Abstract

Fluid inclusions from three quartz–galena–sphalerite–barite–calcite veins in the Thunder Bay district of western Ontario contain liquid + vapor ± halite and homogenize by vapor disappearance or halite dissolution at temperatures of 90–200 °C. Cyclically frozen, liquid + vapor (type I) inclusions undergo four melting events upon gradual warming (initial melting at −55 to −46 °C; ice disappearance at −30.2 to −25.4 °C; inversion of hydrohalite to halite at −8.0 to 0.7 °C; and halite melting at 14.0 to 56.3 °C. Liquid + vapor + halite (type II) inclusions behave similarly but have higher Tm ice (−27.2 to −21.7 °C) and Tm halite (105–203 °C). Scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive analysis of fluid-inclusion-derived decrepitates indicate that the solutes consist of NaCl > CaCl2graphic KCl and are consistent with the low-temperature phase observations in that they define two distinct populations based on CaCl2/(CaCl2 + NaCl) ratios.The temperatures and compositional trends defined by the inclusion results are similar to those documented for basinal brines and from fluid inclusions in Mississippi Valley type ore deposits. The Thunder Bay veins cross the basal unconformity of the Middle Proterozoic Sibley basin and extend into Archean basement granites, such that the fluid inclusions results provide direct evidence that basinal waters infiltrated basement rock in western Ontario. The inclusion fluids and associated mineralization are thought to result either from dewatering of the Sibley basin during Keweenaw age rifting or from the introduction of exotic Paleozoic basinal waters when the Michigan basin extended over the region.

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