Abstract

The activity ratios of various important anions (S (super =) , CO 3 (super =) , SO 4 (super =) , OH (super -) , F (super -) , and Cl (super -) ) in hydrothermal solutions at the time of deposition are evaluated using a simple thermodynamic technique. The ratios are interpreted in the light of the mineralogy of ore deposits and limits are placed on the variability of each ratio in hydrothermal solutions. All of the calculations are made for 25 degrees C and cautious extrapolation to higher temperatures seems justified; however, additional data for elevated temperatures and pressures are needed before more than approximate values may be assigned to these ratios in the ore-forming fluid.The calculated partial pressure of CO 2 in the ore fluid is generally less than one atmosphere, which suggests that a dense CO 2 phase cannot be considered an important ore fluid for most deposits. The partial pressure of H 2 S is usually less than 10 (super -4) atmosphere, which makes it extremely difficult to defend the theory that metals (other than the easily complexible mercury, arsenic, antimony, and perhaps gold and silver) are transported in quantity as complex sulfides or hydrosulfides. The sulfate to sulfide ratio is such that the oxidation potential at the time of deposition is defined by the following equation: Eh (in volts) = 0.22 + or - 0.04 - 0.059 pH.

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