Epithermal Mineralization of the Tokaj Mountains, Northeast Hungary: Shallow Levels of Low-Sulfidation Type Systems
Ferenc Molnár, Tibor Zelenka, Ernõ Mátyás, Zoltán Pécskay, Bernadett Bajnóczi, János Kiss, István Horváth, 1999. "Epithermal Mineralization of the Tokaj Mountains, Northeast Hungary: Shallow Levels of Low-Sulfidation Type Systems", Epithermal Mineralization of the Western Carpathians, Ferenc Molnár, Jaroslav Lexa, Jeffrey W. Hedenquist
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The Tokaj Mountains are situated in northeastern Hungary and host one of the oldest Au-Ag-base metal mining districts of the Tertiary-Quaternary volcanic arc of the Carpathians. The first documentation of mining activity of the Telkibánya area in the northern Tokaj Mtns. (Fig. 1) was a 14th century order from the Hungarian Royal Court, in which the borders of the mining field — coincident with the presently known distribution of mineralization — were defined (Benke, 1988). During the Medieval Ages Telkibánya reached the rank of a ‘Royal Mining Town’ and was a regular member of the Council of the Lower-Hungarian Mining Court.
In addition to the mining of precious metals, the Tokaj Mtns. have attracted several generations of Hungarian and foreign geologists, not only because of the world famous ‘Tokaji Aszu’ wine, but because of the volcanological, petrological and mineralogical interest of the area. Desciptions of mining sites and mineral occurrences can be found in old geological publications such as Beudant (1822). Petrological work on volcanic rocks carried out by József Szabó, the ‘Father of Hungarian Geology’ in th Tokaj Mtns. and similar areas of the Carpathians during the second part of the 19th century led to the revision of the classification of ‘trachytes’ (the old name of volcanic rocks) on the basis of plagioclase composition, rock-fabric and genesis.
During the 20th century the Tokaj Mtns. were intensively explored for precious metals and exploited for raw materials such as clays (kaolinite, illite, bentonite), zeolites, pure silica and alunite, as well as
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Epithermal Mineralization of the Western Carpathians
km 0 The first Shell gas station on the M3 motorway after the end of Budapest sign. From here, the M3 motorway crosses the Gödöllő Hills during the next 35–40 kilometers. This area consists of a 2 km thick Tertiary-Quaternary sedimentary sequence underlain by Mesosoic carbonate rocks. On the present surface, loess from the Pleistocene glaciation and drift sand deposits are the most common sediments.
60 On the left side ahead the first view of the Western Mátra Mtns. appears. They are the highest mountains of Hungary with 1014 m elevation at the Kékes summit. The visible part of the Western Mátra Mts. is composed of Miocene andesitic-rhyolitic rocks forming a caldera structure with approximately 15 km diameter. The Mátra Mtns. is the object of the field programme on the fourth day and details of regional geology can be found in the guidebook. In front of the mountains the town of Gyöngyős can also be seen.
69 The M3 motorway crosses one of the traditional wine-producing area of Hungary. The vineyards covering 28 000 acres on the southern foreland of the Mátra Mts. are famous for various white vines. The center of the wine region is Gyöngyős.
Behind the vineyards to the left (north) the Eastern Mátra Mtns. can be seen. This part of the Matra Mtns. is built up by andesitic rocks of Miocene age. In contrast to the Western Matra Mts., large caldera structures cannot be found here and the area is very poor in hydrothermal mineralisation.
The boundary between the flat southern foreland and the mountains roughly corresponds to the shoreline of an Upper Miocene (Pannonian) brackish sea. Important lignite deposits with 3.5 billion� tons resource were formed in this paleo-coastal region. The exploitation of lignite started before World WarII in this area.
From here to Miskolc, the motorway follows the boundary between the Alföld (The Great Plain) and hilly areas composed of Miocene volcanic units such as the Mátra Mtns. as well as the Bükkalja Hills. The Alfold to the south is the major agricultural area of Hungary and geologically corresponds to the Pannonian Basin. The subsidence of the basement that is composed of various metamorphic, granitic and Mesosoic-Tertiary sedimentary terrains started during the Miocene. Due to the rapid subsidence the basement now is at more than 4000 m depth in the southern part of the Alföld. The fast subsidence is related to a back-arc