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Abstract

Coupling between the physical processes intrinsic to a hydrothermal system can lead to episodic and chaotic behaviour. Such behaviour includes variations in both space and time of the temperature, fluid pressure and activity of H2S, which result in the deposition of alteration mineral assemblages, zoned pyrite and gold; these variations are multifractal. In particular, the coupling of deformation and simultaneous endothermic and exothermic reactions with fluid flow leads to the highly localized deposition of gold. We discuss the physical and chemical mechanisms for such episodic and localization behaviour and explore the non-linear dynamic reasons why such mechanisms are recorded in the multifractal paragenetic sequence and deformation history. The synchronization of intrinsic episodicity as described here and extrinsic forcing induced by episodic seismicity provides another mechanism for enhancing the yield of gold deposition processes and hence the grade of orogenic gold deposits.

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