pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 124, Issue 1–2, pp 225–268 | Cite as

Fluid infiltration into fault zones: Chemical, isotopic, and mechanical effects

  • R. Kerrich
Article

Abstract

Fluid infiltration into fault zones and their deeper-level counterparts, brittle-ductile shear zones, is examined in diverse tectonic environments. In the 2.7 Ga Abitibi greenstone belt, major tectonic discontinuities, with lateral extents of hundreds of kilometres initiated as listric normal faults accommodating rift extension and acted as sites for komatiite extrusion and locally intense metasomatism. During reverse motion on the structures, accommodating shortening of the belt, these transcrustal faults were utilised as a conduit for the ascent of trondhjemitic magmas from the base of the crust and of alkaline magmas from the asthenosphere and for the discharge of thousands of cubic kilometres of hydrothermal fluids. Such fluids were characterised by δ18O=+6±2, δD=−50±20, δ13C=−4±4, and temperatures of 270 to 450°C, probably derived from devolatilisation of crustal rocks undergoing prograde metamorphism. Hydrothermal fluids were more radiogenic (87Sr/86Sr=0.7010 to 0.7040) and possessed higher μ than did contemporaneous mantle, komatiites or tholeiites, and thus carried a contribution from older sialic basement. A provinciality of87Sr/86Sr and δ13C is evident, signifying that fault plumbing sampled lower crust which was heterogeneous at the scale of tens of kilometres. Mineralised faults possess enrichments of large ion lithophile (LIL), LIL elements, including K, Rb, Ba, Cs, B, and CO2, and rare elements, such as Au, Ag, As, Sb, Se, Te, Bi, and W. Fluids were characterised by XCO2≈0.1, neutral to slightly acidic pH, low salinity ≤3 wt-%, K/Na=0.1, they carried minor CH4, CO, and N2, and they underwent transient effervescence of CO2 during decompression. Clastic sediments occupy graben developed at fault flexures. The40Ar/39Ar release spectra indicate that fault rocks experienced episodic disturbance on time scales of hundreds of millions of years.

At the Grenville front, translation was accommodated along two mylonite zones and an intervening boundary fault. The high-temperature (580°C) and low-temperature (430 to 490°C) mylonite zones, formed in the presence of deep-level crust-equilibrated fluids of metamorphic origin. Late brittle faults contain quartz veins precipitated from fluids with extemely negative δ18O (−14 per mil) at 200 to 300°C. The water may have been derived from downward penetration into fault zones of precipitation of low18O on a mountain range induced by continental collision, with uplift accommodated at deep levels by the mylonite zones coupled with rebound on the boundary faults.

Archean gneisses overlie Proterozoic sediments along thrust surfaces at Lagoa Real, Brazil; the gneisses are transected by brittle-ductile shear zones locally occupied by uranium deposits. Following deformation at 500 to 540°C, in the presence of metamorphic fluids and under conditions of low water-to-rock ratio, shear zones underwent local intense oxidation and desilication. All minerals undergo a shift of −10 per mil, indicating discharge of meteoric-water-recharged formation brines in the underlying Proterozoic sediments up through the Archean gneisses, during overthrusting; ≈1000 km3 of solutions passed through these structures. The shear zones and Proterozoic sediments are less radiogenic (87Sr/86Sr=0.720) than contemporaneous Archean gneisses (0.900), corroborating the transport of fluids and solutes through the structure from a large external reservoir.

Major crustal detachment faults of Tertiary age in the Picacho Cordilleran metamorphic core complex of Arizona show an upward transition from undeformed granitic basement through mylonitic to brecciated and hydrothermally altered counterparts. The highest tectonic levels are allochthonous, oxidatively altered Miocene volcanics. This transition is accompanied by an increase of 12 per mil in δ18O, from +7 to +19, and a 400°C decrease in temperature. Lower tectonic levels acted as aquifers for the expulsion of large volumes of higher-temperature reduced metamorphic fluids and/or evolved formation brines. The Miocene allochthon was influenced by a lower-temperature reservoir inducing oxidative potassic alteration; mixing occurred between cool downward-penetrating thermal waters and the hot, deeper aqueous reservoir.

In general, flow regimes in these fault and shear zones follow a sequence, from conditions of high temperature and pressure with locally derived fluids at low water-to-rock ratios, during initiation of the structures, to high fluxes of reduced formation or metamorphic fluids along conduits as the structures propagate and intersect hydrothermal reservoirs. Later in the tectonic evolution and at shallower crustal levels there was incursion of oxidising fluids from near-surface reservoirs into the faults. In general, magmatism, tectonics, and fluid motion are intimately related.

Key words

Fluid infiltration geochemical transport faults isotopes hydraulic fracturing 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Allison, I. andKerrich, R. (1979), ‘History of deformation and fluid transport in shear zones at Yellowknife’, in R. D. Morton (ed.). Proc. Gold Workshop, Yellowknife, N.W.T.Google Scholar
  2. Barker, F., ‘Trondhjemites: Definition, environment and hypothesis of origin’, in F. Barker (ed.),Trodhjemites, Dacites, and Related Rocks. Elsevier, New York, 1979.Google Scholar
  3. Barker, F., Arth, J. G. andMillard, H. T., ‘Archean trondhjemites of the southwestern Big Horn Mountains, Wyoming’, in F. Barker (ed.),Trondhjemites, Dacites, and Related Rocks. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1979, p. 401–414.Google Scholar
  4. Beach, A. (1976),The interrelations of fluid transport, deformation, geochemistry and heat flow in early Proterozoic shear zones in the Lewissian complex. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. London, Ser. A280, 569–604.Google Scholar
  5. Beach, A. andFyfe, W. S. (1972),Fluid transport and shear zones at Scourie, Sutherland: Evidence for overthrusting?. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol.36, 75–180.Google Scholar
  6. Boyle, R. W. (1961),The geology, geochemistry, and origin of the gold deposits of the Yellowknife district. Geol. Surv. Canada, Mem.310, 193.Google Scholar
  7. Boyle, R. W. (1977),Discussion of: Iron reduction around gold-quartz veins, Yellowknife District, N.W.T. Canada Econ. Geol.Google Scholar
  8. Boyle, R. W. (1979),The geochemistry of gold and its deposits. Geol. Surv. Canada Bull.280, 548 pp.Google Scholar
  9. Clayton, R. N., O'Neil, J. R. andMayeda, T. K. (1972),Oxygen isotope exchange between quartz and water. Geophys. Res.77, 3057–3067.Google Scholar
  10. Collerson, K. D. andFryer, B. J. (1978),The role of fluids in the formation and subsequent development of early continental crust. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol.67, 151–167.Google Scholar
  11. Colvine, A. C., Andrews, A. J., Cherry, M. E., Durocher, M. E., Fyon, A. J., Lavinge, M. J., Macdonald, A. J., Marmot, S., Poulsen, K. H., Springer, J. S. andTroop, D. C. (1984),An integrated model for the origin of Archean goldddeposits. Ontario Geol. Surv. Open File Rept. 5524, 98 p.Google Scholar
  12. Coney, P. J. (1980),Cordilleran metamorphic core complexes: An overview. Geol. Soc. Amer. Mem.153, 7–34.Google Scholar
  13. Cook, F., Brown, L. andOliver, J. (1980),The Southern Appalachians and the growth of continents. Sci. Am.243, 156–168.Google Scholar
  14. Cordani, U. G., de (1982),Interpretacao geocronologica de regiao de Lagoa Real, Ba. Relatorio Integrado, unpublished ed.Google Scholar
  15. Crittenden, M. D., Jr., Coney, P. J. andDavis, G. H. (1980),Cordilleran metamorphic core complexes. Geol. Soc. Amer. Mem.153.Google Scholar
  16. Etheridge, M. A. andCooper, J. A. (1981),Rb/Sr isotopic and geochemical evolution of a recrystallized shear (mylonite) zone at Broken Hill. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol.78, 74–84.Google Scholar
  17. Etheridge, M. A., Cox, S. F., Wall, V. J. andVernon, R. H. (1984),High fluid pressures during regional metamorphism and deformation: Implications for mass transport and deformation mechanisms. J. Geophys. Res.89, No. B6, 4344–4358.Google Scholar
  18. Faure, G.,Principles of Isotope Geology. Wiley, Toronto, 1977, 464 p.Google Scholar
  19. Fitton, J. G. (1985),Basic volcanism associated with intraplate linear features. Trans. Roy. Soc. London, Ser. A., in press.Google Scholar
  20. Franklin, J. M., Roscoe, S. M., Loveridge, W. D. andSangster, D. F. (1983),Lead isotope studies in Superior and Southern provinces. Geol. Surv. Canada Bull.351, 60 p.Google Scholar
  21. Friedman, I. andO'Neil, J. R. (1977), ‘Compilation of stable isotope fractionation factors of geochemical interest’, inData of Geochemistry. U.S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Paper 440.Google Scholar
  22. Fryer, B. J., Kerrich, R., Hutchinson, R. W., Peirce, M. G. andRogers, D. S. (1979),Archean precious metal hydrothermal systems, Dom Mine, Abitibi greenstone belt. I. Canada J. Earth Sci.16, 421–439.Google Scholar
  23. Fyfe, W. S. andKerrich, R. (1983),Fluid release and mineralization associated with thrusting. Fourth Int. Symp. Water-Rock Interaction, Misasa, Japan, Int. Assoc. Geochem. Cosmochem., 150–151.Google Scholar
  24. Fyfe, W. S. andKerrich, R. (1985),Fluids and thrusting. Chem. Geology49, 353–362.Google Scholar
  25. Fyfe, W. S., Price, N. J. andThompson, A. B.,Fluids in the Earth's Crust. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1978, 383 p.Google Scholar
  26. Fyon, J. A., Schwarcz, H. P. andCrocket, J. H. (1984),Carbonatization and gold mineralization in the Timmins area, Abitibi greenstone belt: Genetic links with Archean mantle CO 2-degassing and lower crust granulitization. Geol. Assoc. Canada Prog. with Abstr.9, 65.Google Scholar
  27. Gates, T. M. andHurley, P. M. (1973),Evaluation of Rb−Sr dating methods applied to Matachewan, Abitibi, Mackenzie, and Sudbury dike swarms in Canada. Canad. J. Earth Sci.10, 900–919.Google Scholar
  28. Golding, S. D. andWilson, A. F. (1983),Geochemical and stable isotope studies of the No. 4 lode, Kalgoorlie. Western Australia. Econ. Geol.78, 438–450.Google Scholar
  29. Goodwin, A. M. andRidler, R. H. (1970),The Abitibi orogenic belt. Canada Geol. Surv. Paper 70-40, 1–31.Google Scholar
  30. Gresens, R. L. (1967),Composition — volume relations of metasomatism. Chem. Geol.2, 47–65.Google Scholar
  31. Hart, S. R. andBrooks, C. (1974),Clinopyroxene-matrix partitioning of K, Rb, Cs, Sr, and Ba. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta38, 1799.Google Scholar
  32. Hobbs, B. E. (1984),Point defect chemistry of minerals under a hydrothermal environment. J. Geophys. Res.89, No. B6, 4026–4038.Google Scholar
  33. Irwin, W. P. andBarnes, I. (1975),Effects of geologic structure and metamorphic fluids on seismic behaviour of the San Andreas fault system in central and northern California. Geology4, 713–716.Google Scholar
  34. Javoy, M. (1977),Stable isotopes and geothermometry. J. Geol. Soc. London133, 609–636.Google Scholar
  35. Jensen, L. S. (1976),Regional stratigraphy and structure of the Timmins-Kirkland Lake area, District of Timiskaming, Ontario. Dept. Mines Misc. Paper 67, 183 p.Google Scholar
  36. Jensen, L. S. (1978a),Archean komatiitic, tholeiitic, calc-alkalic, and alkalic volcanic sequences in the Kirkland Lake area. In Toronto '78 Field Trip Guidebook, Geol. Assoc. Canada, 237–259.Google Scholar
  37. Jensen, L. S. (1978b),Larder Lake synoptic mapping project, District of Cochrane and Timiskaming. Ont. Geol. Surv. Misc. Paper 94, 64–69.Google Scholar
  38. Jensen, L. S. (1980),Gold mineralization in the Kirkland Lake-Larder Lake areas Ont. Geol. Surv. Misc. Paper 97, 59–65.Google Scholar
  39. Jensen, L. S. andLangford, F. F. (1983),Geology and petrogenesis of the Archean Abitibi Belt in the Kirkland Lake area, Ontario. Ont. Geol. Surv. Open File Rept. 5455, 520.Google Scholar
  40. Jolly, W. T. (1978),Metamorphic history of the Archean Abitibi belt. Geol. Surv. Canada, Paper 78-10, 367.Google Scholar
  41. Kennedy, L. P. (1985),Geology and geochemistry of the Archean Flavarian Pluton, Noranda, Quebec, Canada. Ph.D. thesis, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, 469.Google Scholar
  42. Kerrich, R. (1983),Geochemistry of gold deposits in the Abitibi greenstone belt. CIM Special Paper 27.Google Scholar
  43. Kerrich, R. (1985),Archean lode gold deposits of Canada, Pt. I. Proc. Symp. Archean Gold, Barberton, South Africa.Google Scholar
  44. Kerrich, R. andAllison, I. (1978),Vein geometry and hydrostatics during Yellowknife mineralization. Canad. J. Earth Sci.15, 1653–1660.Google Scholar
  45. Kerrich, R., Allison, I., Barnet, R. L., Moss, S. andStarkey, J. (1980),Microstructural and chemical transformations accompanying deformation of granite in a shear zone at Mieville, Switzerland, with implications for stress corrosion cracking and superplastic flow. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol.73, 221–242.Google Scholar
  46. Kerrich, R. andFryer, B. J. (1979),Archean precious metal hydrothermal systems. Dome Mine, Abitibi greenstone belt: II. REE and oxygen isotope relations. Canad. J. Earth Sci.16, 440–458.Google Scholar
  47. Kerrich, R., Fyfe, W. S. andAllison, I. (1977),Iron reduction around gold-quartz veins, Yellowknife district, Northwest Territories, Canada. Econ. Geol.72, 657–663.Google Scholar
  48. Kerrich, R. andFyfe, W. S. (1981),The gold-carbonate association: Source of CO 2,and CO 2 fixation reaction in Archaean lode deposits. Chem. Geol.33, 265–294.Google Scholar
  49. Kerrich, R. andFyfe, W. S. (1983),The 18 O, temperature and 34 S of Archean ocean bottom water (2.8 Ga). Geol. Surv. Canada Abstr., A37.Google Scholar
  50. Kerrich, R. andHodder, R. W. (1982), ‘Archean lode gold and base metal deposits: Chemical evidence for metal separation into independent hydrothermal systems', in R. W. Hodder and W. Petruk (eds.), CIM Spec. Vol. 24, Geology of Canadian Gold Deposits, 144–160.Google Scholar
  51. Kerrich, R. andHyndman, D. (1986),Thermal and fluid regimes in the Bitterroot Lobe-Sapphire Block detachment zone: Evidence from 18 O/16 O and geologic relations. Geol. Soc. Amer. Bull.,97, 147–155.Google Scholar
  52. Kerrich, R., Kishida, A. andWillmore, L. M. (1984), Geol. Assoc. Canada Prog. with Abstr.9, 78.Google Scholar
  53. Kerrich, R., Lobato, L., Fyfe, W. S. andWillmore, L. M. (1986),Shear zone hosted uranium deposits in overthrust Archean gneisses, Bahia, Brazil: Evidence on U provenance from Rb−Sr isotopic data. Econ. Geol., in press.Google Scholar
  54. Kerrich, R. andRehrig, W. (1986)Fluid motion associated with Tertiary mylonitization and detachment faulting:18 O/16 O evidence from the Picacho metamorphic core complex. G.S.A., in press.Google Scholar
  55. Kerrich, R. andWatson, G. P. (1984),The Macassa Mine Archean lode gold deposit. Kirkland Lake, Ontario: Geology, patterns of alteration and hydrothermal regimes. Econ. Geol.79, 1104–1130.Google Scholar
  56. King, R. W. (1983),Auriferous ‘Porphyry Zone’, Taylor Township, Ontario: Petrology and geochemical relations. B.Sc. thesis, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, 128.Google Scholar
  57. Kishida, A. (1984),Hydrothermal alteration zoning and gold concentration at the Kerr-Addison Mine, Ontario, Canada. Ph.D. Thesis, Univ. Western Ontario, London, Canada, 231 p.Google Scholar
  58. Kishida, A. andKerrich, R. (1986),Hydrothermal alteration zoning and gold concentration at the Kerr-Addison, Archean lode gold deposit, Kirkland Lake, Ontario. Econ. Geol., in press.Google Scholar
  59. Krogh, T. E., Davis, D. W., Nunes, P. D., andKorfu, F. (1982),Archean evolution from precise U-Pb isotopic dating. GAC/MAC Joint Annual Meeting, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Prog. with Abst.7, 61.Google Scholar
  60. Kwong, Y. T. J. andCrocket, J. H. (1978),Background and anomalous gold in rocks of an Archaean greenstone assemblage, Kakigi Lake area, Northwestern Ontario. Econ. Geol.73, 50–63.Google Scholar
  61. La Tour, T. E. (1981),Significance of folds and mylonites at the Grenville Front in Ontario. Geol. Soc. Amer. Bull.92, Pt. II, 997–1038.Google Scholar
  62. Lee, D. E., Friedman, I. andGleason, J. D. (1984),Modification of D values in eastern Nevada granitoid rocks spatially relatd to thrust faults. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol.88, 288–298.Google Scholar
  63. Lobato, L. M., Forman, J. M. A., Fuzikawa, K., Fyfe, W. S. andKerrich, R. (1983a),Uranium in overthrust Archean basement, Bahia, Brazil. Canad. Mineral.21, 647–654.Google Scholar
  64. Lobato, L. M., Forman, J. M. A., Fyfe, W. S., Kerrich, R. andBarnett, R. L. (1983b),Uranium enrichment in Archean crustal basement associated with overthrusting. Nature303, 235–237.Google Scholar
  65. Lobato, L. M., Fuzikawa, K., Fyfe, W. S. andKerrich, R. (1983c),Uranium enrichment in Archean basement: Logoa Real, Brazil. Rev. Brasileira Geociencias12, 484–486.Google Scholar
  66. Ludden, J. N., Daigneault, R., Robert, F. andTaylor, H. P. (1984),Trace element mobility in alteration zones associated with Archean Au lode deposits. Econ. Geol.79, 1131–1141.Google Scholar
  67. Lynch, S. P. (1979),Mechanisms of hydrogen assisted cracking. Metals Forum2, 189–200.Google Scholar
  68. McNeil, A. M. andKerrich, R. (1986),Archean lamprophyric dykes gold mineralization, Matheson, Ontario: The conjunction of LIL-enriched mafic magmas, deep crustal structures and Au concentration. Canad. J. Earth Sci.,23–3, 324–343.Google Scholar
  69. Michalsek, T. A. andFreiman, S. W. (1982),A molecular interpretation of stress corrosion in silica. Nature295, 511–512.Google Scholar
  70. Nesbitt, R. W. andSun, S. S. (1976),Geochemistry of Archean spinifex textured peridotites and magnesian tholeiites. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett.31, 433–453.Google Scholar
  71. Nunes, P. D. andJensen, L. S. (1980),Geochronology of the Abitibi metavolcanic belt, Kirkland Lake area — progress report. In E. G. Pye (ed.) Summary of Geochronology Studies 1977–1979, Ont. Geol. Surv. Misc. Paper 92, 40–45.Google Scholar
  72. Nunes, P. D. andPyke, D. R. (1980),Geochronology of the Abitibi metavolcanic belt, Timmins — Matachewan area — progress report. In E. G. Pye (ed.) Ont. Geol. Surv. Misc. Paper 92, 34–39.Google Scholar
  73. Ohmoto, H. andRye, R. O.,Isotopes of sulphur and carbon, inH. L. Barnes (ed.),Geochemistry of Hydrothermal Ore Deposits. 2nd ed., Wiley, New York, 1979, 509–562.Google Scholar
  74. O'Neil, J. R. andTaylor, H. P. (1967),The oxygen isotope and cation exchange chemistry of feldspars. Am. Mineral.52, 1414–1437.Google Scholar
  75. O'Neil, J. R., Clayton, R. N. andMayeda, T. (1969),Oxygen isotope fractionation in divalent metal carbonates. Journ. Chem. Phys.51, 5547–5558.Google Scholar
  76. Percival, J. A. andKrogh, T. E. (1983),U-Pb zircon geochronology of the Kapuskasing structural zone and vicinity of the Chapleau-Foleyet area, Ontario. Canad. J. Earth Sci.20, 830–843.Google Scholar
  77. Rehrig, W. A. andKeith, S. B. (1984), unpublished mapping.Google Scholar
  78. Robert, F. andBrown, A. C. (1984),Chemical exchanges between gold mineralizing fluids and wall rocks at the Sigma Mine, Abitibi region, Quebec. GAC-MAC Joint Ann. Meeting Progr. with Abstr.9, 100.Google Scholar
  79. Sibson, R. H., Moore, J. McM. andRankin, A. H. (1975),Seismic pumping — A hydrothermal fluid transport mechanism. J. Geol. Soc. London131, 653–659.Google Scholar
  80. Sibson, R. H. (1981), ‘Fluid flow accompanying faulting: Field evidence and models’, in D. W. Simpson and P. G. Richards (eds.),Earthquake Prediction. A.G.U. Maurice Ewing Series 4, 593–603.Google Scholar
  81. Sibson, R. H. (1982), Bull. Seism. Soc. Am.72, 151–163.Google Scholar
  82. Stein, J. H., Netto, A. M., Drummond, D. andAngeiras, A. G. (1980),Nota preliminar sobre os processos de albitizacao uranifera de Lagoa Real (Bahia) e sua comparacao com os da URSS e Suecia. Anais do 22nd Congr. Bras. Geol. Santa Catarina3, 1758–1775.Google Scholar
  83. Taylor, H. P. (1974),The application of oxygen and hydrogen isotope studies to problems of hydrothermal alteration and ore deposition. Econ. Geol.69, 843–883.Google Scholar
  84. Taylor, H. P., ‘Oxygen and hydrogen isotope relations in hydrothermal mineral deposits’, inH. L. Barnes (ed.),Geochemistry of Hydrothermal Ore Deposits, Wiley, New York, 1979, 236–277.Google Scholar
  85. Thomson, J. E. (1941a),Geology of Gauthier Township, east Kirkland Lake area. Ont. Dept. Mines Ann. Rept.50, Pt. 8.Google Scholar
  86. Veizer, J. andCompston, W. (1974),87 Sr/86 Sr composition of seawater during the Phanerozoic. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta38, 1461–1484.Google Scholar
  87. Wang, C.-Y. (1980),Sediment subduction and frictional sliding in a subduction zone. Geology8, 530–533.Google Scholar
  88. Wenner, D. B. andTaylor, H. P. (1971),Temperature of serpentinization of ultramafic rocks based on 0/0 fractionations between coexisting serpentine and magnetite. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol.32, 165–185.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Kerrich
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

Personalised recommendations