Active geothermal systems with entrained seawater as analogues for low-sulphidation epithermal mineralization

Naden, Jonathan; Kilias, Stephanos P; Darbyshire, Fiona. 2005 Active geothermal systems with entrained seawater as analogues for low-sulphidation epithermal mineralization. Geology, 33 (7). 541-544.

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The paradigm for low-sulphidation (LS) volcanic-arc associated mineralization is the active geothermal systems located along the Taupo Volcanic Zone (e.g. Broadlands). However, this analogue is inapt where fluid salinities are consistently in excess of 3.5 wt % NaCl. LS mineralization on Milos (Aegean arc) records high paleofluid-salinities. The δD and δ18O data do not exemplify 18O-shifted meteoric waters—typical of terrestrial geothermal systems. Nor is a submarine origin indicated—stable isotope data show mixing between meteoric, seawater and volcanic-arc gases. Strontium isotope data are comparable to a nearby active seawater-entrained geothermal system. These are features seen in hydrothermal systems associated with emergent volcanoes. For the Milos LS mineralization, high-salinity fluids show it cannot be explained by a Broadlands-type model. The absence of saliferous sequences and significant intrusive rocks preclude these as salinity sources. The similarities between paleo and active systems in terms of salinity, δD–δ18O and strontium isotope systematics strongly suggest that seawater is the main source for Na and Cl. We suggest geothermal systems, containing seawater, associated with emergent volcanoes are an alternative analogue for LS epithermal mineralization. Furthermore, they bridge the gap between submarine, and large-scale terrestrial geothermal systems—the modern analogues for VHMS and epithermal mineralisation in the scheme of intrusion-centered hydrothermal mineralization.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Economic Minerals
ISSN: 0091-7613
Additional Keywords: Epithermal processes, seawater, Milos, isotopes
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 17 Jul 2009 15:59 +0 (UTC)

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