Samples of minus-80-mesh (<180 ??m) stream sediment, rock containing exposed fracture coatings, and jarosite and chrysocolla were collected from an area surrounding the North Silver Bell porphyry Cu deposit near Tucson, Arizona. The samples were subjected to a series of extractions in a scheme originally designed for use on samples from humid or sub-humid environments, in which the following fractions can effectively be separated: (1) carbonates and exchangeable metals; (2) Mn oxides; (3) organic compounds and sulfides; (4) hydrous Fe oxides; and (5) residual crystalline minerals. Jarosite and chrysocolla, two major minerals of the North Silver Bell area, were found to dissolve over two or more steps of the extraction scheme. The results represent only a limited number of samples from one copper deposit. Nevertheless, they do suggest that in a semiarid to arid environment, where mechanical dispersion of such minerals predominates, uncritical assignment of unique phases, such as Mn oxides or organics to a given extraction would lead to false interpretations of weathering processes. However, the relative proportions of elements dissolved in each step of the jarosite and chrysocolla extractions could be used as a "fingerprint" for recognition of the presence of these two minerals in the stream-sediment and rock samples. The relative abundance of hydrous Fe oxide and jarosite and the alteration zoning could be mapped using data from jarosite and chrysocolla extractions. Manganese oxides were also found to have a greater influence on Zn than on Cu or Pb during supergene alteration. The rapid change in relative importance of the first (1M-acetic acid) extraction for Cu, Zn, and Pb near the mineralized zone suggested the occurrence of minor hydromorphic processes within the stream sediments. Thus, the acetic acid extraction proved the most effective for pinpointing mineralization in sediments. In contrast, the residual fraction had the longest dispersion train, suggesting that total metal concentrations are most effective in arid environments for reconnaissance surveys. ?? 1981.
Additional publication details
Sequential extraction techniques applied to a porphyry copper deposit in the basin and range province