related to the rifting of the North Atlantic (Bay of Biscay), was responsible for variation in sedimentation, presence of unconformities (including paleokarsts), local platform emergence and dolomitization along the N60 fault trend. In the Reocin area, two stages of dolomitization are recognized. The first stage is a pervasive dolomitization of the limestone country rocks that was controlled by faulting and locally affected the upper part of the Aptian and the complete Albian sequence. The second dolomitization event occurred after erosion and was controlled by karstic cavities. This later dolomitization was accompanied by ore deposition and, locally, filling of dolomite sands and clastic sediments in karstic cavities. The circulation of hydrothermal fluids responsible for sulfide deposition and the infilling of karst cavities were broadly contemporaneous, indicating a post-Albian age. Vitrinite reflectance data are consistent with previously measured fluid inclusion temperatures and indicate temperatures of ore deposition that were less than 100{degrees}C. Carbon and oxygen isotopic data from samples of regional limestone, host-rock dolostone and ore-stage dolomite suggest an early hydrothermal alteration of limestone to dolostone. This initial dolomitization was followed by a second period of dolomite formation produced by the mixing of basinal metal-rich fluids with local modified seawater. Both dolomitization events occurred under similar conditions from fluids exhibiting characteristics of basinal brines. The{delta} 34S values of sulfides are between -1.8 and .5 per mil, which is consistent with thermochemical sulfate reduction involving organic matter as the main source of reduced sulfur. Galena lead isotope compositions are among the most radiogenic values reported for Zn-Pb occurrences in Europe, and they are distinct from values reported for galena from other Basque-Cantabrian deposits. This suggests that a significant part of the lead was scavenged from the local underlying Asturian sediments. The stratigraphic and structural setting, timing of epigenetic mineralization, mineralogy, and isotopic geochemistry of sulfide and gangue minerals of the Reocin deposit are consistent with the features of most of Mississippi Valley-type ore deposits

Fluid inclusion and stable isotopic evidence for early hydrothermal karstification in vadose caves of the Nizke Tatry Mountains (Western Carpathians), 2004, Orvosova M. , Hurai V. , Simon K. , Wiegerova V. ,
Hydrothermal paleokarst cavities with calcite crystals up to 20 cm in diameter were found in two caves of the Nizke Tarry Mountains developed in Triassic limestone and dolomite of the Guttenstein type. In both caves, older zones of tectonic and hydrothermal activity have been overprinted by vadose speleogenesis. According to fluid inclusion microthermometry data, prismatic-scalenoliedral calcite from the Silvo ova Diera Cave has precipitated at temperatures between similar to60 and 101degreesC from low salinity aqueous solutions (less than or equal to0.7 wt. % NaCl eq.). Carbon and oxygen isotope profiling revealed significant delta(13)C decrease accompanied by slight delta(18)O increase during growth of calcite crystals. The negatively correlated carbon and oxygen isotope data cannot be interpreted in terms of any geologically reasonable models based on equilibrium isotopic fractionation. Fluid inclusion water exhibits minor decrease of deltaD values from crystal core (-31 %o SMOW) to rim (-41 %(0) SMOW). Scalenohedral calcite from the NovA Stanisovska Cave has precipitated at slightly higher temperatures 63-107degreesC from aqueous solutions with salinity : less than or equal to2.7 % NaCl eq. The positively correlated trend of delta(13)C and delta(18)O values is similar to common hydrothermal carbonates. The fluid inclusion water deltaD values differ significantly between the crystal core (-50 %(0) SMOW) and rim (- 11 %o SMOW). The calcite crystals are interpreted as representing a product of an extinct hydrothermal system, which was gradually replaced by shallow circulation of meteoric water. Fossil hydrothermal fluids discharged along Alpine uplift-related NNW-SSE-trending faults in Paleogene-pre-Pliocene times. Increased deuterium concentration in the inclusion water compared to recent meteoric precipitation indicates a warmer climate during the calcite crystallization

Hydrothermal mixing, carbonate dissolution and sulfide precipitation in Mississippi Valley-type deposits, 2004, Corbella M, Ayora C, Cardellach E,
A large number of Mississippi Valley-Type (MVT) deposits are located within dissolution zones in carbonate host rocks. Some genetic models propose the existence of cavities generated by an earlier event such as a shallow karstification, that were subsequently filled with hydrothermal minerals. Alternative models propose carbonate dissolution caused by the simultaneous precipitation of sulfides. These models fail to explain either the deep geological setting of the cavities, or the observational features which suggest that the dissolution of carbonates and the precipitation of minerals filling the cavities are not strictly coeval. We present a genetic model inspired by the textural characteristics of MVT deposits that accounts for both the dissolution of carbonate and precipitation of sulfides and later carbonates in variable volumes. The model is based on the mixing of two hydrothermal fluids with a different chemistry. Depending on the proportion of the end members, the mixture dissolves and precipitates carbonates even though the two mixing solutions are both independently saturated in carbonates. We perform reactive transport simulations of mixing of a regional groundwater and brine ascending through a fracture, both saturated in calcite, but with different overall chemistries (Ca and carbonate concentrations, pH, etc). As a result of the intrinsic effects of chemical mixing, a carbonate dissolution zone, which is enhanced by acid brines, appears above the fracture, and another zone of calcite precipitation builds up between the cavity and the surrounding rock. Sulfide forms near the fracture and occupies a volume smaller than the cavity. A decline of the fluid flux in the fracture would cause the precipitation of calcite within the previously formed cavities. Therefore, dissolution of carbonate host rock, sulfide precipitation within the forming cavity, and later filling by carbonates may be part of the same overall process of mixing of fluids in the carbonate host rock

'Sour gas' hydrothermal jarosite: ancient to modem acid-sulfate mineralization in the southern Rio Grande Rift, 2005, Lueth V. W. , Rye R. O. , Peters L. ,
As many as 29 mining districts along the Rio Grande Rift in southern New Mexico contain Rio Grande Rift-type (RGR) deposits consisting of fluorite-barite sulfide-jarosite, and additional RGR deposits occur to the south in the Basin and Range province near Chihuahua, Mexico. Jarosite occurs in many of these deposits as a late-stage hydrothermal mineral coprecipitated with fluorite, or in veinlets that crosscut barite. In these deposits, many of which are limestone-hosted, jarosite is followed by natrojarosite and is nested within silicified or argillized wallrock and a sequence of fluorite-barite sulfide and late hematite-gypsum. These deposits range in age from similar to 10 to 0.4 Ma on the basis of Ar-40/Ar-39 dating of jarosite. There is a crude north-south distribution of ages, with older deposits concentrated toward the south. Recent deposits also occur in the south, but are confined to the central axis of the rift and are associated with modem geothermal systems. The duration of hydrothermal jarosite mineralization in one of the deposits was approximately 1.0 my. Most Delta(18)O(SO4)-OH values indicate that jarosite precipitated between 80 and 240 degrees C, which is consistent with the range of filling temperatures of fluid inclusions in late fluorite throughout the rift, and in jarosite (180 degrees C) from Pena Blanca, Chihuahua, Mexico. These temperatures, along with mineral occurrence, require that the jarosite have had a hydrothermal origin in a shallow steam-heated environment wherein the low pH necessary for the precipitation of jarosite was achieved by the oxidation of H2S derived from deeper hydrothermal fluids. The jarosite also has high trace-element contents (notably As and F), and the jarosite parental fluids have calculated isotopic signatures similar to those of modem geothermal waters along the southern rift; isotopic values range from those typical of meteoric water to those of deep brine that has been shown to form from the dissolution of Permian evaporite by deeply circulating meteoric water. Jarosite delta(34)S values range from -24 parts per thousand to 5 parts per thousand, overlapping the values for barite and gypsum at the high end of the range and for sulfides at the low end. Most delta(34)S values for barite are 10.6 parts per thousand to 13.1 parts per thousand and many delta(34)S values for gypsum range from 13.1 parts per thousand to 13.9 parts per thousand indicating that a component of aqueous sulfate was derived from Permian evaporites (delta(34)S = 12 2 parts per thousand). The requisite H2SO4 for jarosite formation was derived from oxidation of H2S which was likely largely sour gas derived from the thermochemical reduction of Permian sulfate. The low delta(34)S values for the precursor H2S probably resulted from exchange deeper in the basin with the more abundant Permian SO42-- at similar to 150 to 200 degrees C. Jarosite formed at shallow levels after the PH buffering capacity of the host rock (typically limestone) was neutralized by precipitation of earlier minerals. Some limestone-hosted deposits contain caves that may have been caused by the low pH of the deep basin fluids due to the addition of deep-seated HF and other magmatic gases during periods of renewed rifting. Caves in other deposits may be due to sulfuric acid speleogenesis as a result of H2S incursion into oxygenated groundwaters. The isotopic data in these 'sour gas' jarosite occurrences encode a recod of episodic tectonic or hydrologic processes that have operated in the rift over the last 10 my. (c) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Mineralogical and Stable Isotope Studies of Kaolin Deposits: Shallow Epithermal Systems of Western Sardinia, Italy, 2005, Simeone R. , Dilles J. H. , Padalino G. , Palomba M. ,
Large kaolin deposits hosted by Miocene silicic pyroclastic rocks in northwestern Sardinia represent hydrothermal alteration formed within 200 m of the Miocene paleosurface. Boiling hydrothermal fluids ascended steeply dipping faults that are enveloped by altered rock. The broadly stratiform kaolin deposits constitute advanced argillic alteration that was produced in a steam-heated zone near the paleosurface overlying the deeper hydrothermal systems. The deeper zones represent two distinct types of epithermal systems: weakly acidic (inferred low-sulfidation) systems at Tresnuraghes and acidic (high-sulfidation) systems at Romana. Tresnuraghes is characterized at depth by chalcedony {} quartz {} barite veins within a 50-m-wide zone of K-feldspar-quartz-illite alteration and overlying local occurrences of chalcedony sinter, which define the paleosurface. Kaolin deposits near the paleosurface are characterized by zonation outward and downward from an inner shallow zone of kaolinite 1T-opal {} dickite {} alunite (<20-{micro}m-diam grains) to an outer deeper kaolinite 1M-montmorillonite-cristobalite. This zonation indicates formation by descending acidic fluids. The system evolved from ascending weakly acidic or neutral fluids that boiled to produce H2S-rich vapor, which condensed and oxidized within the near-surface vadose zone to form steam-heated acid-sulfate waters and kaolin alteration. At Romana, veins at depth contain chalcedony or quartz and minor pyrite and are enclosed in up to 20-m-wide zones of kaolinite 1T-quartz alteration. Near hydrothermal vents along the paleosurface, chalcedonic silica is enclosed within a zone of kaolinite 1T-alunite (<50-{micro}m-diam grains)-quartz-opal {} dickite {} cristobalite. Kaolin quarries near the paleosurface display outward and downward zoning to kaolinite 1T-opal {} cristobalite and then to montmorillonite-kaolinite 1T {} opal, consistent with formation by descending low pH fluid. The siliceous and advanced argillic alteration along steep conduits formed from acidic ascending magmatic-hydrothermal fluids, whereas the near-surface kaolin formed from steam-heated meteoric waters. Alteration mineral assemblages and stable isotope data provide evidence of the temperature and source of hydrothermal fluids. Barite from Tresnuraghes (average{delta} 18O = 17.1{per thousand},{delta} 34S = 18.8{per thousand}), one alunite sample from Romana ({delta}18O = 12.0{per thousand},{delta} D = -3{per thousand},{delta} 34S = 16.7{per thousand}), and quartz from both localities ({delta}18O = 15.9-22.0{per thousand}) formed in hydrothermal feeders. Source fluids were likely mixtures of meteoric water and minor magmatic fluid, similar to other epithermal systems. Kaolinite-dickite minerals from the kaolin deposits ({delta}18O = 16.6-21.4{per thousand},{delta} D = -43 to -53{per thousand}) formed from steam-heated meteoric water having{delta} D = - 20 per mil, consistent with the presence of anomalous Hg and fine-grained Na- and Fe-poor alunite. The laterally extensive kaolin deposits in Sardinia, and possibly similar deposits elsewhere in the world, appear to represent the uppermost parts of large hydrothermal systems that may be prospects for gold at depth

Resolving the Richat enigma: Doming and hydrothermal karstification above an alkaline complex, 2005, Matton Guillaume, Jebrak Michel, Lee James K. W. ,
The Richat structure (Sahara, Mauritania) appears as a large dome at least 40 km in diameter within a Late Proterozoic to Ordovician sequence. Erosion has created circular cuestas represented by three nested rings dipping outward from the structure. The center of the structure consists of a limestone-dolomite shelf that encloses a kilometer-scale siliceous breccia and is intruded by basaltic ring dikes, kimberlitic intrusions, and alkaline volcanic rocks. Several hypotheses have been presented to explain the spectacular Richat structure and breccia, but their origin remains enigmatic. The breccia body is lenticular in shape and irregularly thins at its extremities to only a few meters. The breccia was created during karst dissolution and collapse. Internal sediments fill the centimeter- to meter-scale cavities. Alkaline enrichment and the presence of Cretaceous automorphous neoformed K-feldspar demonstrate the hydrothermal origin of these internal sediments and their contemporaneity with magmatism. A model is proposed in which doming and the production of hydrothermal fluids were instrumental in creating a favorable setting for dissolution. The circular Richat structure and its breccia core thus represent the superficial expression of a Cretaceous alkaline complex with an exceptionally well preserved hydrothermal karst infilling at its summit

The geochemistry of fluids from an active shallow submarine hydrothermal system: Milos island, Hellenic Volcanic Arc, 2005, Valsamijones E. , Baltatzis E. , Bailey E. H. , Boyce A. J. , Alexander J. L. , Magganas A. , Anderson L. , Waldron S. , Ragnarsdottir K. V. ,
Geothermal activity in the Aegean island of Milos (Greece), associated with island-arc volcanism, is abundant both on-and off-shore. Hydrothermal fluids venting from several sites, mainly shallow submarine (up to 10 m), but also just above seawater level in one locality, were sampled over four summer field seasons. Some of the discharging fluids are associated with the formation of hydrothermal edifices. Overall, the main characteristics of the hydrothermal fluids are low pH and variable chlorinity. The lowest recorded pH was 1.7, and chlorinity ranged from 0.1 to 2.5 times that of seawater. The highest fluid temperatures recorded on site were 115 degrees C. Two main types of fluids were identified: low-chlorinity fluids containing low concentrations of alkalis (potassium, lithium, sodium) and calcium, and high concentrations of silica and sulphate; and high-chlorinity fluids containing high concentrations of alkalis and calcium, and lower concentrations of silica and sulphate. The type locality of the high-chlorinity fluids is shallow submarine in Palaeochori, near the cast end of the south coast of the island, whereas the type locality of the low-chlorinity fluids is a cave to the west of Palaeochori. The two fluid types are therefore often referred to as 'submarine' and 'cave' fluids respectively. Both fluid types had low magnesium and high metal concentrations but were otherwise consistently different from each other. The low-chlorinity fluids had the highest cobalt, nickel, aluminium, iron and chromium (up to 1.6 mu M, 3.6 mu M, 1586 mu M, 936 mu M and 3.0 mu M, respectively) and the high-chlorinity fluids had the highest zinc, cadmium, manganese and lead (up to 4.1 mu M, 1.0 mu M, 230 mu M and 32 mu M, respectively). Geochemical modelling suggests that metals in the former are likely to have been transported as sulphate species or free ions and in the latter as chloride species or free ions. Isotopic values for both water types range between delta D -12 to 33 parts per thousand and delta(18)O 1.2 to 4.6 parts per thousand. The range of fluid compositions and isotopic contents indicates a complex history of evolution for the system. Both types of fluids appear to be derived from seawater and thus are likely to represent end members of a single fluid phase that underwent phase separation at depth. Crown Copyright (c) 2005 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Resolving the Richat enigma: Doming and hydrothermal karstification above an alkaline complex, 2005, Matton G. , Jbrak M. , Lee J. K. W.

The Richat structure (Sahara, Mauritania) appears as a large  dome at least 40 km in diameter within a Late Proterozoic to Ordovician  sequence. Erosion has created circular cuestas represented  by three nested rings dipping outward from the structure. The  center of the structure consists of a limestone-dolomite shelf that  encloses a kilometer-scale siliceous breccia and is intruded by basaltic  ring dikes, kimberlitic intrusions, and alkaline volcanic  rocks. Several hypotheses have been presented to explain the spectacular  Richat structure and breccia, but their origin remains enigmatic.  The breccia body is lenticular in shape and irregularly thins  at its extremities to only a few meters. The breccia was created  during karst dissolution and collapse. Internal sediments fill the  centimeter- to meter-scale cavities. Alkaline enrichment and the  presence of Cretaceous automorphous neoformed K-feldspar demonstrate  the hydrothermal origin of these internal sediments and  their contemporaneity with magmatism. A model is proposed in  which doming and the production of hydrothermal fluids were instrumental  in creating a favorable setting for dissolution. The circular  Richat structure and its breccia core thus represent the superficial  expression of a Cretaceous alkaline complex with an  exceptionally well preserved hydrothermal karst infilling at its  summit.


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