Abstract

This paper pursues the study of an apparent correlation between lead isotope abundance characteristics and features of the deposits in which the lead is discovered. New and precise analyses have been carried out on 55 galena samples, mostly From Australasian ore deposits classified as stratiform. To help clarify the interpretation, certain vein leads related to those which are stratiform have been included, as has one analysis of volcanic cotunnite.New evidence is offered that all leads began their isotopic evolution in a unique primary system which has very restricted spatial variation in the ratios U/Pb and Th/Pb. Leads from certain stratiform deposits approach more closely in isotopic composition the products of the primary system than do vein leads, many of which involve extensive crustal histories thai further modify the isotope ratios. The analyses presented here have sufficient precision to permit a close examination of the differences in isotope ratios between stratiform leads and the products of a simplified model for the primary system. The differences are significant and important.Novel aspects of the experimental technique are discussed.

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