Abstract

A stock of trondhjemite intrudes an Archean succession metamorphosed to the greenschist facies at Gutcher Lake, 30 km north of Wawa in Ontario. The stock is 4 km2 in plan and is partly enveloped by an aureole of epidote–amphibole hornfels up to 1 km wide. Within this aureole chlorite partly replaces biotite; chlorite, calcite, and quartz mantle hornblende and epidote; zoned amphibole has a rim of actinolite; and albite varies from 0 to 8% An. The stock has chlorite pseudomorphous after biotite, and feldspar is mottled by white mica and has a clear rim of albite. Fractures filled with quartz, calcite, ankerite, white mica, chlorite, pyrite, and native gold cross-cut the stock and its aureole. Wall rocks to these veins were modified by hydrothermal alteration with addition of Si, Fe, K, H2O + CO2, S, and Rb, leaching of Na, and a shift in Fe2+/Fet from ~0.66 to ~0.90. Primary inclusions in the vein quartz have a solution with a CO2 gas bubble that homogenizes into the liquid at around 300 °C.Initial contact metamorphism of volcanic rocks at T = 450–550 °C and P < 200 MPa (2 kbar) formed an aureole of epidote–hornblende hornfels near the stock. Subsequent regional metamorphism during the Archean at T = 325–450 °C and P = 200–300 MPa (2–3 kbar) retrograded the stock and its contact aureole to a lower greenschist assemblage. The retrogression involved hydration and CO2 fixation in hornfels and trondhjemite by a hot reducing fluid of low salinity. This metamorphic fluid precipitated native gold with quartz and pyrite along fractures in response to cooling and chemical reaction with wall rocks.

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