Trace Element Composition Of Near-Surface Silica Deposits-A Powerful Tool For Detecting Hydrothermal Mineral And Energy Resources

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Journal Article: Trace Element Composition Of Near-Surface Silica Deposits-A Powerful Tool For Detecting Hydrothermal Mineral And Energy Resources

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.

Authors 
I. Tonguc Uysal, Massimo Gasparon, Robert Bolhar, Jian-xin Zhao, Yue-xing Feng and Greg Jones








Published Journal 
Chemical Geology, Date Not Provided





DOI 
10.1016/j.chemgeo.2010.11.005


 

Citation

I. Tonguc Uysal,Massimo Gasparon,Robert Bolhar,Jian-xin Zhao,Yue-xing Feng,Greg Jones. . Trace Element Composition Of Near-Surface Silica Deposits-A Powerful Tool For Detecting Hydrothermal Mineral And Energy Resources. Chemical Geology. (!) .