Abstract

An investigation of Sr, C, and O isotope variation in the Brixlegg barite deposit in the Western Graywacke zone (Upper Austroalpine unit; eastern Alps) demonstrates the possibility that variations in Sr isotope ratios between mineralized and nonmineralized zones in epigenetic carbonate-bound ore deposits can be used both as a genetic indicator for the type ofmineralizing fluid and as a prospecting tool. Similar variations in O and, to a lesser extent, C isotope ratios are evident but are less powerful aids for exploration.An epigenetic model for the deposit studied is supported by isotopic ratios determined on barite and its dolomite host rock (including some evaporite relics). The mineralization is attributed to formation waters and/or metamorphic fluids of Hercynian age with underlying metaclastic strata being the most probable source of the Ba and Sr.

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