G. deV. Klein, 1991. "Basin Sedimentology and Stratigraphy-The Basin Fill", Sedimentary and Diagenetic Mineral Deposits: A Basin Analysis Approach to Exploration, Eric R. Force, J. James Eidel, J. Barry Maynard
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This chapter explores the changing concepts relevant to the sediment fills that accumulated in sedimentary basins. The goal is to explore the role of both intrinsic, mantle- driven, and extrinsic, solar-driven processes that influence the depositional history and preservation of the sedimentary rock record and to correlate these processes to the distribution of sediment-hosted ore deposits. The discussion starts with a review of paleogeography, followed by a review of clastic depositional systems and the origin of black shales. This is followed by a discussion of newer developments of stratigraphic organization, particularly of sequence stratigraphy, and closes with a section on global sedimentary cycles. Although the emphasis is on process, it must be remembered that these processes are critical to understanding the host environment and depositional controls on sedimentary-hosted ore deposits. Certain mineral deposits such as phosphates, evaporites, and coals can be correlated also to climatic change, and tectonic influences in their occurrences.
Paleogeography has undergone much change as a field of research over the past decade. In the past, it was considered more of an art and eventually paleogeography fell into disrepute. The original goals were to map ancient shorelines and contrast land areas from marine areas through geological time. Such past studies demonstrated that many ancient shorelines were oriented oblique to the boundaries of present-day continents rather than paralleling the margins of present continents. This finding was resolved later from plate tectonic reconstructions. Unfortunately, early geoscientists failed to correlate this important paleogeographic clue to its tectonic implications.
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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