Trace element composition of near-surface silica deposits: A powerful tool for detecting hydrothermal mineral and energy resources

Uysal, I. Tonguç, Gasparon, Massimo, Bolhar, Robert, Zhao, Jian-xin, Feng, Yue-xing and Jones, Greg (2011) Trace element composition of near-surface silica deposits: A powerful tool for detecting hydrothermal mineral and energy resources. Chemical Geology, 280 1-2: 154-169. doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2010.11.005


Author Uysal, I. Tonguç
Gasparon, Massimo
Bolhar, Robert
Zhao, Jian-xin
Feng, Yue-xing
Jones, Greg
Title Trace element composition of near-surface silica deposits: A powerful tool for detecting hydrothermal mineral and energy resources
Journal name Chemical Geology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0009-2541
1872-6836
Publication date 2011-01-07
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2010.11.005
Volume 280
Issue 1-2
Start page 154
End page 169
Total pages 16
Editor R. L. Rudnick
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Extensive Paleozoic sinter deposits occur at the surface associated with sub-surface quartz veining and epithermal Au mineralisation in the Drummond Basin, Australia. We investigated the trace element composition of the sinter deposits and quartz veins in an attempt to develop a new geochemical exploration guide for geological resources. The Drummond Basin hydrothermal silica deposits are unique in having anomalously enriched incompatible element (Cs, Li, Be, U, Th and REE) concentrations in comparison to hydrothermal quartz veins from various granitic-pegmatitic systems elsewhere. The development of relative Ce deficiencies (Ce/Ce*norm < 1) in silica deposits indicate preferential mobilisation of REE over Ce from source rocks by oxidised hydrothermal fluids, leading to relative Ce enrichment in the source material (e.g., rhyolite intrusions). Sinters and quartz veins and some volcanic source rocks show a conspicuous positive Y anomaly relative to REE. This is interpreted in terms of Y fractionation due to fluorine complexation with REE during hydrothermal activity. The majority of sinter and quartz samples within or near the Au mineralisation zone are more enriched in mobile elements (Cs, Li, Rb and Be) than the silica deposits from areas distal to the mineralised area. Normalised Y–REE patterns of the sinter deposits, quartz veins, and wall rocks provide important information on the physico-chemical environment of epithermal mineral deposition in geothermal systems. Trace element systematics as revealed in the current study, particularly in relation to the alkali element mobility, have significant implications for finding new prospect areas and evaluating the potential of existing prospect areas for epithermal metal deposits and active geothermal fields.
© 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keyword Sinter
Trace element
Drummond basin
Epithermal
Geothermal
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 11 November 2010

 
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Created: Wed, 02 Mar 2011, 14:54:22 EST by Dr Tonguc Uysal on behalf of School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering