, Volume 44, Issue 8, pp 837-848

Cl/Br ratios and stable chlorine isotope analysis of magmatic–hydrothermal fluid inclusions from Butte, Montana and Bingham Canyon, Utah

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A bulk geochemical study has been carried out on fluid inclusion leachates extracted from quartz veins from porphyry Cu deposits in Butte, Montana, USA and Bingham Canyon, Utah, USA. The leachates mostly represent low-salinity magmatic–hydrothermal fluid inclusions. Their halogen ratios (Br/Cl) of fluid inclusion leachates were determined by ion chromatography, and δ37Cl values of the leachates were measured by continuous-flow isotope ratio mass spectrometry. Br/Cl ratios from early pre-Main stage and later Main stage veins at Butte range from 0.60 to 1.88 × 10−3 M. Ratios are similar in pre-Main stage veins with sericite bearing selvages and Main stage samples ranging from 0.81 to 1.08 × 10−3 and from 0.92 to 1.88 × 10−3 M, respectively, clustering below seawater (1.54 × 10−3 M) and overlapping mantle values (~1–2 × 10−3 M). Two samples associated with early pre-Main stage potassic alteration yield distinctly lower Br/Cl ratios of 0.60 and 0.64 × 10−3 M. Butte δ37Cl values range from −0.8‰ to −2.3‰ with no significant difference between pre-Main stage and Main stage samples. Br/Cl ratios for quartz veins from Bingham Canyon range from 0.18 to 3.68 × 10−3 M. Br/Cl ratios from Bingham range above and below previously reported for porphyry copper deposits. In contrast to Butte, δ37Cl values for Bingham are lower, ranging from −0.9‰ to −4.1‰. In the absence of any processes which can significantly fractionate chlorine isotopes at high temperatures, we suggest that the porphyry system at Bingham, and to a lesser extent at Butte, have inherited negative chlorine isotopic signatures from the subducting slab generated at low temperatures.

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P. Williams