G. deV. Klein, 1991. "Rationale for Modern Basin Analysis Applied to Ore Deposits", Sedimentary and Diagenetic Mineral Deposits: A Basin Analysis Approach to Exploration, Eric R. Force, J. James Eidel, J. Barry Maynard
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Basin analysis in the current era represents the integrative relations between many fields of earth sciences, especially geophysics, geochemistry, sedimentology, stratigraphy, precise biostratigraphy for geological age determinations, and computer modelling. Thus the thematic goal of this field of research is to view sedimentary basins in a broader interdisciplinary context. The various subdisciplines of earth science today are undergoing major change and as a consequence, the traditional boundaries between subdisciplines in the earth sciences are breaking down; the solution to solving basin problems is a cross-disciplinary approach. Over the past decade, earth scientists have discovered that the problem agendas of the various subdisciplines such as sedimentology, geodynamics, geophysics, organic geochemistry, have been solved to a great extent. The solutions set the stage to address problems of a larger scale that required an integrated approach. These larger scale problems relevant to basin formation include the evolution of the earth, fluid movement, maturation, and long-term changes in sea level and climate, among many others.
Basin analysis integrates all relevant geological disciplines to solve problems within and adjacent to sedimentary basins (see Welte, 1989; Poelchau and Mann, 1989). Basin analysis evolved in the petroleum industry from work that provided regional syntheses of stratigraphy and sedimentation in terms of broad tectonic relations that could be mapped in the field or subsurface. Initially, oil companies focused on the stratigraphic relations within a target basin, the environments and facies of specific target pay zones, the biostratigraphy of the basin succession, and its tectonic framework. Subsequently, the field
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Sedimentary and Diagenetic Mineral Deposits: A Basin Analysis Approach to Exploration
Major oil companies have been utilizing techniques of quantitative basin analysis in exploration for a decade or more. Ore-forming processes in stratiform, sediment-hosted ore deposits commonly involve sedimentary processes, diagenesis, basinal brines, and paleohydrology. Like the maturation and migration of hydrocarbons, their formation is an integral part of basin history. Consequently, applying comprehensive basin analysis to mineral exploration is a logical and helpful approach to understanding sediment- hosted ore deposits and predicting their occurrence, location, and origin.
When the Society of Economic Geologists' Short Course Committee contacted the writer in 1985 to develop a short course on sedimentary processes of ore formation, ft seemed to me that such a course would provide an excellent opportunity to introduce the concept of comprehensive basin analysis as an exploration tool for sediment-hosted mineral deposits. As Sawkins pointed out (1990, p. 333), “Meaningful exploration in extensional tectonic paleo-environments will increasingly require the integration of surface, subsurface, and geophysical data, and enlightened programs of basin analysis similar to those practiced by the petroleum industry will be increasingly needed.”
Sediment-hosted ore deposits include sedimentary gold and other heavy mineral accumulations; evaporites; syngenetic to late diagenetic base metal and barite deposits in clastic and carbonate rocks, including epiclastic volcanic rocks; banded iron formations; Clinton-minette-type iron and manganese ores; unconformity-related and sandstonetype uranium deposits; and Mississippi Valley-type leadzinc deposits. Some sediment -hosted ore deposits were formed at various stages of basin history and are multistage. This short course focuses on (1) the types of basins in which major sediment - hosted ore deposits occur, and (2) the controls of basin types on ore-hosting sedimentary environments and ore-forming processes.
The precise role of sedimentary processes in the formation of ore deposits has been debated by geologists around the world; this debate has affected the manner and success of exploration program s . Skinner (1979, 1987) traced the origins of the polarization of thought on the genesis of ore deposits to Agricola, who expounded on lateral secretion and precipitation of metals from circulating ground waters, and to Descartes, who perceived the earth as an outgassing star and believed that metals were not derived from host rocks. The neptunist theories of Werner (1750-1817) may have evolved from Agricola and the plutonist theories of Hutton (1726-1797) from Descartes. L. C. Graton, whom the Graton-Sales volume Ore Deposits in the United States 1933-1967