The source of hydrothermal solutions at Puerto Maunabo and its bearing on the base-metal-potassium feldspar association in Puerto Rico

Journal of Research of the U.S. Geological Survey
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Abstract

A quartz oligoclase porphyry exposed near Puerto Maunabo may provide evidence to further our understanding of the base-metal-potassium feldspar association known to occur in many of the porphyry-type copper deposits of Puerto Rico. The porphyry appears to be a magmatic differentiate on the border of the San Lorenzo batholith that may represent a source of mineralizing hydrothermal solutions. The porphyry intrudes an albitized quartz diorite border phase of the batholith that contains large roof pendants of metavolcanic rock. These roof pendants are mostly metamorphosed to greenschist metamorphic facies, but in the vicinity of Puerto Maunabo south of the porphyry, they reach amphibolite metamorphic facies; north of the porphyry, similar xenolithic lenses of metavolcanic rock appear to have been converted entirely to an oligoclase quartz felsite. The layered albitized quartz felsite has the same composition and texture as irregular veinlets in the albitized quartz diorite and as the groundmass in the porphyry. The K+ ions arid basic ions of Fe+2, Cu+2, Mg+2 apparently were mobilized during final magmatic crystallization and then escaped as hydrothermal solutions that followed open conduits within a zone of structural weakness which also permitted the emplacement of the porphyry. The volcanic rock of Cerro Piedra Hueca, in contact with the albitized quartz diorite, and generally along strike west of the porphyry, has been altered to a quartz sericite rock entirely devoid of mafic silicates. This is the southeasternmost exposure of hydrothermally altered volcanic rock in the regional zone of northwest-trending faults that contains the principal porphyry-type copper deposits of Puerto Rico. The texture, mineralogy, and geologic environment of the porphyry at Puerto Maunabo are similar to those of the ore-bearing porphyries but differ in one important aspect. Most ore-bearing porphyries contain hydrothermal potassium feldspar and reddish-brown biotite intimately associated with the base-metal sulfides. In the porphyry of Puerto Maunabo, potassium feldspar is conspicuously absent, and only a trace of biotite is present; the only sulfide present is pyrite. The physical and chemical environment required to precipitate K+ ions, either as potassium feldspar or biotite, apparently is very similar to that required to precipitate base-metal sulfides. At Puerto Maunabo, these conditions evidently did not prevail, and potassium and the base metals may have been carried in solution to a more favorable environment.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The source of hydrothermal solutions at Puerto Maunabo and its bearing on the base-metal-potassium feldspar association in Puerto Rico
Series title Journal of Research of the U.S. Geological Survey
Volume 4
Issue 1
Year Published 1976
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Description 5 p.
First page 61
Last page 65
Country Puerto Rico
Other Geospatial Puerto Maunabo
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N