Lens-like rhodochrosite-rich bodies within interbedded chert and shale are associated with basalt and/or graywacke in ophiolitic and orogenic zones. The Buckeye manganese mine in the Franciscan Complex of the California Coast Ranges is associated with metagraywacke. Despite blueschist-facies metamorphism, this deposit preserves the compositions and some textural features of its sedimentary protoliths. For this reason, it is a suitable deposit with which to compare more intensely altered deposits, or deposits originating in different paleoenvironments. Six Mn-rich and three Mn-poor minerals form monomineralic layers and mixtures: rhodochrosite, gageite, Mn-oxides (hausmannite, braunite), divalent Mn-silicates (caryopilite, taneyamalite), chlorite, quartz (metachert) and aegirine-augite. The Mn-rich protoliths have high Mn/Fe combined with relatively low concentrations of Ca, Al, Ti, Co, Ni, Cu, Th and REE. REE patterns of various protoliths are distinct. Rhodochrosite and gageite layers are depleted (seawater ?? 5 ?? 104) and flat, whereas patterns of metachert and the Mn-silicate-rich layers mimic the patterns of metashale and metagraywacke (seawater ?? 106). Hausmannite layers have flat patterns (seawater ?? 7 ?? 104) whereas braunite-rich layers are more enriched (seawater ?? 2 ?? 105) and show a distinct positive Ce anomaly. Factor analysis reveals components and fluxes attributed to sub-seafloor fluids (Ni, As, Zn, Sb, W, Mn), seawater (Mg, Au, V, Mo), detritus and veins (Ca, Ba, Sr). Silica is negatively correlated with the sub-seafloor factor. The observed variances indicate that water from the sediment column mixed with seawater, that deposition occurred near the sediment-seawater interface before mixtures of subsurface fluid and seawater homogenized, and that the system was not entirely closed during metamorphism. The variations in REE enrichment can be related to kinetics of deposition: rhodochrosite and gageite were precipitated most rapidly, and therefore were the protoliths that most effectively diluted the REE-rich background resulting from fine clastic material (derived from distal turbidites). The variation of the Ce anomaly and U/Th among diverse lithologies and the differences in Mn oxidation states are consistent with progressive dilution of reduced subsurface fluids with oxidized seawater. By this scheme, rhodochrosite, gageite and hausmannite were deposited from the most reduced fluids, braunite from intermediate mixtures, and Mn-silicates from the sub-seafloor fluids most diluted with fresh seawater. Comparison of the Buckeye with other lens-like and sheet-like deposits having high Mn/Fe and containing Mn3+ and/or Mn2+ suggests that each had three essential fluxes: a sub-seafloor source of Mn, a local source of very soluble silica and a source of relatively fresh, oxygenated water. Additional fluxes, such as clastics, appear to be more characteristic of the paleoenvironment than the three essential fluxes. ?? 1992.
Additional publication details
Chemical fluxes and origin of a manganese carbonate-oxide-silicate deposit in bedded chert