Large submarine mud volcanoes in the abyssal part of the Black Sea south of the Crimean Peninsula are similar in many respects to synsedimentary mud volcanoes in the Mesoproterozoic Belt-Purcell basin. One of the Belt-Purcell mud volcanoes directly underlies the giant Sullivan Pb-Zn-Ag deposit in southeastern British Columbia. Footwall rocks to the Sullivan deposit comprise variably tourmalinized siltstone, conglomerate, and related fragmental rock; local thin pyrrhotite-rich and spessartine-quartz beds are interpreted as Fe and Fe-Mn exhalites, respectively. Analogous Fe- and Mn-rich sediments occur near the abyssal Black Sea mud volcanoes. Massive pyrite crusts and associated carbonate chimneys discovered in relatively shallow waters (∼200 m depth) west of the Crimean Peninsula indicate an active sea-floor–hydrothermal system. Subaerial mud volcanoes on the Kerch and Taman Peninsulas (∼100 km north of the abyssal mud volcanoes) contain saline thermal waters that locally have very high B contents (to 915 mg/L). These data suggest that tourmalinites might be forming in or near submarine Black Sea mud volcanoes, where potential may also exist for Sullivan-type Pb-Zn mineralization.

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