Saturation diagrams are used to illustrate a variety of processes that take place during ore deposition, and to provide insight into the meaning of observed paragenetic relationships. The effects of the following processes can be diagrammed for two-, three-, and four-component systems: variation of temperature, pressure, and 'additional components'; isothermal-isobaric evaporation; congruent and incongruent solution; precipitation by dilution and by changes in solubility. The diagrams are particularly useful for analyzing the significance of reaction rims, relations between incompatible minerals, and absence of expected minerals. Many of the illustrative examples involve sulfantimonides and sulfarsenides typical of the mining districts of Central Peru.

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