Abstract

Metallic sulfides, fluorite, barite, and celestite are widespread in the sedimentary rocks of the central United States. Many occurrences are epigenetic concentrations either in known major mineral districts or in clusters of deposits that warrant further exploration for potential ore. Evaluation of trace-element composition, of fluid inclusions, of depositional temperature, and of isotopic composition of sulfur may help discriminate potentially economic deposits from even more widespread, probably noneconomic, syngenetic occurrences. Known major mineral districts and many promising sulfide occurrences are located along complex major fault systems and particularly over structural domes at intersections of fault systems. Economically promising sulfide deposits occur along a west-trending fault system crossing Kentucky and Missouri near the 38th parallel, particularly at associated cryptoexplosion structures along it, at the intersection of the fault system with the Cincinnati arch. Elsewhere in the central United States, promising sulfide occurrences are located along the crest of the Findlay arch, near Serpent Mound, Ohio, along the northwest-trending Mount Carmel fault in southwestern Indiana, and buried at depth in oil fields of west-central Kansas.Other types of deposits that are productive or may have some future economic interest are locally economic and possibly syngenetic red-bed copper occurrences in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and Pennsylvania. Most widespread are the black shale and pyritic sandstone beds, some of which have been a source of pyrite for sulfur and sulfuric acid in conjunction with coal mining. Bedded barite deposits of possibly diagenetic origin have been mined in Arkansas. Diagenetic siderite concretions containing sulfides and barite were widespread sources of iron in the 19th century.

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