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Fluid inclusion gas chemistry as a potential minerals exploration tool: Case studies from Creede, CO, Jerritt Canyon, NV, Coeur d'Alene district, ID and MT, southern Alaska mesothermal veins, and mid-continent MVT's

Journal of Geochemical Exploration

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Abstract

Recent advances in instrumentation now permit quantitative analysis of gas species from individual fluid inclusions. Fluid inclusion gas data can be applied to minerals exploration empirically to establish chemical (gas composition) signatures of the ore fluids, and conceptually through the development of genetic models of ore formation from a framework of integrated geologic, geochemical, and isotopic investigations. Case studies of fluid inclusion gas chemistry from ore deposits representing a spectrum of ore-forming processes and environments are presented to illustrate both the empirical and conceptual approaches. We consider epithermal silver-gold deposits of Creede, Colorado, Carlin-type sediment-hosted disseminated gold deposits of Jerritt Canyon, Nevada, metamorphic silver-base-metal veins of the Coeur d'Alene district, Idaho and Montana, gold-quartz veins in accreted terranes of southern Alaska, and the mid-continent base-metal sulfide deposits of Mississippi Valley-Type (MVT's). Variations in gas chemistry determine the redox state of the ore fluids, provide compositional input for gas geothermometers, characterize ore fluid chemistry (e.g., CH4CO2, H2SSO2, CO2/H2S, organic-rich fluids, gas-rich and gas-poor fluids), identify magmatic, meteoric, metamorphic, shallow and deep basin fluids in ore systems, locate upwelling plumes of magmatic-derived volatiles, zones of boiling and volatile separation, interfaces between contrasting fluids, and important zones of fluid mixing. Present techniques are immediately applicable to exploration programsas empirical studies that monitor fluid inclusion gas threshold concentration levels, presence or absence of certain gases, or changes in gas ratios. We suggest that the greater contribution of fluid inclusion gas analysis is in the integrated and comprehensive chemical dimension that gas data impart to genetic models, and in the exploration concepts based on processes and environments of ore formation derived from these genetic models. ?? 1991.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Fluid inclusion gas chemistry as a potential minerals exploration tool: Case studies from Creede, CO, Jerritt Canyon, NV, Coeur d'Alene district, ID and MT, southern Alaska mesothermal veins, and mid-continent MVT's
Series title:
Journal of Geochemical Exploration
Volume
42
Issue:
1
Year Published:
1991
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Geochemical Exploration
First page:
25
Last page:
59