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New insights into the genesis of volcanic-hosted massive sulfide deposits on the seafloor from numerical modeling studies


Schardt, C and Large, RR, New insights into the genesis of volcanic-hosted massive sulfide deposits on the seafloor from numerical modeling studies, Ore Geology Reviews: Journal for Comprehensive Studies of Ore Genesis and Ore Exploration, 35, (4) pp. 333-351. ISSN 0169-1368 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.oregeorev.2008.11.008


Numerical computer simulations have been used to gain insight into the evolution of marine hydrothermal systems and the formation conditions of massive sulfide deposits in ancient and modern submarine volcanic terrains. Simulation results have been used to gain a better understanding of the formation of massive sulfide ore deposits, their location, zonation, size, and occurrence in various geotectonic settings. Most hydrothermal fluid discharging at the seafloor exhibits temperatures ranging from 200 degrees C to about 410 degrees C and average fluid discharge velocities of 1 to 2 m/s in agreement with seafloor observations. Mass calculations imply that average massive sulfide deposits may form in similar to 5000 years while giant deposits take longer than 5000 years to accumulate; supergiant deposits either need much longer time to form (>35,000 years) or at least 100 ppm of metal in solution. Results indicate that supergiant deposits may only form in certain geotectonic environments where longevity and preservation potential of the hydrothermal system are high. An additional process (mineral precipitate cap) is proposed here to explain the zinc content of massive sulfide deposits. This cap would prevent the widespread dissolution of anhydrite and the 'wash-out' of zinc by subsequent hydrothermal fluid discharge.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:seafloor sulfides, numerical modelling, volcanic-hosted massive sulfides, base metals
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Resource geoscience
Objective Division:Mineral Resources (Excl. Energy Resources)
Objective Group:Mineral exploration
Objective Field:Copper ore exploration
UTAS Author:Large, RR (Professor Ross Large)
ID Code:62052
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:17
Deposited By:Centre for Ore Deposit Research - CODES CoE
Deposited On:2010-03-09
Last Modified:2010-06-01

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