Disseminated, Carlin-type, gold deposits are associated with a volatile suite of elements consisting of Hg, As, Sb, W, and sometimes, but not always, Au. Geochemical exploration for this type of disseminated deposit depends upon recognizing the significance of this volatile suite and interpreting it in light of other geologic and geophysical data. One way of estimating the significance of the volatile suite is to determine enrichment factors. The enrichment factor is defined as abundance divided by crustal abundance or abundance divided by the local Clarke. Enrichment factors for the volatile suite in specific areas of the Edna Mountain quadrangle, Humboldt County, Nevada, interpreted with other geologic and geophysical factors, indicate that a potential for disseminated gold mineralization exists. Although most known disseminated gold deposits are exposed at the surface, the potential for finding additional buried or concealed deposits in north-central Nevada is high. Future geochemical exploration programs should be geared toward finding these buried or concealed deposits,-which may be indicated at the surface by leakage halos of the volatile suite.
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USGS Numbered Series
Geochemical prospecting for Carlin-type gold deposits