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Gold speciation and transport in geological fluids: insights from experiments and physical-chemical modelling

By
Gleb S. Pokrovski
Gleb S. Pokrovski
1
Géosciences Environnement Toulouse, GET (ex-LMTG), Université de Toulouse, CNRS-IRD-OMP, 14 Av. E. Belin, F-31400 Toulouse, France
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Nikolay N. Akinfiev
Nikolay N. Akinfiev
2
Institute of Geology of Ore Deposits, Petrography, Mineralogy and Geochemistry Russian Academy of Sciences, Staromonetny per. 35, 119017 Moscow, Russia
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Anastassia Y. Borisova
Anastassia Y. Borisova
1
Géosciences Environnement Toulouse, GET (ex-LMTG), Université de Toulouse, CNRS-IRD-OMP, 14 Av. E. Belin, F-31400 Toulouse, France
3
Geological Department, Moscow State University, Vorobevu Gory, 119899 Moscow, Russia
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Alexandre V. Zotov
Alexandre V. Zotov
2
Institute of Geology of Ore Deposits, Petrography, Mineralogy and Geochemistry Russian Academy of Sciences, Staromonetny per. 35, 119017 Moscow, Russia
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Kalin Kouzmanov
Kalin Kouzmanov
4
Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Geneva, rue des Maraîchers 13, CH-1205 Geneva, Switzerland
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Published:
January 01, 2014

Abstract

This contribution provides an overview of available experimental, thermodynamic, and molecular data on Au aqueous speciation, solubility, and partitioning in major types of geological fluids in the Earth’s crust, from low-temperature aqueous solution to supercritical hydrothermal-magmatic fluids, vapours, and silicate melts. Critical revisions of these data allow generation of a set of thermodynamic properties of the AuOH, AuCl2, AuHS, and Au(HS)2 complexes dominant in aqueous hydrothermal solutions; however, other complexes involving different sulphur forms, chloride, and alkali metals may operate in high-temperature sulphur-rich fluids, vapours, and melts. The large affinity of Au for reduced sulphur is responsible for Au enrichment in S-rich vapours and sulphide melts, which are important gold sources for hydrothermal deposits. Thermodynamic, speciation, and partitioning data, and their comparison with Au and S contents in natural fluid inclusions from magmatic-hydrothermal gold deposits, provide new constraints on the major physical-chemical parameters (temperature, pressure, salinity, acidity, redox) and ubiquitous fluid components (sulphur, carbon dioxide, arsenic) affecting Au concentration, transport, precipitation, and fractionation from other metals in the crust. The availability and speciation of sulphur and their changes with the fluid and melt evolution are the key factors controlling gold behaviour in most geological situations.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Gold-Transporting Hydrothermal Fluids in the Earth’s Crust

P. S. Garofalo
P. S. Garofalo
University of Bologna, Italy
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J. R. Ridley
J. R. Ridley
Colorado State University, USA
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Geological Society of London
Volume
402
ISBN electronic:
9781862396784
Publication date:
January 01, 2014

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