New constraints on regional brecciation in the Wernecke Mountains, Canada, from He, Ne, Kr, Xe, Cl, Br and I in fluid inclusions

Kendrick, M.A., Honda, M., Gillen, D., Baker, T., and Phillips, D. (2008) New constraints on regional brecciation in the Wernecke Mountains, Canada, from He, Ne, Kr, Xe, Cl, Br and I in fluid inclusions. Chemical Geology, 255 (1). pp. 33-46.

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Abstract

Regionally-distributed brecciation in the Proterozoic Wernecke Mountains of Canada is associated with hydrothermal alteration, that is similar to that seen in the Fe-oxide–Cu–Au class of ore deposit and characterized by variably saline fluid inclusions. Two phase liquid-vapour (LV) fluid inclusions (< 26–30 wt.% salt) in fluorite and barite, plus most quartz samples, are characterized by: greater than seawater Br/Cl values of up to 3.0 × 10− 3; I/Cl values of up to 65 × 10− 6; elevated 36Ar concentrations of 4 to > 100 ppb and 40Ar/36Ar of < 1000–2000. Similar fluid inclusions in sulphide have near atmospheric 20Ne/22Ne and 21Ne/22Ne values of ~ 9.8 and 0.029, respectively; and are enriched in 4He with 4He/40Ar and 4He/21Ne values of greater than the crustal production ratios. All these characteristics are typical of low temperature (< 250 °C) sedimentary formation waters. Halite saturated liquid-vapour-daughter (LVD) fluid inclusions, with salinities up to 44 wt wt.% NaCl–CaCl2 eq., are present in all of the samples but are predominant in only two quartz samples. One of these samples, from the Slab mega-breccia is situated close to a horizon of meta-evaporitic scapolite and it has the lowest measured Br/Cl and I/Cl values of 0.37 × 10− 3 and 0.32 × 10− 6, respectively. These data favour fluid interaction with meta-evaporitic scapolite, or halite, as an important mechanism for increasing fluid salinity. Fluid inclusions with variable salinities (LV and LVD) in a sample from the Hoover locality have the highest measured 40Ar/36Ar values of ~ 40,000 and variable 36Ar concentrations of 0.7 to 9 ppb. Similar fluid inclusions in sulphide have crustal 20Ne/22Ne and 21Ne/22Ne values of 6.5 and 0.35; 3He/4He of ~ 0.002; and 4He/40Ar and 4He/21Ne values only slightly above the average crustal production ratios. Post-entrapment ingrowth of radiogenic 40Ar is minor and correctable, ingrowth of radiogenic 4He and nucleogenic 21Ne and 22Ne are also minor, suggesting that with care these isotopes can also be used to constrain fluid origins in Proterozoic samples. The noble gas data are most easily explained by mixing magmatic fluids derived from magmas generated in U-rich basement rocks and surface-derived sedimentary formation waters. Therefore, these data confirm similar fluid sources at Wernecke as in some other Fe-oxide–Cu–Au deposits, and further constrain a probable episode of cryptic magmatism in ancestral North America.

Item ID: 6072
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-6836
Keywords: fluid inclusions; argon; neon; neonatal; halogens; wernecke; IOCG
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2010 01:00
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0402 Geochemistry > 040201 Exploration Geochemistry @ 100%
SEO Codes: 84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8401 Mineral Exploration > 840105 Precious (Noble) Metal Ore Exploration @ 100%
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