The Red Dog deposit is a giant 175 Mton (16% Zn, 5% Pb), shale-hosted Pb-Zn-Ag-Ba ore district situated in the Carboniferous Kuna Basin, Western Brooks Range, Alaska. These SEDEX-type ores are thought to have formed in calcareous turbidites and black mudstone at elevated sub-seafloor temperatures (120-150??C) within a hydrogeologic framework of submarine convection that was structurally organized by large normal faults. The theory for modeling brine migration and heat transport in the Kuna Basin is discussed with application to evaluating flow patterns and heat transport in faulted rift basins and the effects of buoyancy-driven free convection on reactive flow and ore genesis. Finite element simulations show that hydrothermal fluid was discharged into the Red Dog subbasin during a period of basin-wide crustal heat flow of 150-160 mW/m2. Basinal brines circulated to depths as great as 1-3 km along multiple normal faults flowed laterally through thick clastic aquifers acquiring metals and heat, and then rapidly ascended a single discharge fault zone at rates ??? 5 m/year to mix with seafloor sulfur and precipitate massive sulfide ores. ?? 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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Coupled heat and fluid flow modeling of the Carboniferous Kuna Basin, Alaska: Implications for the genesis of the Red Dog Pb-Zn-Ag-Ba ore district