Geology of the Humboldt region and the Iron King mine, Bigbug mining district, Yavapai County, Arizona

Open-File Report 51-43




The Humboldt region is in central Yavapai County, Arizona. The intersection of the 112? 15' meridian and the 34? 30' N parallel is in the approximate geographical center of the region, and the Iron King mine is about 2000 feet west-northwest of the intersection. Pre-Cambrian rocks form the bedrock in the Humboldt region. Late Cenozoic unconsolidated river wash and valley fill, including some interbedded basalt, locally mantle the pre-Cambrian rocks, especially in the north-central part of the region (Lonesome Valley). The pre-Cambrian rocks consist of five newly defined metavolcanic formations derived from flows and tuff s, and of six intrusive units ranging in composition from granite to gabbro or perhaps more mafic types. Relic bedding-and pillow structures are locally prominent in the metavolcanics; geopetal structures are uncommon, but where present, generally indicate that the top is toward the west, though the evidence is too meager to be conclusive. Low-grade dynamothermal metamorphism altered the metavolcanics and to a lesser extent the intrusive rocks, forming textures, structures, and mineral assemblages characteristic of low temperature and moderate stress. The Texas Gulch formation, which is the easternmost metavolcanic formation, consists of five lithologic units. Arranged in the general order of their appearance from east to west they are meta-andesite breccia, purple slate, metarhyolite tuff, meta-andesite, and green slate. The boundary between the Texas Gulch formation and the Iron King meta-andesite is apparently gradational. The Iron King meta-andesite consists of three meta-andesite tuff units, two meta-andesite flow units and one metarhyolite tuff and conglomerate unit. The assemblage chlorite-albite-epitode with or without quartz is dominant in the meta-andesites. Mafic intrusive rocks, which may be approximately contemporaneous with metamorphism, may explain the presence of actinolitic hornblende in the central part of the formation. Toward the west the Iron King meta-andesite appears to grade into the Spud Mountain metabreccia through a zone containing beds characteristic of either one formation or the other. The Spud Mountain metabreccia consists of interbedded metabreccia and metatuff beds. The metatuffs are largely andesitic in composition, but a few thin beds of metarhyolite tuff occur. The fragments in the metabreccia beds consist chiefly or porphyritic meta-andesites and the matrix is meta-andesite tuff. Pre-Cambrian faults now marked by dikes separate the Chaparral Gulch metavolcanics, which lie west of the Spud Mountain metabreccia, from underlying and overlying formations. The Chaparral Gulch metavolcanics contain metarhyolite tuff, metarhyolite flow, and meta-andesite tuff that locally was contaminated by rhyolitic detritus. The Indian Hills metavolcanics, which are northeast of the Chaparral Gulch metavolcanics, consist of two broad units, one composed of metarhyolites and the other of meta-andesites. Metamorphosed tuffs and flows are believed to be represented in both units and flow breccia in the meta-andesites. Granite and alaskite; granodiorite and quartz diorite; diorite, mafic quartz diorite, gabbro and diabase; metarhyolite (?); and quartz porphyry comprise the pre-Cambrian intrusive units mapped. They include both deep-seated and hypabyssal types. Dynamothermal metamorphism has foliated the smaller bodies and the margins of the larger masses and partly converted them into mineral assemblages stable under low-grade metamorphic conditions. Planar structures (chiefly foliation) are omnipresent and linear structures are common in the pre-Cambrian meta-volcanic rocks. North-trending planar structures dominate in the Indian Hills metavolcanics, and in the Spud Mountain metabreccia, whereas northeast-trending planar structures are dominant in the Texas Gulch formation, Iron King meta-andesite, and Chaparral Gulch metavolcanics. To a lesser extent northeast-trending st

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USGS Numbered Series
Geology of the Humboldt region and the Iron King mine, Bigbug mining district, Yavapai County, Arizona
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Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
146 p.; 2 folded maps ;30 cm.