A primary feature of several giant, conformable, sediment-hosted lead-zinc deposits is the occurrence of sulfide ore in a series of discrete lenses interlayered with barren sedimentary units, suggestive of protracted episodic mineralization events. Recently, certain workers have invoked episodic dewatering of basin brines for the formation of Mississippi Valley-type lead-zinc deposits. Thus, each of these two types of major lead-zinc deposits could represent products of a fundamental sedimentary brine expulsion process, the former operating mainly in rift environments, the latter mainly in epicratonic basins.

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