G. deV. Klein, 1991. "Synthesis: Brief Examples of Basin Analysis", Sedimentary and Diagenetic Mineral Deposits: A Basin Analysis Approach to Exploration, Eric R. Force, J. James Eidel, J. Barry Maynard
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The purpose of this chapter is to provide some brief examples of basin analyses by comparing what is known about different tectonic, basin-forming, sedimentary, stratigraphic, and maturation processes that have been documented during the evolution of a particular basin. A critical component to completing such a synthesis of a sedimentary basin is understanding the timing of each process. From that timing, the cause-and-effect relationships between processes are interpreted from the stratigraphic, tectonic, and diagenetic record preserved within a particular basin, and such information is combined with modelling and maturation studies and tectonic subsidence analysis. A complete synthesis of a sedimentary basin is dependent on the amount of research that has been completed in a given example. Thus the discussion that follows, unfortunately, is uneven because of the variable nature of data that exist for each example. For that reason, the format of some of the examples departs from the topical outline of and the order within previous chapters.
The author has selected four examples for different reasons. The first example is the North Sea. It was chosen because a vast amount of data has been obtained from it, and it is probably one of the most thoroughly studied sedimentary basins in the world, particularly in terms of the newer developments in the field of basin analysis. Attention will be focused primarily on the Viking and Central grabens, as well as the southwestern North Sea region of the British sector. These basins evolved initially as rift basins, went through a cratonic
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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