Title

Sulfur Isotope Evidence for Penetration of MVT Fluids into Igneous Basement Rocks, Southeast Missouri, USA

Abstract

Previous studies of galena and sphalerite from Paleozoic MVT deposits in the Viburnum Trend, southeast Missouri documented large variations in δ34S values throughout the ore-forming event. The present study of Cu-Fe-sulfides reveals a similar δ34S variation that reflects two end-member sulfur reservoirs whose relative importance varied both temporally and spatially. More 34S-enriched sulfides (δ34S approaching 25‰) indicate introduction of sulfur from basinal sedimentary sources, whereas more 32S-enriched sulfides (δ34S < 5‰) may reflect fluids moving through underlying granitic basement. Two areas containing Precambrian, igneous-hosted FeCu mineralization in southeast Missouri (West and Central Domes of Boss-Bixby) were investigated to elucidate their relationship to Cu-rich MVT orebodies hosted nearby within the overlying Cambrian Bonneterre Dolomite. Mineralization at Boss-Bixby is composed of an early phase of iron oxide deposition followed by Cu-Fe-sulfides. The Central Dome is faulted and its mineralization is more fracture-controlled than the typically podiform ores of the West Dome. The δ34S values of West Dome sulfides are 0.9 to 6.5‰ and pyrite-chalcopyrite indicate a temperature of 525° ± 50°C. These data indicate an igneous source of sulfur during Precambrian ore deposition. In contrast, δ34S values of Central Dome sulfides are 9.4 to 20.0‰ and pyrite-chalcopyrite indicate temperatures of 275° ± 50°C. Similar δ34S values are obtained for chalcopyrite from the overlying MVT deposits. We speculate that deeply circulating, basin-derived MVT fluids mobilized sulfur and copper from the underlying igneous basement and redeposited them in overlying Curich MVT orebodies, as well as overprinting earlier Precambrian sulfides of the Central Dome with a later, Paleozoic MVT sulfur isotope signature. Many models for MVT fluid circulation in the Midcontinent region of North America assume that igneous basement rocks are an impermeable boundary, but in southeast Missouri, evidence exists for structurally controlled MVT fluid movement > 600 m vertically through underlying Precambrian igneous rocks. Such basement involvement has been suggested for other carbonate-hosted base-metal districts (e.g. Irish base metal deposits) and should be considered an integral part of the ore-forming process in southeast Missouri.

Department(s)

Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Basement; Fluid Flow; Isotopic Composition; Mineralizing Fluid; Mississippi Valley Type Deposit; Sulphur; USA, Missouri, Viburnum Trend

Geographic Coverage

Southeast Missouri

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0026-4598

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Citation

File Type

text

Language(s)

English

Rights

© 1995 Springer Verlag, All rights reserved.

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