Comparing closed system, flow-through and fluid infiltration geochemical modelling: examples from K-alteration in the Ernest Henry Fe-oxide–Cu–Au system

Cleverley, J.S., and Oliver, N.H.S. (2005) Comparing closed system, flow-through and fluid infiltration geochemical modelling: examples from K-alteration in the Ernest Henry Fe-oxide–Cu–Au system. Geofluids, 5 (4). pp. 289-307.

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Abstract

Potassic alteration of rocks adjacent to, and within the Ernest Henry Fe-oxide–Cu–Au deposit is used here as a test case to investigate fluid–rock interactions using various equilibrium dynamic geochemical modelling approaches available in the HCh code. Reaction of a simple K–Fe–(Na,Ca) brine (constrained by published fluid inclusion analysis) with an albite-bearing felsic volcanic rock, resulted in predicted assemblages defined by (i) K-feldspar–muscovite–magnetite, (ii) biotite–K-feldspar–magnetite, (iii) biotite–quartz–albite and (iv) albite–biotite–actinolite–pyroxene with increasing rock buffering (decreasing log w/r). Models for isothermal–isobaric conditions (450°C and 2500 bars) were compared with models run over a T–P gradient (450 to 200°C and 2500 to 500 bars). Three principal equilibrium dynamic simulation methods have been used: (i) static closed system, where individual steps are independent of all others, (ii) flow-through and flush, where a part of the result is passed as input further along the flow line, and (iii) fluid infiltration models that simulate fluid moving through a rock column. Each type is best suited to a specific geological fluid–rock scenario, with increasing complexity, computation requirements and approximation to different parts of the natural system. Static closed system models can be used to quickly ascertain the broad alteration assemblages related to changes in the water/rock ratio, while flow-through models are better suited to simulating outflow of reacted fluid into fresh rock. The fluid infiltration model can be used to simulate spatially controlled fluid metasomatism of rock, and we show that, given assumptions of porosity relationships and spatial dimensions, this model is a first-order approximation to full reactive transport, without requiring significant computational time. This work presents an overview of the current state of equilibrium dynamic modelling technology using the HCh code with a view to applying these techniques to predictive modelling in exploration for mineral deposits. Application to the Ernest Henry Fe-oxide–Cu–Au deposit demonstrates that isothermal fluid–rock reaction can account for some of the alteration zonation around the deposit.

Item ID: 4557
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Ernest Henry Mine; HCh; infiltration; geochemical modelling
ISSN: 1468-8115
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2009 06:43
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0402 Geochemistry > 040202 Inorganic Geochemistry @ 100%
SEO Codes: 84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8499 Other Mineral Resources (excl. Energy Resources) > 849999 Mineral Resources (excl. Energy Resources) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 10
Downloads: Total: 1
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