At least four independent variables (pressure, temperature, ionic species and activity coefficients) must be quantitatively evaluated in order to deduce the composition of an ore solution from the composition of precipitated minerals. Application of the derived functions is limited to the cases in which equilibrium during precipitation and absence of post-depositional changes can be demonstrated. These conditions so greatly limit the usefulness of natural data that additional relations between aqueous solutions and their precipitates are needed before unique answers to the variables can be calculated for individual deposits. At present, sufficient experimental data for derivation of the required functions are lacking.

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