A hydrogeochemical survey utilizing waters from streams and springs was conducted in the area of two known porphyry copper deposits in the tropical-marine climate of westcentral Puerto Rico. The most important pathfinder for regional hydrogeochemical surveys is sulfate which reflects the associated pyrite mineralization. Because of increased mobility due to intense chemical weathering and the low pH environment, dissolved copper can also be used as a pathfinder for regional surveys and has the advantage of distinguishing barren pyrite from pyrite associated with copper mineralization. For follow-up surveys, the most important pathfinders are copper, sulfate, pH, zinc, and fluoride. High concentrations of dissolved copper and moderate concentrations of sulfate is a diagnostic indication of nearby sources of copper minerals. An understanding of the geochemical processes taking place in the streambeds and the weathering environment, such as the precipitation of secondary copper minerals, contributes to the interpretation of the geochemical data and the selection of the most favorable areas for further exploration. ?? 1982.
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Hydrogeochemical prospecting for porphyry copper deposits in the tropical-marine climate of Puerto Rico