A reconnaissance geochemical survey of stream drainages within 21,000 km2 of southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico shows broad zones of low-level to moderate contrast anomalies, many associated with mid-Tertiary eruptive centers and Tertiary fault zones. Of these eruptive centers, few are known to contain metallic deposits, and most of those known are minor. This, however, may be more a function of shallow erosion level than an indication of the absence of mineralization, since hydrothermal alteration and Fe-Mn-oxide staining are widespread, and geochemical anomalies are pervasive over a larger part of the region than outcrop observations would predict. Accordingly, interpretations of the geochemical data use considerations of relative erosion levels, and inferred element zonalities, to focus on possible undiscovered deposits in the subsurface of base-, precious-, and rare-metal deposits of plutonic-volcanic association. In order to enhance the identification of specific deep targets, we use the empirically determined ratio: Ag+Mn+Pb+Zn+Ba Au+Mo+Cu+Bi+W This ratio is based on reported metal contents of nonmagnetic heavy-mineral samples from the drainage sediment, determined by emission spectrographic analysis. Before the ratio was computed for each sample site, the data were normalized to a previously estimated regional threshold value. A regional isopleth map was then prepared, using a cell-averaging computer routine, with contours drawn at the 25th, 50th, 75th, 80th, 90th, 95th and 99th percentiles of the computed data. ?? 1989.
Additional publication details
Geochemical signatures of possible deep-seated ore deposits in Tertiary volcanic centers, Arizona and New Mexico, U.S.A.