Paragenetic and minor- and trace-element studies were conducted on samples of epigenetic ore and gangue minerals collected from mines and drill core in the Silesian-Cracow (S-C) district of southern Poland. Four discrete mineral suites representing four mineralizing stages can be identified throughout the district. The earliest epigenetic minerals deposited during stage 1 consist of a late dolomite cement together with minor pyrite and marcasite. Stage 2 was the first ore-forming stage and included repetitive deposition of sphalerite and galena in a variety of morphologies. Stage 3 abruptly followed the first ore stage and deposited marcasite and pyrite with variable amounts of late sphalerite and galena. In the samples studied, minerals deposited during stage 3 are predominately marcasite-pyrite with minor sphalerite and galena in the Pomorzany and Olkusz mines, whereas, at the Trzebionka mine, stage 3 mineralization deposited mostly galena and sphalerite with little marcasite or pyrite. Stage 4 minerals include contains barite, followed by calcite, with very minor pyrite and a rare, late granular sphalerite. Compared to other major Mississippi Valley-type (MVT) districts of the world, the Silesian-Cracow district contains sphalerite with the second largest range in Ag concentrations and the largest range in Fe and Cd concentrations of any district. Unlike in other districts, very wide ranges in minor- and trace-element concentrations are also observed in paragenetically equivalent samples collected throughout the district. This wide range indicates that the minor- and trace-element content of the ore-forming environment was highly variable, both spatially and temporally, and suggests that the hydrologic system that the ore fluids traversed from their basinal source was very complex. Throughout the district, a significant increase in Tl, Ge, and As concentrations is accompanied by a lightening of sulfur isotopes between stage 2 and stage 3 minerals. This change appears to record a major district-scale hydrologic event that probably reflects the introduction of fluids with significantly different geochemistry than that of earlier ore-forming fluids.
Additional publication details
Paragenetic and minor- and trace-element studies of Mississippi Valley-type ore deposits of the Silesian-Cracow district, Poland