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Book Chapter

The Development of Paleokarst and Other Solution Features in the Mississippian Leadville Dolomite, Central Colorado

By
John F. Hall, JR.
John F. Hall, JR.
Engineering-Science, Inc., 1100 Stout Street, Suite 1100, Denver, Colorado 80204
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Published:
January 01, 1990

Abstract

The Mississippian Leadville Dolomite in central Colorado hosts a large number of paleokarst and other solution features ranging in age from the Mississippian to the present. In many cases, these features provided pathways of high permeability for subsequent fluid movement. Four main episodes of dissolution have been identified.

In the early Osagean, prior to deposition of the Castle Butte Member, subaerial exposure and minor karstification of the Red Cliff Member of the Leadville Dolomite formed breccias at the surface and karst solution features in the shallow subsurface.

In the Late Mississippian, following the retreat of the sea from central Colorado, extensive karst features developed on and within the Leadville Dolomite.

Following burial of the Leadville Dolomite in the Pennsylvanian, hydrothermal solution features of various ages were created. Pennsylvanian age, migrating basinal brines and/or convecting hydrothermal fluids associated with igneous intrusive activity in the Laramide and/or mid-Tertiary may have caused the dissolution.

Finally, in the late Tertiary or early Quaternary, karstifieation was initiated as erosion exposed the Leadville Dolomite to meteoric water.

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Contents

Economic Geology Monograph Series

Carbonate-Hosted Sulfide Deposits of the Central Colorado Mineral Belt

David W. Beaty
David W. Beaty
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;
Gary P. Landis
Gary P. Landis
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;
Tommy B. Thompson
Tommy B. Thompson
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Society of Economic Geologists
Volume
7
ISBN electronic:
9781629490021
Publication date:
January 01, 1990

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