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Application of skarn deposit zonation models to mineral exploration

Lawrence D. Meinert
Application of skarn deposit zonation models to mineral exploration
Exploration and Mining Geology (April 1997) 6 (2): 185-208


Most large skarn deposits are zoned in both space and time relative to associated intrusions. Zonation occurs on km to mu m scales and reflects infiltrative fluid flow, wallrock reaction, T variations and fluid mixing. The most spectacular examples of skarn zonation are found at skarn-marble contacts, where transitions between monomineralic bands may be knife-sharp; other zoning is seen in zoned veins and in individual mineral crystals. Individual skarn minerals may display systematic colour or compositional variations within the larger zonation pattern; such patterns are reviewed for 14 well-studied examples of Cu, W, Sn, Au, and Zn-Pb skarns. Fundamental controls on skarn mineralization include T, depth of formation, composition and oxidation state of associated plutons and wallrocks, and tectonic setting. Most W skarns form at relatively greath depth (5-20 km) with extensive high-T metamorphic and metasomatic mineral assemblages; in contrast, most other skarn types are relatively shallow (<< 10 and mostly << 5 km) with limited, lower-T metamorphic aureoles. Differences in oxidation state correlate well with different skarn zonation patterns, particularly garnet: pyroxene ratios and compositions, and can be used in both classification of and exploration for skarn deposits. Zonation models, especially where quantified, can be used predictively in exploration for known and blind targets.

ISSN: 0964-1823
Serial Title: Exploration and Mining Geology
Serial Volume: 6
Serial Issue: 2
Title: Application of skarn deposit zonation models to mineral exploration
Affiliation: Washington State University, Department of Geology, Pullman, WA, United States
Pages: 185-208
Published: 199704
Text Language: English
Publisher: Pergamon Press [for the] Geological Society of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, New York - Oxford, International
References: 78
Accession Number: 1998-072388
Categories: Economic geology, geology of ore deposits
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 3 tables
Country of Publication: International
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from Mineralogical Abstracts, United KingdomTwickenhamUKUnited Kingdom
Update Code: 199824
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