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Gold mobility during Palaeoarchaean submarine alteration
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
Number of Authors: 3
2017 (English)In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, ISSN 0012-821X, E-ISSN 1385-013X, Vol. 462, 47-54 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Seafloor alteration provides large amounts of solutes to the hydrosphere. In order to investigate gold mobility during water-rock interaction prior to 3-billion-years ago, low detection limit analysis of Au concentrations was carried out on rocks from marine alteration zones. Stratiform zones recording low temperature (<= 150 degrees C) seafloor alteration are a characteristic feature of greenstone belts older than 3.0 Ga. Hydrothermal processes were operating on, and immediately below, the seafloor, giving rise to extensive silicification of sub-seafloor volcanic rocks and silicification of seafloor sediments. In order to investigate gold mobility during silicification, unaltered and variably silicified volcanic rocks and associated cherts from Palaeoarchaean greenstone successions (c. 3.4 Ga) of South Africa were analyzed. Results show mobility of gold during silicification of mafic/ultramafic rocks and transfer to the Archaean ocean. Some gold was incorporated into carbonaceous marine sediments overlying the alteration zones. A combination of pervasive silicification, rarity of black shales, and low gold content in komatiites can explain the low mineralization potential of Palaeoarchaean greenstone belts for orogenic gold deposits.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 462, 47-54 p.
Keyword [en]
Palaeoarchaean, greenstone belt, gold, hydrothermal alteration, silicification
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-142665DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2017.01.008ISI: 000395600900005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-142665DiVA: diva2:1094811
Available from: 2017-05-11 Created: 2017-05-11 Last updated: 2017-05-11Bibliographically approved

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