Abstract

Analysis of energy and momentum transport in the Paleozoic Ouachita basin lends support to the lateral secretion hypothesis for ore mineral deposition. The processes of importance in energy transport and viscous flow are discussed for the one-dimensional model of the Ouachita basin and the governing partial differential equations are presented. Computer solution of these equations indicates that the rapid deposition of over 10,000 meters of Carboniferous flysch led to a thick section of geopressured sediments. The computer-generated temperatures in this sedimentary sequence are less than would be expected by extrapolation of ordinary geothermal gradients but are in accord with available data.A simple two-stage computer model of the Ouachita basin is then used to test the lateral secretion hypothesis. In the Late Pennsylvania-Permian orogeny faulting is presumed to rupture this vast reservoir of hot, excess-pressured fluids. Using reasonable values for fault and lateral aquifer hydraulic conductivities, large quantities of fluid can migrate rapidly to outcrop areas near the Ozark dome. This suggests that the lead-zinc mineralization in the northern Arkansas-southeastern Missouri area may have been formed by discrete pulses of hot pore fluid from the Ouachitas which probably originated after faulting of geopressured sections in the late Paleozoic.

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