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Sulfur-, oxygen-, and carbon-isotope studies of Ag-Pb-Zn vein-breccia occurrences, sulfide-bearing concretions, and barite deposits in the north-central Brooks Range, with comparisons to shale-hosted stratiform massive sulfide deposits: A section in Ge

January 1, 2000

Stratiform shale-hosted massive sulfide deposits, sulfidebearing concretions and vein breccias, and barite deposits are widespread in sedimentary rocks of Late Devonian to Permian age in the northern Brooks Range. All of the sulfide-bearing concretions and vein breccias are hosted in mixed continental-marine clastic rocks of the Upper Devonian to Lower Mississippian Endicott Group. The clastic rocks and associated sulfide occurrences underlie chert and shale of Mississippian-Pennsylvanian(?) age that contain large stratiform massive sulfide deposits like that at Red Dog. The relative stratigraphic position of the vein breccias, as well as previously published mineralogical, geochemical, and lead-isotope data, suggest that the vein breccias formed coevally with overlying shale-hosted massive sulfide deposits and that they may represent pathways of oreforming hydrothermal fluids. Barite deposits are hosted either in Mississippian chert and limestone (at essentially the same stratigraphic position as the shale-hosted massive sulfide deposits) or Permian chert and shale. Although most barite deposits have no associated base-metal mineralization, barite occurs with massive sulfide deposits at the Red Dog deposit.

Galena and sphalerite from most vein breccias have δ34S values from –7.3 to –0.7‰ (per mil) and –5.1 to 3.6‰, respectively; sphalerite from sulfide-bearing concretions have δ34S values of 0.7 and 4.7‰. This overall range in δ34S values largely overlaps with the range previously determined for galena and sphalerite from shale-hosted massive sulfide deposits at Red Dog and Drenchwater. The Kady vein-breccia occurrence is unusual in having higher δ34S values for sphalerite (12.1 to 12.9‰) and pyrite (11.3‰), consistent with previously published values for the shale-hosted Lik deposit. The correspondence in sulfur isotopic compositions between the stratiform and vein-breccia deposits suggests that they share a common source of reduced sulfur, or derived reduced sulfur by similar geochemical processes. Most likely, the reduced sulfur was derived by biogenic sulfate reduction (BSR) or thermochemical sulfate reduction (TSR) of seawater sulfate during Devonian-Mississippian time.

The δ18O values of quartz from the vein breccias are between 16.6 and 19.9‰. Using the sphalerite-galena sulfur isotopic temperature of 188°±25°C, the calulated hydrothermal fluids had δ18O values of 4.2 to 7.5‰. The calculated range of δ18O values of the fluids is similar to that of pore fluids in equilibrium with sedimentary rocks during diagenesis at 100°– 190°C.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2000
Title Sulfur-, oxygen-, and carbon-isotope studies of Ag-Pb-Zn vein-breccia occurrences, sulfide-bearing concretions, and barite deposits in the north-central Brooks Range, with comparisons to shale-hosted stratiform massive sulfide deposits: A section in <i>Ge
DOI 10.3133/70180671
Authors Karen D. Kelley, David L. Leach, Craig A. Johnson
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Professional Paper
Series Number 1615
Index ID 70180671
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Central Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center