Jurassic Hot Spring Deposits Of The Deseado Massif (Patagonia, Argentina)- Characteristics And Controls On Regional Distribution

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Journal Article: Jurassic Hot Spring Deposits Of The Deseado Massif (Patagonia, Argentina)- Characteristics And Controls On Regional Distribution

Abstract
The Deseado Massif, Santa Cruz Province, Argentinean Patagonia, hosts numerous Middle to Late Jurassic age geothermal and epithermal features represented by siliceous and calcareous chemical precipitates from hot springs (sinters and travertines, respectively), hydrothermal breccias, quartz veins, and widespread hydrothermal silicification. They indicate pauses in explosive volcanic activity, marking the final stages in the evolution of an extensive Jurassic (ca. 178-151 Ma) volcanic complex set in a diffuse extensional back-arc setting heralding the opening of the Atlantic Ocean. Published paleo-hot spring sites for the Deseado Massif, plus additional sites identified during our recent field studies, reveal a total of 23 locations, five of which were studied in detail to determine their geologic and facies associations. They show structural, lithologic, textural and biotic similarities with Miocene to Recent hot spring systems from the Taupo and Coromandel volcanic zones, New Zealand, as well as with modern examples from Yellowstone National Park, U.S.A. These comparisons aid in the definition of facies assemblages for Deseado Massif deposits - proximal, middle apron and distal siliceous sinter and travertine terraces and mounds, with preservation of many types of stromatolitic fabrics - that likely were controlled by formation temperature, pH, hydrodynamics and fluid compositions. Locally the mapped hot spring deposits largely occur in association with reworked volcaniclastic lacustrine and/or fluvial sediments, silicic to intermediate lava domes, and hydrothermal mineralization, all of which are related to local and regional structural lineaments. Moreover, the numerous geothermal and significant epithermal (those with published minable resources) deposits of the Deseado Massif geological province mostly occur in four regional NNW and WNW hydrothermal-structural belts (Northwestern, Northern, Central, Southern), defined here by alignment of five or more hot spring deposits and confirmed as structurally controlled by aeromagnetic data. The Northern and Northwestern belts, in particular, concentrate most of the geothermal and epithermal occurrences. Hence, Jurassic hydrothermal fluid flow was strongly influenced by the most dominant and long-active geological boundaries in the region, the outer limits of the Deseado Massif 'horst' itself.

Authors 
Diego M. Guido and Kathleen A. Campbell








Published Journal 
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Date Not Provided





DOI 
Not Provided
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Citation

Diego M. Guido,Kathleen A. Campbell. . Jurassic Hot Spring Deposits Of The Deseado Massif (Patagonia, Argentina)- Characteristics And Controls On Regional Distribution. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. (!) .