Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 104, Issue 1–2, pp 81–93 | Cite as

Rare earth element and stable isotope (O, S) geochemistry of barite from the Bijgan deposit, Markazi Province, Iran

  • Farhad Ehya
Original Paper


The Bijgan barite deposit, which is located northeast of Delijan in Markazi Province of Iran, occurs as a small lenticular body at the uppermost part of an Eocene volcano-sedimentary rock unit. The presence of fossiliferous and carbonaceous strata suggests that the host rocks were deposited in a quiet marine sedimentary environment. Barite, calcite, iron oxides and carbonaceous clay materials are found as massive patches as well as thin layers in the deposit. Barite is marked by very low concentrations of Sr (1–2%) and total amounts of rare earth elements (REEs) (6.25–17.39 ppm). Chondrite-normalized REE patterns of barite indicate a fractionation of light REEs (LREEs) from La to Sm, similar to those for barite of different origins from elsewhere. The LaCN/LuCN ratios and chondrite-normalized REE patterns reveal that barite in the Bijgan deposit is enriched in LREE relative to heavy rare earth elements (HREEs). The similarity between the Ce/La ratios in the barite samples and those found in deep-sea barite supports a marine origin for barite. Lanthanum and Gd exhibit positive anomalies, which are common features of marine chemical sediments. Cerium shows a negative anomaly in most samples that was inherited from the negative Ce anomaly of hydrothermal fluid that mixed with seawater at the time of barite precipitation. The δ18O values of barites show a narrow range of 9.1–11.4‰, which is close to or slightly lower than that of contemporaneous seawater at the end of the Eocene. This suggests a contribution of oxygen from seawater in the barite-forming solution. The δ34S values of barites (9.5–15.3‰) are lower than that of contemporaneous seawater, which suggests a contribution of magmatic sulfur to the ore-forming solution. The oxygen and sulfur isotope ratios indicate that submarine hydrothermal vent fluids are a good analog for solutions that precipitated barite, due to similarities in the isotopic composition of the sulfates. The available data including tectonic setting, host rock characteristics, REE geochemistry, and oxygen and sulfur isotopic compositions support a submarine hydrothermal origin for the Bijgan barite deposit. At the seafloor, barite deposition occurred where ascending Ba-bearing hydrothermal fluids encountered seawater. Sulfate was derived from the sulfate-bearing marine waters, and, to a lesser extent, by oxidized H2S, which was derived from magmatic hydrothermal fluids.


Barite Hydrothermal Fluid Sulfur Isotope Seawater Sulfate Barite Sample 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The author would like to thank the Research Council of the Behbahan Islamic Azad University for financing the study. The author is indebted to the personnel of the Nafis Mineral Producing and Processing Company for offering facilities during the field work. The manuscript benefited significantly from the valuable comments provided by the associate editor Paul G. Spry and the reviewers, Craig R. McClung and Craig A. Johnson.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geology, Behbahan BranchIslamic Azad UniversityBehbahanIran

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